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Motor Insurance FAQs on Claims

If you are wondering whether you can claim insurance for your vehicle damaged in another city than where the policy was issued, get your answer right know. And, answers to many more questions.

Apnainsurance.com Research Bureau

05 Dec 2007

What happens after I have submitted the claim form for my damaged vehicle?

1. After you submit your claim form and the relevant documents, the insurer appoints a surveyor to inspect your vehicle and submit his/her report to the insurance company. You also get the details of the surveyor's report. In case of major damage to the vehicle, the insurer arranges for a spot survey at the site of accident.

2. You can undertake repairs only on completion of the survey. Once the vehicle is repaired, you submit duly signed bills/cash memos to the insurance company.

3. Some companies have the surveyor re-inspect the vehicle after repairs. In such a scenario, you pay the workshop/garage and obtain a proof of release document (this is an authenticated document signed by you to release the vehicle from the garage after it is checked and repaired).

4. Once the vehicle has been released, you then submit the original bill, proof of release, and cash receipt from the garage to the surveyor. The surveyor sends the claim file to the insurance company for settlement along with all the documents.

5. Finally, the insurance company reimburses you.

What if the accident takes place in a city other than where the motor insurance policy was issued?

It does not matter where the accident takes place; if your motor insurance policy is in force, you remain insured throughout the country.

How much would the insurance company pay in the event of an accident?

In case of an accident, the insurance company pays for the replacement of the damaged parts and the labor fees.

The costs that you have to bear include:

    • The amount of depreciation as per the rate prescribed
    • Reasonable value of salvage (if not repaired at the outlet)
    • Voluntary deductions under the policy, if you have opted for any
    • Compulsory excesses levied by the insurer

Will the claim amount be paid to the workshop or the insured?

If you have used the cashless repair facility, the claim money is paid directly to the workshop or garage. Otherwise, you receive the claim amount.

Will the insurance company pay an advance on the basis of a damage estimate?

This practice varies by company.

Most companies offer a cashless claim service whereby you don't have to pay for the repairs - the company handles them directly. Therefore, the question of an advance does not arise.

In case you choose the non-cashless service, you are reimbursed once all the repairs have been completed and the bills have been submitted to the insurance company. In such cases, if you are unable to pay the entire charges, you need to inform the insurance agent and the insurer will make the balance payment.

Can I produce bills at the end of the year and claim for small repairs carried out?

No, a claim has to necessarily be lodged immediately - you cannot accumulate them. Thus, bills for small repairs accrued over the period of insurance will not be reimbursed by the insurer.

Who bears the towing charges?

Comprehensive insurance policies provide for towing charges from the place of accident to the workshop (subject to a maximum of Rs.300 for scooters and motorcycles and Rs.1500 for private cars and commercial vehicles). You can also opt for higher towing charges by paying extra premium. On your request for towing services in the event of an accident, the insurance company will pay up to the maximum limit specified or the actual amount spent, whichever is lower.

Are servicing costs included in the claim amount?


What should I do if I receive a Court notice from a third party claimant?

In the event of a third party claim, notify the insurance company in writing along with a copy of the notice and your insurance certificate.

DO NOT offer to make an out-of-court settlement or promise payment to any party without the written consent of the insurance company. The insurance company has a right to refuse liabilities arising out of such promises.

The insurance company will issue a claim form that has to be filled and submitted along with:

  • Copy of the Registration Certificate
  • Driving license
  • First information report (FIR)

After verification, the insurance company will appoint a lawyer in your defense. You are expected cooperate with the insurance company, providing evidence during court proceedings. If the court orders compensation on your part, the insurance company will then do it directly.

How do I make a claim in case of theft of vehicle?

1. In the event of theft of vehicle, lodge the First Information Report (FIR) with a police station immediately.

2. Inform your insurance company and provide them with a copy of the FIR.

3. Submit the Final Police Report to the insurance company as soon as it is received.

4. Extend full cooperation to the surveyor or investigator appointed by the company.

5. After the claim is approved, the Registration Certificate of the stolen vehicle has to be transferred in the name of the company. You also need to submit the duplicate keys of the vehicle along with a letter of subrogation and an indemnity on stamp paper (duly notarized) to the insurance company.

What if I have an accident with an uninsured vehicle? What is the extent to which I am covered?

It does not matter whether the vehicle on the other side has insurance or not. If you have a comprehensive policy for your vehicle, you are fully insured against liabilities, subject to your policy specifics.

If there is a dispute regarding the claim settlement between the insured and the insurer, how is the dispute resolved?

The most common form of dispute that arises between the insured and the insurer is about admission of liability or the size of the claim.

Disputes regarding claim amounts, where the insurer has agreed to cover the claim under the policy, are referred to an arbitrator. If the decision of the arbitrator is disputed by either party, the Consumer Forum or the Civil Court could be approached.