Road accidents have earned India a dubious distinction. With over 130,000 deaths annually, the country has overtaken China and now has the worst road traffic accident rate worldwide. Driving in a country like India, one is prone to accidents, be it a minor or major one. Every car insurance claim starts with a car accident and the next big ordeal is reporting a claim and negotiating with the insurance company. In this article we would be taking a look at five most important things to keep in mind when making a car insurance claim.
- Should you file a claim?
Before making a claim, you should keep in mind that even if your claim is admissible, it is critical to assess the repercussions and impact it can have on your future premium. I wouldn’t suggest claiming every fender bender with your insurance company as it doesn’t bode well with your future premium rates. If a claim is minor, I suggest you should pay out of pocket for the repairs to be done as idea is to save your insurance for major claims. Also, claiming your motor insurance has also an impact on your No claims bonus as you would lose it if your insurer doesn’t have NCB protector cover which will eventually increase your future premium rates.
- Reporting a claim
First thing to do is to inform your insurance company and report a claim within the time frame mentioned by the insurance company. Get as many details as possible like damage pictures of your vehicle. Also, include contact details and the names of other drivers as well as the passengers and witnesses in the accident. You would also need to fill out the contact details of other drivers’ insurance companies. Also, details of injuries you know of, details of other cars involved with their license plate number and damages to them. Fill the claim form with all the facts and provide all the information, including the probable claim amount.
- Claim using insurance apps
It is always better to leverage the technology for faster and convenient claim settlement. You can also register a claim at the click of your fingertips using claims mobile app of insurer, if any depending on the insurer. In case of Bajaj Allianz, you can register and even track status of your motor insurance claim along with the payment details using “Insurance Wallet” – Customer mobile app, which also has a facility of uploading photos, eliminating all the paper work and getting your claim registered in just a matter of seconds.
- Be ready for higher premium rates
Claiming your motor insurance wouldn’t only reset your NCB but also increase your future premium rates. Research suggests that insured who has claimed before is most likely to claim again in future which will eventually increase the pay out for the insurer, leaving them with no choice but to increase your premium rates.
- Keep in mind the excess
An excess is a sum of money your insurance company requires you to pay towards the cost of making a claim. The excess is usually spit in two parts- compulsory excess and voluntary excess. It is important to check your excess amount before making a claim.
A voluntary excess is something that the insurer chooses to pay in the event of a claim. In return for opting for a higher excess, the insurance company will usually lower the premium paid. You need to keep in mind that the voluntary excess will always be paid in addition to any compulsory excess. So if you have a compulsory excess of INR 1500, and then choose a voluntary excess of INR 1000, you will have to pay a combined sum of INR 2500 towards any claim you might make.
Protect your car from accidental damage today – click here to learn more about our car insurance cover!
This article was authored by Mr. Adnan A. Bhat , Project Lead, Business on Mobile at Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Ltd.