How to File Car Insurance Claim after an Accident?

Gone are the days when owning a four-wheeler was considered a luxury. Thanks to the easy availability of car loans and a host of budget-friendly options, four-wheelers are now within reach of a common man. As a car owner, one of the things you should always remain prepared for is road accidents. 

Even if you are a safe driver and always follow all the traffic laws, you never know when you might get involved in one. In such unexpected events, the first thing you should know about is filing a car insurance claim

Rather than waiting for the unexpected to occur, it is better to thoroughly understand the claim filing process while you purchase car insurance. So, how do you file a claim if you have been in a car accident? Before understanding that, let us first try to know the basics of filing a claim-

What Does ‘Filing Car Insurance Claim’ Mean?

By purchasing third-party or comprehensive car insurance, you significantly reduce your financial liabilities that might arise from an accident. But to make your insurer pay for the damages, losses, or injuries, you must first inform your insurer about the accident.

This process of informing the insurer is known as filing a claim. It requires you to provide as much information and relevant documents to your insurer to help them analyse the accident. If the claim is in line with the terms and conditions of your insurance, the insurer will accept your claim and compensate you for the accident. 

Are There Different Types of Car Insurance Claims?

Yes, car insurance policy claims are of two different types- cashless and reimbursement. 

  • Cashless Claims

With the cashless claims, you need not make an upfront payment for repairing your car. Simply file a claim and take your damaged car to one of the network garages of the insurer to get it fixed. Your insurer will directly settle the bill with the garage. Note that this facility will only be available at the network garages of your insurer. 

  • Reimbursement Claims

If for some reason you are not able to take your car to one of the network garages of the insurer, you can get it repaired at any of the garages. You will be required to pay for the damages from your pocket and then get the amount reimbursed from your insurer. Note that you will need original repair bills to file a reimbursement claim. 

How do you file car accident claims in case of an accident? The process for filing a claim for cashless and reimbursement claims is the same. For cashless claims, you must take your car to one of the network garages of your insurer, and in case of reimbursement claims, you can repair your car any garage and later claim the amount from the insurance company.

Here are the steps you need to follow to file a claim successfully-

  • Get in Touch with Your Insurer

Immediately after the accident, get in touch with your insurer and let them know about your accident. This can either be done online through their official website or their mobile app. Claims can also be registered by phone or by visiting the nearest branch of the insurer. 

  • Collect Information

Get the vehicle number and contact details of the other party involved in the accident. If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their contact details as well. 

  • File a Police Complaint

While it is not mandatory, it is advisable to file an accident report at the nearest police station. This is especially true in case if it cannot be decided who is at fault for the accident. Provide as many details about the accident, including location, vehicle number and contact details of the other party and witnesses while filing the complaint. Keep a copy of your FIR. 

  • File the Claim

You can file a claim either offline or online. You must fill a claim form and mention the details of the accident. You must also submit several documents to file your claim successfully.

  • Proceed to Garage

Once the claim is filed, you can then take your car to a garage to get it repaired. You can either go to a network garage to use the cashless claim facility or any other garage for using the reimbursement facility. 

What are the Documents Required for Filing a Car Insurance Claim?

As mentioned above, you will have to submit a few documents for filing the claim. These are the documents you will need-

  • Duly-filled claim form.
  • Copy of car insurance policy.
  • Copy of driving license and RC book.
  • Copy of FIR.
  • Medical receipts in case if there are physical injuries.
  • Original repair bills in case if you are using the reimbursement facility.

What Happens After the Claim Is Filed?

After you file your claim, the insurance company initiates the car accident insurance claim settlement process. A surveyor will be assigned to your case by your insurer. The surveyor will visit the garage where your car is being repaired for inspecting the damage. If everything is in order, your claim will be accepted, and you will be compensated for the accident. 

Understanding the Car Insurance Claim Filing Process

Time is of the essence in case if you have been in a car accident and want to file an insurance claim. So, it is essential to clearly understand the entire claim filing process to take immediate action when required.

The claim filing process is the same for most insurers. However, there can be some minor differences between insurers. So, make sure that you do check the official website of your insurer to understand their claims process in detail.