A comprehensive two-wheeler insurance policy usually has two types of covers bundled together; i.e., own damages cover and third-party liability. Some comprehensive policies also include the personal accident cover as part of the basic plan. As evident from the nomenclature, the personal accident cover and the own damages cover protect the policyholder from damages to the vehicle, personal injuries, and death. These are optional covers as well.
The third-party liability insurance is mandated for all two-wheeler owners by the Indian Motor Vehicles Act. This type of insurance does not cover you and your bike; instead it offers protection to a third-party for damages caused by your vehicle to his/her property or health. Effectively, the injured party is the beneficiary of the third-party insurance. If you are the third-party who is affected by damage caused by another vehicle, you can claim compensation against the third-party insurance coverage of that vehicle. There is no limit on the liability for death or injury. However, the amount that can be availed as compensation for damage to property is capped at Rs.7.5 lakh.
Procedure for Raising Two-Wheeler Insurance Claim
Although all vehicles in India are equipped with third-party insurance cover, not many would opt to claim for damages using this cover. This is predominantly because of the complexities involved in the claim process. The process of claiming for two-wheeler insurance usually takes the following course:
- As soon as you meet with an accident, you should contact the police and cooperate in filing an FIR. The FIR is a document that will have to be mandatorily submitted when you make a third-party insurance claim. This step should never be missed out.
- You should also inform your insurance company of the mishap, without much delay. Many insurers mandate that accidents should be reported within 48 hours from the time of occurrence.
- At the accident spot, try to capture pictures of the damage, injuries suffered, and the third-party. Photographic evidence will come in handy when you need to recheck for details in the future. You should also attempt to note down the names and phone numbers of witnesses and the third-party. Also collect all necessary information about the third-party’s insurance coverage.
- Always furnish accurate information to your insurer. Never try to fabricate information for the purpose of claim approval. It should be noted that failing to reveal the truth about the incident may result in the rejection of your claim and even the invalidation of your policy.
- You should register a case with the tribunal court for motor accident claims that has jurisdiction over the location where the accident occurred. You can also file the case in the tribunal court with jurisdiction over the location of the third-party’s or your residence. It should be noted that civil courts do not decide on third-party two-wheeler insurance claims.
- You should always keep notes of the conversations that you have with your insurer regarding the claim. This will prove to be very useful in the future.
- Maintain a file with all the documents, receipts, bills, etc. that are relevant to the claim.
Common Mistakes that Should be Avoided
There are certain mistakes that you should avoid at all costs while claiming third-party insurance for two-wheelers. These have been detailed below:
- You should not run away from the accident spot. All vehicles at the location should stay as is, till an inspector surveys them. You should also look to arrange medical assistance if someone is injured.
- You must ensure that you contact the police and get an FIR filed. Failing to do so may jeopardise the validity of your claim. Also, avoid getting into settlements with the third-party without the involvement of the police, as it would result in an illegal turn of events.
- Do not be submissive and accept responsibility for the accident. Also, do not get too stressed, angry, or aggressive.
- You should avoid riding your two-wheeler after having alcohol or other intoxicants. Also, refrain from illegal driving and renting out your private vehicle for commercial purposes. These factors could work against you in the event of a claim.
- While filing a claim, ensure that you have furnished all accurate information in a comprehensive manner. You should also look to submit the claim on time, as delays in the process may be detrimental to you.
- You should refrain from signing any release to the insurer until you have been advised by a lawyer. However, you can accept the insurer’s offer if you believe that the estimates provided by them are accurate.
Although legally possible, insurance companies receive very few cases claiming for third-party compensation. As indicated above, this is primarily due to the complex procedures involved in filing the claim and its settlement. The entire process also has a long turnaround time that could make the settlement look daunting. However, if you decide to raise a , you should ensure that you follow the steps above to benefit from it in the best possible manner.