How To Claim Insurance For Vehicle Damaged In A Natural Calamity?
Recently, two separate cyclones-Amphan and Nisarga-hit the east and west coast of India, respectively. These strong winds caused destruction to property and in some places, loss of life. Cars and bikes were damaged due to uprooted trees or by submerging in water.
If your vehicle has also been damaged due to this recent natural calamity and you had opted for own damage motor insurance cover, your vehicle is protected against any losses caused by a cyclone, flash floods, landslides, storm and earthquake.
How to make a motor insurance claim after a natural calamity?
- Do not touch the tree or any structure that has fallen on your vehicle. Do not attempt to remove it, causing further damage and possibly delaying the claim process.
- Take pictures of the vehicle to record the extent of the damage. Amid the COVID-19, some insurance company are asking and accepting claims via emails with detailed pictures of the interior (if possible) and exterior of the vehicle is clearly documented using photographs.
- Call the phone number (mostly a toll-free number) of your insurance company. Make sure the call is placed within 48 hours of the damage caused. Provide details of the vehicle and insurance policy to the customer care executive. Keep the details like policy number and vehicle registration number in hand before you make the call. It is always best for the insurance company to be your first point of contact, to reduce the chances of your claim getting rejected.
- If the vehicle is not severely damaged and you need to use it urgently, you may visit an authorised garage (tied with the insurance company) and get your vehicle repaired. Further, make sure to collect documents like inspection record, bills for the purchase of spare parts, repair, etc from the garage shop.
- Insurance companies have tie-ups with garages across the country. Once the claim request is accepted, the insurance company will send personnel from the nearest authorised garage to tow your vehicle.
- The garage will inspect the vehicle and damage caused and then inform the insurance company on the estimated cost of repairs. The insurance company will only pay for what part of the damage is covered under the policy. Some spare parts may not be covered.
- Note that there may be other reasons for rejecting claims. For example, if the car was being driven or used by someone other than the insured at the time the damage was caused, the insurance claim could be rejected.
- The claims process will also vary on the extent of the damage. For example, if you own a high-end vehicle or a sports car, and damage caused to the vehicle is worth more than Rs 50,000 in claims, a surveyor/loss assessor is appointed to access the extent of the damage.
- If the vehicle has been damaged beyond repair, only a part of the claim (or cost of the vehicle) will be paid due to depreciation charges.
- Claims could also be rejected if unauthorized modifications were made to the car or bike before or after the damage caused.