The Dos and Don’ts of Filing Car Insurance Claims

We put so much effort into choosing and buying the car of our choice, so shouldn’t we also put as much effort into protecting it? Buying motor insurance is the first step in this direction. Not only is it mandatory by law, but it also offers the owner peace of mind as it safeguards the car against a number of unforeseen circumstances.

Whether your car is old or new, third party liability insurance is mandatory by law. That being said, it is recommended to have comprehensive motor insurance as it covers you for third party liability as well as damages to own vehicle. In addition, many comprehensive car insurance policies also offer personal accident cover. While the availability of car insurance online has made the entire process of buying motor insurance and filing claims easier, there are still some components that people remain unaware of; and this is especially true when it comes to filing car insurance claims.

Buying car insurance online is just one side of the coin; you must put in a concerted effort to understand the basic dos and don’ts of filing a claim.

The Dos and the Don’ts

Every process has a list of dos and don’ts. When it comes to filing a claim for motor insurance, an error on your part might result in your claim settlement getting delayed. Therefore, stay aware of these basics to save yourself from any hassle in the long run.

The Dos of Filing Motor Insurance Claims

1) Make sure you have all the required documents, like the policy papers, a valid driving license, etc. Otherwise, your claim will be rendered as invalid.

2) An FIR (First Information Report) is mandatory when filing a claim. If you have been in an accident, the first thing you must do is contact the police and file an FIR. This FIR will be required by the insurer when they process the claim.

3) Right after the police, contact your insurance company. There should be a minimum delay. Most insurers have a claim window of about 24 to 48 hours after the accident, so contact them as soon as possible.

4) Go through the policy documents to see if your current situation is covered, to get a basic idea of what will be included and excluded under the claim.

5) Take photographs of the accident scene, including the damage to your car, your injuries, injuries sustained by any third party, etc. This may come in handy in case there is any confusion or query in the future.

6) Note down the names and contact details of the witnesses, if any.

7) Be honest about the details when filing a claim.

8) Maintain a record of the bills and expenses incurred with respect to the claim.

The Don’ts of Filing Motor Insurance Claims

1) Despite wanting to, you must refrain from moving your or the other party’s vehicle from the sight of the accident.

2) Claims are not applicable in cases of informal settlements. If you intend to file a claim, you must file an FIR and follow the proper protocol.

3) Do not lose your temper. Stay calm, ensure everyone is alright, and contact the police and your insurer.

4) While driving, there are certain conditions when a claim will not be considered: -

  • Driving under influence (DUI). It is a legal offense to drive after consuming alcohol or drugs.
  • Indulging in rash driving or street racing.
  • Using your personal car for commercial purposes.

5) Before understanding what the policy covers and excludes, do not give any written agreement to anyone. If you have doubts about anything, get legal help to know what you are agreeing to.

6) Unless you are satisfied with the terms, do not accept any “final settlement” cheque or DD.

If you follow these dos and don’ts while filing a claim for your motor insurance, the process will go smooth and easy for you. Also, whether you buy car insurance online or offline, be sure to read it thoroughly, including the fine print, before you put your name on the dotted line. This will make any future claims easier for you.

**To understand exactly about the policy coverage, exclusions, etc. read the Policy Wordings carefully.**

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