As the future is unpredictable, so does the risks and damages that come along with the vehicle. Here insurance act as a protector for all those expenses.
Impossibility is attached to the predictability of unfortunate circumstances, and to keep ourselves secure, we adopt different ways. Similarly, insurance acts as a protective gear that helps us sail through unexpected expenses.
In India, an individual must get the car insured because it is a mandatory law and no opt-out option is available. As per the legal provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act of 1998, a driver should keep insurance documents and other mandatory ones.
In this article, we will know how to claim car insurance for your own damage. However, before such a discussion, we need to understand what our own damage is.
What is Own Damage in Car Insurance?
Own damage or OD is a car insurance plan that provides extended coverage against accidents, natural calamity, or theft. Collision or self-damage insurance are some of the terms assigned to this insurance. This insurance plan doesn’t cover third-party insurance liabilities such as third-party injuries or death. Since you cannot purchase it alone, purchasing the policy with the basic one is recommended.
What Do You Mean by ‘Filling Car Insurance Claim’?
In insurance, a claim is a formal requisition made to the insurer company for payment. On behalf of the insured, the insurer intervenes and compensates for unintentional damages caused.
Filling a car insurance claim is a method to raise the request for reimbursements or compensation. This filling directs the insurer to initiate the process as necessary to pay for the repairs.
With advancement, the process of filling becomes easily accessible, and multiple options are available for reimbursement. Some policyholders claim compensation after paying all the expenses, and in some cases, the insurer makes the payment directly to a third party.
How to Claim Car Insurance for Own Damage?
Every insurer has its own specified methods and schedules for making claims. But there is a general process that is common to all insurance companies.
Certain steps involved in the claiming process are as follows:
Reporting the Incident
FIR (First Information report) is the most crucial part of getting a claim, and the aggrieved person’s responsibility is to report the incident at the earliest. Reporting delays could adversely affect the claim process because FIR is considered an official record.
Accumulate the Information
All the information linked to the incident is crucial. We understand that accidents are intimidating because of which one might not be able to think properly in that situation. However, observing the surroundings and collecting as much information as possible is recommended. Such as the date and time of the incident, name and number of witnesses, and damages to the car.
Understand the Exclusion and Inclusion in Coverage
One should be aware of the damages and expenses covered by the insurance policy. After the incident, go through the documents or information available that could help you with the extent of coverage.
Connect With the Insurer
Call the insurer and explain the situation to get more explanation and early processing of your claim. Usually, your insurance agent will take steps to fasten the processing of the claim and could guide you on how to file a claim. Sometimes, one cannot file a claim within the period because of unavoidable circumstances. In such cases informing your insurer will help you.
Submission of Claims
After getting all the required information, one must proceed with the submission of a claim. Policyholders should note a period within which they should file a claim. Otherwise, this could lead to rejection and other non-favourable deductions.
Steps and Documents to Make Own Damage Claim
The above steps were related to the process involved until filing a claim. Here we will be discussing the steps required after claim filling.
In this step, the policyholder should mention the estimate of expenses that he is claiming by reporting it to the insurer.
The claim adjuster of the insurance company will initiate the investigation of the expense claimed by requesting some evidence from the insurer.
After reviewing all the available information, the insurer will share the coverage details with you.
Reimbursement or Repairing
Depending upon the type of insurance claim, reimbursement or repair will happen. If the policyholder has already paid the expenses, he will get the reimbursement. Otherwise, the insurer will directly pay the expenses.
After the above step, the settlement will be there, and in complex cases, mediation will be between the insurer and the policyholder.
There are a few important documents mandatory for the filling of a car own damage claim:
- Insurance policy documents
- Car registration certificate
- Driving license
- FIR Copy
- Tax receipts
- Self-attested form with all required
Should I Consult a Lawyer for My Damage Claim?
Getting compensated for the damages is not a piece of cake. In Car damage cases, there will be situations where legal interference is required.
Hiring a Civil Lawyer to settle damage claims adds weight to your case. A lawyer having experience with accident cases will help you settle your claims effectively and efficiently.
Sometimes dealing with insurance companies as a layman becomes a task, and settlement might take years. Hence, we are discussing a few reasons one should hire an attorney.
- Being a lawyer, they will be aware of the legal terminologies. In situations where legal terms are there in contracts or papers, you can make them reviewed by them.
- Wherein you want to file a suit against the insurance company for the delay in settlement.
- Wherein you want to file a lawsuit against the third party because of which you got into an accident.
- To help you file the claims within a period.
- To help you file a claim in exceptional circumstances wherein you have already crossed the deadline.
- Wherein negotiations are required with the insurance company.
After knowing how to claim car insurance for own damage, we can conclude that own damage insurance plan acts as an additional plan upon the mandatory ones. Basic requisite insurance policies don’t cover natural calamities, man-made calamities, and total loss. However, OD insurance plans act as an extension and cover all the above damages.
For some, having a basic policy is enough, but when we incur losses and have to pay a hefty amount for damages, we always regret our decision. There could be multiple reasons for not opting an OD insurance, but there will be unavoidable circumstances, such as natural calamities from which you want to protect your vehicle. Protecting your investment from upcoming risks can never go wrong, and extending the coverage can save much of your money.