As more and more players enter the car insurance market, competition is rising at a steady pace. As a result, settlement of claims has become one of the most important factor which distinguishes a good insurer from one that may not be as efficient. Car insurance settlement claims have become simpler to understand and carry out than before, thanks to this competition and also technology. If one knows the right steps to take, then getting a claim settled can be a stress-free task. Here is what you need to know. Car insurance claims can be categorized into 2 types - cashless claims and reimbursement claims.
Car Insurance - Cashless Claims
A cashless claim is described as one where the insurance company has tied up with several authorized vehicle service centers and workshops where the policy holders can go to get their vehicles serviced or repaired in case of an accident. Once the insurance company’s surveyor has inspected the damage caused to the vehicle, they will approve the claim raised by the vehicle owner. Following this, the cost of repairs carried out on the vehicle is directly settled between the workshop/ service center and the insurance company. The policy holder may be required to pay for only certain costs as are mentioned in the details of the policy.
Car Insurance - Reimbursement Claims
Reimbursement claims arise when the policyholder gets their vehicle repaired at a garage / workshop which not a part of his motor insurance company’s cashless network. In this case, the insurance company will reimburse the policyholder for the cost they have incurred towards the repairs of the vehicle. If a reimbursement claim has to be raised, the first step of the process is to inform the insurance company about the claim.
Following this, the policy holder will be required to provide certain documents along with a duly filled claim form. After this, a surveyor will inspect the damaged vehicle and take note of the extent of damages. After the vehicle has been repaired, the payment for the same will have to be borne by the insured, following which, they must submit all the bills towards the repairs, a copy of the policy document and their driving licence to the insurance company. Reimbursement claims are usually settled in a period of about 10 to 15 days.
As insurers operate with the aim of getting more customers, they often invent new and innovative ways to do so. The claim settlement ratio of an insurance company is one of the most important factor which affects their credibility. With this objective in mind, Bajaj Allianz has recently launched a new method to streamline and simplify the claim settlement process via the Direct Method.
The Direct Method is quite similar to a cashless claim method, but is mainly meant for repairs which are not too expensive. In case the amount towards the repair is minor, then the insurance company will carry out an inspection of the vehicle and pay the cost of repairs in advance so the policy holder can use it to get the damage repaired and pay for the same at their own convenience.
For instance, your car’s windshield is broken and you can't get it fixed immediately. In this case, you can simply take your car to any of your insurer’s cashless network garage / workshop, and get the windshield inspected. Once the inspection is done and communicated to the insurance company, they will make an advance payment to you for the repair of the windshield to you. The insurer will also provide a specific time period within which you must get the damage rectified, for which the advance payment has been made.
Things To Remember When Filing Car Insurance Claim
Following are a few things which you must remember when filing your car insurance claim.
- Before you file your car insurance claim form, ensure that you do a complete check of the vehicle to examine the extent of the damage that has been caused.
- No Claim Bonus is a part of every car insurance policy which helps bring down your premium amount significantly in case you have had a claim free year.
- In case of an accident, you must first focus on getting the required medical attention before you think about filing a claim.
- Once you have received medical help, you can concentrate on collecting all the necessary documents which you need to file the claim.
- Having a healthy record, especially in terms of premium payments, can help you get your claim settled faster.
- It may be unnecessary to file a claim for minor damages which are not very expensive to repair. Every claim that you make, you will lose a part of your No Claim Bonus which can help reduce your premium amount.
GST Update: GST of 18% is applicable on car insurance effective from the 1st of July, 2017