No matter how rosy a picture may have been painted for you, getting a car insurance claim settled can be a stressful process. However, not every insurer is out to swallow your hard earned money. It is possible for you to have a favourable experience in terms of getting your car insurance claim settled. All it takes is being aware of the details involved in the process and you’ll be better armed to deal with any car insurance claim settlement woes that may come your way.
Now, it is not entirely uncommon to have a car insurance claim rejected. It happens often and someone you know may have had that happen to them. It also often happens, that when a car insurance claim is rejected, the policyholder is unable to comprehend the reason for it, which can only add to the feeling of frustration. However, there are a few things that you will benefit from being aware of about car insurance claim settlement approval.
As every car insurance policyholder would know, a car insurance policy covers damage or loss caused due to certain perils. The policy also mentions a list of exclusions which are basically perils and causes against which the policy does not provide cover. Generally, your average car insurance policy will cover loss or damage that has been caused due to accidents, theft or by a third party. If you raise a claim to cover a damage caused due to war, the claim will be rejected. This is because damages caused due to war are a part of the exclusions mentioned in the policy, which are not covered. Also, it would be foolish to expect your car insurance provider cover any damage or loss that has been caused following the routine wear and tear of the vehicle over a period of time and use.
What To Remember When Filing A Claim
Provide Accurate Documents, Even When Applying Online
If you are purchasing your car insurance policy online, you may not be required to produce all the documents which you may otherwise have to when applying at the insurer’s branch. However, this doesn’t give you the liberty to provide wrong or incorrect documents for insurance purposes. This can very well lead to your claim being rejected in case you file for one and the insurer finds out that the documents provided by you are incorrect, false or even fake.
Go Through Every Word Of The Policy Document
One thing that every policyholder must keep in mind is that not always will the insurer see your claim as valid. One of the primary reasons for claims being rejected is when the policyholder is not aware of the policy inclusions, exclusions and terms. Insurers are very familiar with the terms and conditions of the policy and are better equipped to pick a point and can build it up to reject your claim. To prevent this, it is advised that policyholders go through each and every word of their policy document so they are aware what will be covered and what won't. If you are not very sure of what the policy mentions, feel free to take help from a broker or agent who will be well-versed in insurance lingo to explain it to you and help you out.
Keep All Invoices & Receipts
If your vehicle is fitted with additional accessories such as anti-theft devices, an expensive stereo system or anything else that does not come factory fitted in the car, it would be a good idea to have those accessories covered under an add-on cover. However, in case you ever have to make a claim towards the damage or loss of those accessories, you will need to present the bills or receipts for the purchase of those accessories. then you must have all the bills and receipts for them. Otherwise, the claim is likely to be rejected.
Adhere To The Claim Intimation Time Window
Insurance companies usually specify a time duration of 48 to 72 hours within which policy holders must inform the insurer about any incident or accident that has occurred. However, the failure to do so may not necessarily result in your claim being rejected, but in case something happens to your car which is not covered under the insurance policy, you could stand to have your claim rejected for the initial accident which may be covered by the policy.
Give Necessary Details
Provide your insurer with all the necessary details regarding the claim. However, be aware of the exclusions and terms and conditions of the policy while doing so. This does not mean that you lie to the insurer about the details of an accident following which a claim has been raised.
File An FIR Immediately In Case Of A Stolen Car
In case your car has been stolen, it is obvious that you would be under great stress. However, do not forget to file an Fir at your nearest police station as the same is necessary to file a claim, particularly in case of a theft. Without an FIR, filing a claim or getting it approved could be a task.
Take A Separate Cover For Co-Passenger Protection
If you wish to get cover for the co-passengers travelling in your car, you must get separate co-passenger cover for them. If you do not have the appropriate cover for your co-passengers, then the insurance company can very well reject your claim you make for injuries sustained by them in case of an accident.
Driving Under Influence
In case your vehicle has suffered damages due to being involved in an accident, but was being driven by someone in an intoxicated state, the insurance company will reject your claim outright. Also, if the driver was driving without holding a valid driving license or without the documents of the vehicle (registration certificate, insurance document, etc.) at the time of the accident, the insurer will reject the claim.
Common Mistakes To Avoid
Getting your car insurance claim approved does not have to be difficult. Here are some common mistakes which you must avoid in order to have your claim approved.
- Does not matter if you have purchased a new car or a pre-owned one, if you forget to get the car’s insurance policy transferred to your name, you will not stand a chance to make a claim in case of damages. The policy itself will be null and void because it will not carry your name as the owner of the vehicle.
- If your car has met with an accident but the damages caused are minor, you can either not file a claim and get the damages repaired out of your own pocket. Or, if you do decide to file acclaim in case of whatever damage, the insurance company must be informed about the same within the specified time window. If you inform the insurer after a week of the damage having occurred, your claim is likely to be rejected.
- Some other no-no’s which can get your claim rejected include using your personal car for commercial purposes, especially when your insurance policy specifically prohibits it. Also, if your car is damaged while being parked in a no-parking zone or if the car suffers damages while being used by a number of passengers which clearly exceeds the car’s capacity, your claim is probably going to be rejected.
- If you have installed an LPG/CNG kit in your car, you must inform your insurer about the same at the time of taking the policy. Or else, your claim may be rejected.
Getting a car insurance claim approved can be tricky business, but if the insurer reject your claim, you do not necessarily have to accept it. Nothing is etched in stone here and you can always approach your insurance company to work out the solution for a rejected claim or understand the reasons why your claim has been rejected. Get help from those who are well-versed in insurance matters to help you out.
GST Update: GST of 18% is applicable on car insurance effective from the 1st of July, 2017