Auto Insurance Claim – Tips on Insurance Claims Process
The thought of filing an auto insurance claim in India can be described as an oxymoron. You do not look forward to it but yet you buy an insurance policy with a thought (at the back of the mind) that one day you might have to use it.
Though nobody wants to get their cars bumped but well if you do it then you can rest assured that you have an insurance policy. The ease of filing a claim and the promptness in which the company processes the claim are an important criterion when you decide which insurance policy to buy.
What is an auto Insurance Claim?
An auto insurance claim is a formal request made by the policy holder to the company asking for a payment as per the terms laid down in the policy. The company reviews the claim to ascertain the validity and genuineness of the claim before it honors the claim.
Insurance Companies are not always the Villains!
You often hear people blaming insurance companies in India about not honoring claims or picking out minor errors in your claim forms but the companies are bound by rules and so are you if you want your claim to be processed smoothly and quickly.
My neighbor one day was lamenting about how the insurance company was not honoring his auto claim despite repeated reminders. I sympathized with him; further questioning revealed that on the day of the accident his son was driving the car and the son did not have a valid license!
Auto insurance policy rules clearly state that the insurance company is not liable to pay if the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs while driving or does not have a valid license. So clearly the fault in this example lies with the policy holder. Be sure to read the policy document and adhere to the rules.
A Few Tips on the auto insurance claim process
Though a lot does depend on the company policies but keeping a few things in mind can help you in getting your claim processes quickly and easily. Here are a few things in mind that make a difference while filing a claim:
1. Do Not Delay
Though after an accident it is quite obvious that you would be shaken but after you get the basic medical attention and help you should turn your attention to filing a claim. It is important that you are prompt in filing the claim.
This will not only result in you getting your dues faster but can also be helpful in footing your and co passenger’s medical bills; especially if there is third party liability involved.
Most companies have toll free numbers where you can inform them at any time of the day or night. Calling the company or the agent right way ensures that you are sure about the documents and process and will take action accordingly.
2. Keep your Documents Ready
Having the right documentation goes a long way in getting a claim processed. Keep a record of the police report in case of an accident, in case some emergency repair is required for the car or you have to pay for the medical expenses of some injured person make sure you maintain a record/copy of the bills for later use.
When you inform the company/agent they will apprise you about the required documentation so that you can gather them before filing a claim.
3. Have A Good Track Record
A good and clean record helps is getting the auto insurance claim; two things here are important
a) timely premium payments;
b) being honest.
While the first factor is self explanatory the second one is more important. At all costs avoid fraudulent claims irrespective of how lucrative they may seem.
My car had a big scratch on the windshield and I was avoiding getting it repaired due the expenditure; my car mechanic advised to smash the windshield with a stone and then claim it from the insurance company. I complemented him on his ingenuity but declined to do so! These foul shortcuts are best avoided as they could lead you into a soup!
4. Get it Right the First Time
When you file a auto insurance claim claim make sure you do it after you do your homework well. Read the policy document well, go to the site and check out the claim procedure (these days it is fairly simple) and if required talk to the agent or the helpdesk.
Companies these days try to offer all kinds of assistance to their customers. Following the right procedure will ensure that there are no unnecessary delays and hassles involved due to claim rejection and the need to file it again.
To File or Not to File Auto Insurance Claim
Whether to file or not file a claim is another dilemma often faced by insurance policy holders. Filing a auto insurance claim obviously means that you will lose your no claims bonus but there are other factors also that influence the premium of the car so in case of an accident involving another vehicle you must definitely file a claim.
In case there is damage to the car which is minor and there has been no accident you could consider this as an option. Another thing to keep in mind is never settle with the driver directly by paying cash on the post.
So next time god forbid you require to file a claim in India – be sure to keep in mind all the above so that you are saved to from unnecessary troubles and delay.
Read more insurance related articles at – Buying a Home Insurance