A car insurance is a purchase that is unique because you would be hoping to never use it, but once you do, you would be glad that you bought it in the first place! Most road accidents, however minor they may be, would leave damages that require repair. And when there is a need for damage repair, the quickest and most effective manner in which this can be accomplished is by raising an insurance claim.
That said, the way in which you file an auto insurance claim can actually expedite or dampen the entire experience. Hence, there are certain steps that you need to follow in order to ensure that you receive a satisfactory settlement from the insurer. You should also be aware of the pitfalls that could result in the rejection of your claim.
Here we analyse the prominent do’s and dont’s of motor insurance claims.
- When you are involved in an accident, the first thing that needs to be done is to inform the police. You should get an FIR filed, as it is a mandatory document that will support your claim.
- Get in touch with your insurance provider as soon as the accident occurs, with the least possible delay. Most insurers provide a window of 48 hours for the mishap to be reported. In case this is not followed, there is a good chance that your claim will not be honoured.
- Try to capture pictures of the accident scene, the damages to your vehicle, the injuries that you sustained, and the other affected party. Photographic evidence is always prioritised when the insurer looks to approve a claim. Don’t forget to note down the numbers and insurance details of the others involved in the accident.
- After you have informed the insurance provider, you may want to go through the policy document again to get more clarity on the coverage. You should pay close attention to the exclusions, and contact the insurer at their helpline number in case you have any queries.
- Be prompt and completely honest with your insurance provider. If you hide any details or fail to disclose the truth, it can work against you to even result in a claim rejection or policy invalidation.
- It is important to keep track of all your conversations with representatives from the insurance company. These notes can be useful in the event of future claims, as well.
- File all documents, i.e., receipts for lodging, meals, purchases, etc., from the time of the mishap to the final settlement. These receipts will come in handy when you are following up on your claim or recuperating from injuries.
- Consult an attorney, as he will be able to protect your rights and prevent the destruction of any valuable evidence.
- Always keep your driving license valid, and maintain a copy of your auto insurance policy that can be used when needed.
- Do not run away from the accident scene, and refrain from moving any of the cars involved in the accident. If anyone requires medical attention, arrange for it.
- Do not avoid contacting the police. If other parties involved in the accident try to settle the issue without informing the police, refrain from participating. This is an illegal way to handle the situation, and filing an FIR is the most important step that needs to be followed at this time.
- In the event of an accident, it is likely that you will be stressed, and even aggressive or angry. Refrain from losing your cool, but do not be submissive either. Enquire if the involved parties are alright in a polite manner, and contact the police as soon as possible.
- It is important that you do not drive under intoxication, or get involved in illegal driving. Using a passenger car for commercial purposes is an example of an illegal activity. You should bear in mind that these actions will nullify your insurance claim.
- Remember to follow all formalities after an accident, and don’t ignore the time frame within which you should react.
- Do not provide any written document to the insurer before you read through your insurance policy again. It is also a good idea to get legal advice before you sign any releases.
- Do not accept any payments unless you are prepared to do so.
To summarise, when you are looking to file an insurance claim, it is crucial that you keep a clear head, follow the law, be honest, and keep your insurer informed of all the proceedings. Following these rules will ensure that you do not have to face claim rejections.
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