The Important Do’s and Don’ts While Filing Car Insurance Claim
Driving a car and going on a long drive can be great fun, but one unfortunate event or an accident can play a spoilsport. This includes your car getting damaged by a falling tree or getting stuck in a waterlogged area. If any such incidents occur, you can file for an insurance claim and recover the cost of damages. However, for some people filing a claim may not as easy as it may seem; it requires you to follow certain processes. If you have no prior experience of filing for a car insurance claim, knowing the following Do’s and Don’ts will help you.
File an FIR
One of the first things you must do when you meet with a car accident is immediately report the matter to the police and file an FIR (First Information Report). All insurance companies ask for a copy of the FIR while initiating the settlement process. You must file an FIR in case of a road accident that leads to bodily injury of the third party or death. Also, an FIR is a mandatory requirement if your car gets stolen. You must submit one copy to the insurance company and keep one copy for yourself while filing a claim. However, you must know that you need not file an FIR always; it is not necessary in case of small accidents that lead to minor dents to the car.
Inform the insurer
Just as it is crucial to file an FIR, it is vital to inform the insurance company about the accident. Experts suggest that you must report the accident to the insurer within seven days of the incident. If you fail to do so, there is a considerable risk that your claim will get rejected. Some insurance companies have a smaller window to report the accident up to 48 hours. No matter if you have the best car insurance policy, the key to getting the settlement approved is to inform the insurance company as soon as possible.
Also, before taking the vehicle to the garage for repairs, informing the insurance company can help you take advantage of the policy inclusions like towing, pick-up, and roadside assistance.
Send the documents to the insurance company
To initiate the car insurance claim process, you must send all the essential claim-related documents to the insurance company. You should ask the insurer about the documents required for the settlement and ask the time within which you must arrange the same.
Typically, most insurance companies need the following documents to start the settlement process–
- Insurance claim form
- Copy of the insurance policy
- Copy of the RC (Registration Certificate)
- Copy of the valid driving license
Gather evidence at the accident spot to support your claim
One of the best ways to support your claim for car insurance is to click pictures and gather sufficient evidence. You can submit the photos at the time of filing the claim form as a valid proof. Also, experts recommend taking note of the witnesses and their names and contact details. This will help you at the time of investigation and expedite the claim process.
Read the policy document
When you purchase the insurance policy, the insurance company sends you a policy copy wording that lists down the inclusions and the exclusions of the policy and other details. You must read the policy document to know the formalities of the settlement and the documents you must submit specific to your case. Understanding the policy document will also help you know the extent of the coverage you will receive.
Never run away from the accident spot
One of the most common mistakes that people commit that leads to their car insurance claim rejection is that they run away from the accident spot. Experts suggest that you must never run away from the scene of the accident and not move the vehicle from the spot. If your car has suffered any damage, it is advisable that you don’t drive it further as it may lead to further damage and the insurance company may reduce the claim amount or reject the claim. Also, you must avoid doing any repair works to your car until the insurance company approves your claim.
Never hide any facts
Often, people don’t reveal the details of the accident in full, or they try to hide certain things during the accident investigation. Not telling the truth can lead to either rejection of the claim on the ground of unclear information or it may render your policy invalid.
Don’t settle for out of insurance settlement
Often, the third-party involved in the accident may offer to settle the deal without informing the insurance company or the policy. You shouldn’t settle for such offers, because not informing the concerned authorities about the accident is illegal. Always take the legal route and file and file an FIR. This will help you file for the claim and get appropriate compensation.
Don’t sign any claim-related papers in haste
Before you file for a claim, make sure that you thoroughly review the policy document to know about the inclusions and the exclusions of the policy. Also, you must avoid signing on any paper without getting any legal advice from an expert and always cross-check the estimated value of the damage provided by the insurance company. Lastly, while you renew the policy, make sure that you mention the car insurance no claim bonus in your renewal form and get the benefit of a discount on your premium.