It is mandatory to have auto insurance in India. You can purchase your auto insurance at the time of buying the vehicle. Along with the joy of owning your vehicle, is the ever present danger of loss due to accident, theft or natural calamity.

Tips to keep in mind when claiming car insurance

Claims arising from an accident

1.The first thing you should do when involved in an accident is to inform the police and your insurance representative or insurance company so that the accident site can be surveyed.

2.When you contact your insurance company ensure that you have the following details handy: a.Your name and policy number b.Start date and end date of your insurance policy

3.Do not move your car until you have got permission from the police and your insurance company.

4.If another car is involved and you are the victim, ensure that you get the insurance details of the other party.

5.Make sure that you get a copy of the police report, if possible.

6.Ask your insurance company or agent for a list of all the forms and documents required for filing a claim.

7.Keep copies of all the expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident including car repair bills. You might need these later as part of documentation for Proof of Loss.

When you do actually file a claim, make sure that you do it correctly and accurately and enclose all the required documentation. Any mistake in your claim can lead to problems and long delays with your insurance pay out.

Keep a copy of the all the paperwork and documentation submitted with your claim.

Claims arising in case of theft

In case of theft of your car, you should also intimate your insurance company or agent immediately. File a police complaint right away. The procedure for claiming insurance for car theft might differ slightly from an accident claim. For instance in a theft claim, you may have to surrender your vehicle keys to the insurance company.  

Choosing whether to file a claim

If the damage is minimal and the repair costs are not large, then it might be a good idea to pay for it out of your pocket. If you do not file a claim for the year, then you will be eligible for the ‘No Claim’ discount on your premium the following year, which means your premium will be lower. You need to compare the cost of repair with the amount you will receive as a ‘No Claim’ discount. You can then calculate if filing a car insurance claim makes financial sense. If the repair costs are large, then, unquestionably, you need to file a claim to cover the cost of damages.