Car insurance is a non-optional product for all cars on the road. It is a compulsory product in almost all nations across the globe.
A car or automotive insurance is a contract between the owner of a vehicle and the insurance company. The contract entails an agreement that the insurance company will protect the car owner against financial loss when an accident occurs.
An automotive insurance covers:
- Medical charges – It caters to the medical charges for treating the casualties involved in the car accident.
- Property – An insurance covers the cost of repairing car damages. In major accidents where the car is stated as a write-off, the insurance company gives the client money to buy another vehicle.
- Liability costs – The insurance company pays the legal charges to injured people or property during the accident.
The process of making an insurance claim, however, can be tricky. Failure to observe a few agreements by the insurance company can even lead to legal proceedings. Legal proceedings for insurance claims can prove to be an expensive endeavour for clients.
Several insurance companies offer pre-settlement funding for the legal proceedings. Pre-settlement funding helps the plaintiff to get funding. This funding is for use for legal proceedings like paying lawyers and any other legal fees.
To avoid such encounters during insurance claims, you should adhere to the rules of insurance companies. Strict adherence to the policies will ensure the process of filing runs smoothly.
A few tips for an easy car insurance claim are discussed here.
Tips to ensure easy car insurance claim
1. Analyse the insurance policy
When choosing an insurance service provider, you are given the insurance policy document. Before finalizing the premium payment, you should analyse the policy document. The policy document also lists the inclusion and exclusions of the insurance cover.
There are different types of car insurance covers, each with its cover inclusions and exclusions. The insurance policy also dictates the formalities of the insurance cover.
In the insurance policy, you will also find the necessary documentation regarding the claiming process. The document will specify all the required documentation and information required when filing for an insurance claim.
Clear knowledge of the company’s insurance policies helps to know all the details of the claiming process. Observation of these fine details assures the client of an easy and successful claiming process.
2. Inform the insurance company
Immediately after an accident occurs, the first cause of action should be to call the insurance service provider. This will be used to launch a notification of an accident in the company.
Failure to inform the insurance company immediately can lead to several complications down the road when filing a claim. In some situations, the claim can be rejected due to delays in informing the insurance company.
While registering for automotive insurance with a company, check their report window to avoid inconveniences when filing a claim. Most insurance companies offer a 48-hour report window.
Contrary to popular opinion, you must inform your insurance service provider regardless of your location or fault.
3. File for an FIR
All insurance companies require the client to file a First Information Report at the police station. This FIR is required by the companies when filing for a settlement. An FIR is a mandatory document if there are third-party casualties in the accident or if the car gets stolen.
When filing for an insurance claim, you should attach a copy of the FIR and retain the original document.
One thing to note with the acquiring of FIR documents is that they are not always necessary. In the event of a minor accident that leads to the car getting a few body scratches or dents, an FIR document is not required.
4. Determine the correct claim type
In the event of a collision with another car, noting the driver who is at fault is integral. This knowledge of the driver at fault helps to know whose insurance company will receive the claims. The driver’s company will also cater for the damages.
When you file for an insurance claim with a third-party company, you get to raise your ’No Claim Bonus’ (NCB) with your company. A raise in your NCB will grant you a significant discount on your next automotive insurance premium.
However, when you are the one at fault, the insurance claim will have to be done by your insurance company.
5. Gather all necessary information
For an insurance claim to be successful, you have to provide all the details of the incident. These details are factors such as how the accident happened, where it happened, how it happened, the number of casualties involved, etc.
If you are not clear about the required documents, you can contact the insurance company and ask them.
You should also mention the specific details of the accident such as the injuries sustained by the casualties. The specific details of the car’s damage are also required. With the help of a mechanic, you should state all the damages to the vehicle.
While submitting all the necessary information, you should include support documents wherever applicable. This will help the claim process to run smoothly without the back and forth asking for required documentation.
6. Initiating the claim
When initiating the insurance claim, it is important to follow all the company guidelines regarding claim filing. Generally, insurance companies need these documents to start a claim process:
- A copy of the insurance policy of the client,
- The insurance claim document when duly filled,
- A copy of the car registration certificate of the client, and
- A copy of the driving license of the client.
While initiating the claim, accompany the documents with all other necessary information that you gathered. You can also submit the claim with an accompanying photo to depict the damage sustained on the car.
Observing such critical factors is important when filing an insurance claim. A rejected insurance claim is a huge loss to the client, especially when considering the amount of money paid for the premium.
A successful insurance claim is greatly dependent on the knowledge the client has about the company’s policies regarding claims. Therefore, you should keenly study your company’s policy document.