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The way to make an accident claim
Parvathy Ullatil in Mumbai |
October 30, 2003 10:07 IST
Insurance, indeed, is a big salve if your precious vehicle has just been scarred by an accident.
Car owners swear that's the best thought a car owner can have even as one looks achingly at that broken rear fender and dents.
And for those who haven't had the inclination to find out how one can claim that coveted insurance money and bring life back to normal, here is the how-to-do of it:
In case of accidental damage to vehicle: Continuing to drive might not be a very good idea. Leave the vehicle on the spot and rush to the nearest policy issuing office, which will issue a claim form.
Fill the claim form duly and be submit along with a copy of registration certificate and driving licence (if it wasn't you who was at the steering, then the driving licence of the person who was driving the vehicle at the time of accident).
Also fill in estimated cost of repairs for which, you can rope in the friendly neighbourhood mechanic. Much like the claim procedures for any other property insurance, the vehicle will then be given a once-over by the insurance company-appointed surveyor, who will submit his report to the insurer.
In case of major damage to the vehicle, survey at the site of accident will be arranged by the insurance firm. The repair bills/cash memos are to be submitted duly signed by the insured.
A note of caution: when it comes to repairs, it is advisable to employ an insurance company-approved service station rather than hand over your car to the neighbourhood mechanic that you have been going to for years.
In the former case, you will be spared the trouble of compensating the auto repairs firm yourself first before claiming the amount as the insurance company itself will take care of the bills.
The remnants of the damaged parts may be required to be deposited with the insurance company after approval of the claim.
In case of theft: The procedure is slightly more complicated and painful, as it will involve a visit to the police station despite being on the right side of the law.
A first information report -- or FIR -- should be filed immediately with the police. A copy of the FIR and subsequently the final police report should accompany your claim form. And remember to add the insurance surveyor to the list of people you should never lie to, apart from doctors and lawyers.
Extend full cooperation to the surveyor appointed by the company. After approval of the claim by the company, get the registration certificate transferred in the name of the company, hand over the keys of the vehicle, submit a letter of subrogation and indemnity on a stamp paper after notarising it.
In case of liability claim: In case of any incident likely to give rise to liability claim i.e., death or bodily injury to a third party person or damage to third party property inform the insurance company immediately.
But lodging an FIR at the nearest police station will come first. When the court summons arrives the same should be sent to the insurance company without any delay.
The claim form duly filled in along-with copies of registration certificate, driving licence, FIR are to be submitted.
In this situation your involvement will be limited to submitting the necessary papers and attending the court hearings if any, the claim will be worked out and settled between the third-party claimant and the insurance company. The best part about any car insurance that it covers the vehicle irrespective of who is driving it so even if you get your uncle's priceless car banged up he will not sever all family ties with you.