Claiming your car insurance amount – Seven things to know

Last Updated at: November 04, 2019
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Now that is mandatory to take a car insurance while buying a vehicle, we keep paying the premium year after year with little attention directed towards what the other requisites behind seeking a claim are, should an accident happen. In this post, we focus on what you can do to ensure that you get the maximum claim possible and what your rights are as a consumer of the insurance company’s services.

There are different kinds of accidents that most policies cover. From a hit and run case to deadly highway accidents that claim lives, the car insurance company may be liable to pay not just costs for repairs of the car but also hospital bills and a fixed amount, in cases of loss of life. While the specifics of what your policy covers can be figured on reading the policy document, the following are general pointers that we must know.

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  1. Report accident details as soon as possible: While it is necessary to be vigilant at all times while driving, vigilance is also needed after an accident has occurred, in reporting the same to your insurance agent or the company. You need to be authentic and honest in reporting all details of how, when and in what situation the accident took place. This helps the insurance company’s surveyors take a look at the impact and understand if the narrative you’ve drawn correlates with the bumps and dents in the car.
  2. Taking pictures of the accident site: Taking pictures has two advantages: one, in case you have been injured, it helps the police make a case against the person who may be responsible for causing physical harm to you and two, it helps in strengthening your claim from the insurance company.
  3. Understanding your policy better: Some insurance policies only provide for repairs to the outer body of the car. However, some may have what is sometimes known as a ‘plus insurance’ that covers for labor charges, spare parts, painting etc of the car after the accident. The premium is naturally higher for the latter, but in case of a heavy accident, may prove to be worth it.
  4. Knowing what a ‘no claim’ bonus is: Since we are paying a premium every year and cars by virtue of being on the road may have scratches and slight dents, we are naturally inclined towards claiming our insurance amount. However, most of us do not know that there exists a no claim bonus, which means that if you’ve put no claim for a while (bracket of few years in most policies), you are entitled to a bonus amount for being in the good books of the insurance company.
  5. Trivial claims may hike your annual premium: It is also important to understand that insurance companies often hike the premium amount after you file a claim, and hence it is advisable to not file claims for trivial damages.
  6. Always pay your premium on time: It has been held in several cases of disallowing claim, that even when a person has paid all the yearly premiums on time but may be slightly late in the payment of the premium of the year to which the accident relates, the claim amount may be barred. Hence, it is of utmost importance that one pays all policy premiums on time, to avoid legal struggles in this regard.
  7. Regular follow-up: Since insurance claim is a complex process involving multiple people – the company, people injured, surveyor, car repairing company etc, it is important for you to be following up routinely about what stage your claim is in. In case of a hospital visit, retain all bills for reimbursement from the insurance company. It is important that one must file these well in advance, and read the terms and conditions on the insurance policy for getting the best out of what is paid for.

 

Claiming your car insurance amount – Seven things to know

530

Now that is mandatory to take a car insurance while buying a vehicle, we keep paying the premium year after year with little attention directed towards what the other requisites behind seeking a claim are, should an accident happen. In this post, we focus on what you can do to ensure that you get the maximum claim possible and what your rights are as a consumer of the insurance company’s services.

There are different kinds of accidents that most policies cover. From a hit and run case to deadly highway accidents that claim lives, the car insurance company may be liable to pay not just costs for repairs of the car but also hospital bills and a fixed amount, in cases of loss of life. While the specifics of what your policy covers can be figured on reading the policy document, the following are general pointers that we must know.

Ask a Free Legal advice

  1. Report accident details as soon as possible: While it is necessary to be vigilant at all times while driving, vigilance is also needed after an accident has occurred, in reporting the same to your insurance agent or the company. You need to be authentic and honest in reporting all details of how, when and in what situation the accident took place. This helps the insurance company’s surveyors take a look at the impact and understand if the narrative you’ve drawn correlates with the bumps and dents in the car.
  2. Taking pictures of the accident site: Taking pictures has two advantages: one, in case you have been injured, it helps the police make a case against the person who may be responsible for causing physical harm to you and two, it helps in strengthening your claim from the insurance company.
  3. Understanding your policy better: Some insurance policies only provide for repairs to the outer body of the car. However, some may have what is sometimes known as a ‘plus insurance’ that covers for labor charges, spare parts, painting etc of the car after the accident. The premium is naturally higher for the latter, but in case of a heavy accident, may prove to be worth it.
  4. Knowing what a ‘no claim’ bonus is: Since we are paying a premium every year and cars by virtue of being on the road may have scratches and slight dents, we are naturally inclined towards claiming our insurance amount. However, most of us do not know that there exists a no claim bonus, which means that if you’ve put no claim for a while (bracket of few years in most policies), you are entitled to a bonus amount for being in the good books of the insurance company.
  5. Trivial claims may hike your annual premium: It is also important to understand that insurance companies often hike the premium amount after you file a claim, and hence it is advisable to not file claims for trivial damages.
  6. Always pay your premium on time: It has been held in several cases of disallowing claim, that even when a person has paid all the yearly premiums on time but may be slightly late in the payment of the premium of the year to which the accident relates, the claim amount may be barred. Hence, it is of utmost importance that one pays all policy premiums on time, to avoid legal struggles in this regard.
  7. Regular follow-up: Since insurance claim is a complex process involving multiple people – the company, people injured, surveyor, car repairing company etc, it is important for you to be following up routinely about what stage your claim is in. In case of a hospital visit, retain all bills for reimbursement from the insurance company. It is important that one must file these well in advance, and read the terms and conditions on the insurance policy for getting the best out of what is paid for.

 

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Avani Mishra is a graduate in law from the National Law Institute University, Bhopal. She qualified the Company Secretary course with an All India Rank 1 and is a recipient of the President’s Gold Medal for her academic distinctions. She also holds a B.Com degree with a specialization in Corporate Affairs and Administration.