Car Insurance claim-settlement process can turn into a nightmare if not taken seriously. Here are some tips to simplify it.
Owning a car has become a cakewalk thanks to the numerous, easily available Car Loan offers in the market. However, safeguarding your car from damage is turning increasingly difficult with the swelling traffic and escalating number of rash driving cases. With cars prone to accidents, a Car Insurance policy acts as your saviour, covering damages incurred by the vehicle and injuries caused to the passengers during an accident.
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Are you wondering why having a Car Insurance policy in place is so crucial? Well, on February 23, 2019, about 300 cars suffered damage due to a fire outbreak at the Aero India 2019 held in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Just the day after this incident, over 170 cars were destroyed in a fire that broke out in Porur in Chennai. It’s such unforeseen circumstances that make an Insurance cover absolutely necessary.
However, before you get your settlement, there’s the whole Car Insurance settlement process that you need to go through. Here, we’ve presented our top seven tips to help you make your Car Insurance claim-settlement process smoother.
Kick-start the claims procedure ASAP
In the event that your insured car meets with an accident, it is mandatory for you to inform the Car Insurance provider about the accident within 48 hours of the mishap. In addition, we suggest that you contact them as soon as possible so that you don’t miss out on any minute details of the incident.
Even a single forgotten detail, however insignificant it may seem, could hinder you from getting a favourable settlement. Forgetting minor details or calling in too late may not work in your favour.
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Record details of the accident and damage
It is not enough to just inform your insurer about the car accident. You need to keep a written record of how, when, and where the accident happened, along with the damages to the car and the injuries caused to the driver and passengers.
You’ll need to prepare a solid document with all the aforementioned details. To build a strong case, attach the proof of the car damage, proof of injury, medical bills, repair bills, police report, etc. along with this report. Having all the proofs and related documents handy will make your claim for settlement unassailable.
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Finalise a settlement amount
Once you’re done recording all the details in writing, it is time to analyse the loss you have incurred from the damage to the car and the injuries caused to the passengers.
Once you decide on a reasonable minimal claim, get ready to be offered a settlement. Make sure that you have included all requisite details in your claim request. You wouldn’t want to risk receiving a settlement that is lower than what you’ve asked for because of a missed detail!
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Send your demand letter
The next step involves drafting a demand letter that clearly states your claim settlement and sending it across to your Car Insurance provider.
The demand letter should consist of the details of the accident and the damages/injuries suffered by the car/passengers. Medical treatment undergone by the injured passengers, medical bills, permanent disability and loss of income due to leave from work on account of the accident should all be clearly mentioned.
The car repair cost, long-term healthcare scenarios, etc. should also be included in the demand letter along with the necessary proofs.
While mentioning the settlement amount, bear in mind that it’s always better to ask for exactly how much you need. That way, you won’t run the risk of having your claim denied on grounds of wrong or inflated claims.
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Analyse the first offer and push for a reasonable settlement
Once you are done submitting your claim request, the claims officer will roll out the first settlement offer.
If the claim settlement offered is less than what you had demanded and if you feel that the reasons provided by the insurer are not valid, then you can push for a reasonable settlement based on the proofs you have provided.
If you think the settlement offered is reasonable, then go ahead and accept it.
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Get a written agreement of the claims settlement
If the negotiation with the insurer goes smoothly, then you should ask the Car Insurance company to sign a written agreement stating that the policy will cover the claims amount that you have found reasonable.
Also, get confirmation from the Insurance provider as to when the settlement will be credited along with the necessary claims document.
Pro Tip: It’s better to have all conversations documented so that there’s no miscommunication in the future.
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Get legal advice if negotiation fails
In case the negotiation fails and the insurer is not willing to make a settlement that you think is reasonable, then you should get legal advice from a lawyer. A lawyer will analyse the entire accident and help you get a settlement that aligns well with the terms of your policy.
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The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has made it mandatory for insurance companies to settle claims within 30 days of receiving the necessary documents. The process of claiming Car Insurance is getting better.
With improved policies in place, you can even get your vehicle repaired and ask the insurer to pay for it using your insurance policy. Follow the above seven steps to strike a reasonable deal with your Car Insurance provider.
If you’re Car Insurance has lapsed and you’re looking for a renewal, don’t skip the research. By skipping on the research, you’ll probably miss out on the perks offered by a policy that’s best suited for you.