How to Make a Car Insurance Claim After an Accident?

In order to get the insurance benefits, you will have to make a claim with the insurance company immediately after the accident. If they find the claim to be genuine, they will pay for the damages caused to you and your vehicle. Here is how you can make a car insurance claim in the event of your car meeting with an accident:

Car Insurance Claim After an Accident

Steps to follow:

Making an own damage claim is the same as a third-party car insurance claim.

  • Call your insurance company immediately after the accident and inform about the damage.
  • Intimate the police about the incident and obtain an FIR.
  • Record the details of the car, the driver, and the witnesses in the FIR.
  • File a claim with your insurance company and ask them to assign a surveyor to evaluate the loss.
  • You can submit the claim online as well, provided that your insurer provides this facility.

Documents required to make a claim:

The insurance company may ask you to provide certain documents in order to help them validate and accept the claim. You will have to submit all necessary documents for the claim and fill up the claim form. Here is the list of documents that you need to submit at the time of making a car insurance claim:

  • Copy of your insurance policy
  • First Information Report (FIR) filed with the police
  • Duly filled up and signed Claim Form
  • Copy of the registration certificate of your car
  • Copy of your driving license
  • A detailed estimate of the repairs
  • Medical receipts in case of physical injuries
  • Original records of other expenses incurred

Formalities for making a car insurance claim

In case of a car accident the policyholder can make two different types of claims which are third-party claim and own damage claim. Here are the steps to make a claim after an accident:

  • Third party claim:You can make a third-party claim against the other vehicle owner in instances where the damage/injury has been caused to you/your car by a third-party vehicle. In this case, you can claim medical expenses and compensation for personal injury, property damage, and loss of earning, if you are not able to work after the accident. Compensation can also be claimed for death, if there is any.
  • Contrarily, in the event of an accident where your car has hit another vehicle where the damage has been made by your car to a third-party vehicle, your insurer will cover the damages, loss, injury, and deaths that you caused to the other party.

    Steps to follow-

  • Obtain the insurance details of the vehicle that has caused damage to your car and intimate the insurer of that vehicle about the incident.
  • Report the incident to your insurance company with immediate effect. Ensure to inform your insurer about the accident within the stipulated time frame.
  • Next, submit a third-party claim application with your insurer. If you are the victim, you need to make the application for a third-party claim against the vehicle owner. In an instance where injury, death, or property damage has been made by your vehicle to a third-party, the application has to be made with your insurance company.
  • Inform the police by calling the police helpline number and file a First Information Report (FIR). Ensure to mention the following information in the FIR:
    • Registration number of the car involved in the accident
    • License number of the driver
    • Name and contact details of witnesses, if there are any
  • Once done, you need to file a case to the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal having jurisdiction over the area where the accident took place or with the tribunal with jurisdiction over the area where you (the claimant) and the third-party (the defendant) resides or carries business.
  • Own damage claim: You can file an own damage claim in case of any loss or damage caused to your insured car due to an accident. Your insurer for pay for the medical expenses and repair costs incurred due to the accident. However, you will have to authenticate the damage or loss resulted from the accident. You will be eligible for this claim only if you have a comprehensive policy.
  • Points to remember:

  • Thoroughly check yourself and your car to determine whether there are any serious injuries. Based on the extent of the injury you will have to decide whether medical help should be called or not.
  • Make the claim within the stipulated time frame fixed by your insurance company, usually within 24 hours.In case of delay, the claim can be repudiated.
  • Note down the registration number, model, and colour of the other car involved in the accident.
  • Talk to the witnesses present at the spot of accident and save their names and contact details.You might need to contact them in future to determine the person responsible for the accident.
  • If you find that the damage is caused only to the vehicle and is negligible you can avoid making a claim. Assess the situation well and take an immediate call.
  • Don’t get into a fight with the third party and that might cause unnecessary confusion.
  • Avoid making any statement to the police or insurance company unless you are not clear about your next step.
  • Move the vehicle from the accident spot for repair or any other purpose only when permitted by the police and the insurance company.
  • You will have to submit all necessary documents for the claim and fil the claim form. The vehicle may also need to go through an inspection.
  • If your car insurance policy offers cashless claim facility, take your vehicle to a network garage for repair and avail the cashless service without paying out of your pocket for the covered damages. The workshop will be directly paid by the insurer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What are the different forms of insurance claims that I can place against my car insurance policy?

    You can choose to place your car insurance claim in one of the two available methods which are provided by most insurance providers. They are – cashless claims and reimbursement claims. As the name suggests, the cashless claim is one where the insurance provider settles the bill for repairing your vehicle with the network workshop where you get your car fixed. The reimbursement claim, on the other hand, is the form of claim wherein you will be responsible for settling the bill at the first place followed by which you will have to submit the relevant eligible bills of repair to the insurance provider. The insurer will reimburse the repairing charges on the basis of their terms and conditions.

  2. My car met with an accident and I placed an insurance claim for the same. However, my claim was rejected. What can be the probable reason?

    There are a number of factors which are taken into consideration by the insurance providers before they settle a claim. There are certain exclusions wherein your claim will be rejected by the insurer. Some of the most common reasons of rejecting a car insurance claim are listed below:

    • The driver was not carrying a valid driving licence at the time of the accident.
    • The driver was found to be driving under influence of intoxicating substances.
    • The insurance policy was not active at the time of the accident.
    • The damages caused to the car were due to lack of attention or carelessness on the part of the driver.
    • Information provided on the insurance claim form were found to be incorrect.
  3. My car met with an accident. I am the second owner of the car and the insurance is still under the ownership of the old owner. Am I eligible to claim insurance against the damages of my car?

    No, you will not be able to claim insurance in this case. In case you place a claim for the damages incurred by your car, the insurance provider will reject the claim.

  4. Can the insurance provider deny to settle my car insurance claim if I fail to inform the same within the prescribed time frame of the insurer?

    Yes, the insurance provider reserves the right to reject your car insurance claim if it is not informed to them within the time prescribed by them as per their terms and conditions.

  5. Is it necessary to go through the vehicle survey process after my vehicle is involved in an accident and I claim insurance for the same?

    Yes, as per the generic terms and conditions of the insurance providers, you will be required to go through the step wherein a surveying inspector will be assigned for the inspection of your vehicle before the claim process is advanced. However, many insurance providers also allow you to make the process faster by allowing e-inspection. You can get in touch with your insurer to get a clear picture on the same and advance accordingly.

GST Update: GST of 18% is applicable on car insurance effective from the 1st of July, 2017

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