Buying and claiming Vehicle Insurance

Updated: April 15, 2013   (Disclaimer)      Print    Contribute to this guide

Estimates

  •       Expenditure                                                                                                               

It depends on the car make, model, specifications, year and city of purchase. For example, the gross premium of Maruti Alto LX purchased on 2006 from Kolkata having IDV of Rs. 1.3 lakhs is ~Rs.2600 and a brand new Volkswagen Polo purchased on 2012 from Bangalore having IDV of Rs. 6.5 lakhs will have a gross premium of ~Rs, 24,500

It will also depend on the desired coverage…..

  • No. of Visits required:  1
  • Time /visit :  2 hours
  • Preparation time (time spent filling forms, talking to customer service etc.) :  ~ 10-12 hrs
  • Total time (from start end) : 1 week

Contact (e.g. Bajaj Allianz Motor Insurance)

  • Where to go: One needs to go to the nearest Bajaj Allianz office. Go to the website www.bajajallianz.com and click on Locate a branch or Find us on map button for details. This can be applied to other vehicle insurance companies as well.
  • Typical working hours:  9 am -5 pm
  • Appointment: No such prior appointment is required
  • Preferred time to visit the office: Avoid morning hours. Lunch hour is between 2 – 2.30 pm. Any time after this would be preferred.
  • URL:  http://www.bajajallianz.com/Corp/motor-insurance/car-two-wheeler-insurance.jsp
    • Proposal/Application form – This is the form that is required when you are buying vehicle insurance from a company. It generally requires your personal details and data. The proposal form can either be obtained from the insurance office, through an insurance agent or can be downloaded online. Also it can be filled online and submitted directly.
    • Claim form – The claim form is required when you need to file a claim for any accident or damages occurred to your vehicle or to specific things as covered by the insurance policy. You need to specify the details of the accident or damages caused and provide proofs of the same. This too can be filled offline or online.
  • Phone:   1800-233-3355 (Toll Free)

 


 Required Forms

Buying Vehicle Insurance

You can purchase vehicle insurance through an individual agent, a corporate agent or a broker. Additionally you can visit the websites of the companies which provide vehicle insurance and download the proposal form. Once you download it, you can fill in the details required and submit it in online or offline mode.

These days it is easy to purchase vehicle insurance online. You need not provide any documents during purchase of insurance. You just need to fill details and make payments.

Vehicle Insurance claim

The documents required for vehicle insurance claim depend on the type of claim. A general list of documents for each type of claim is listed below. The type of claims covered is also company specific and would be mentioned during purchase of vehicle/motor insurance. Any document specific to a company would be explicitly mentioned in the ‘documents required’ section of the concerned company.

  1. 1.    Accident claim (two wheeler/car/commercial vehicle)

-          Claim form duly signed by the insured with contact numbers and email id

-          Proof of insurance i.e. policy or cover note

-          Copy of tax receipt and registration book. The original would be asked for verification purposes.

-          Copy of the motor driving license of the person driving the vehicle at the time of accident. The original will be asked for verification purposes.

-          Estimate of the repair cost from the repairer

 

  1. 2.    Claim for Injury to third party or damage to property

-          Claim form duly signed by the insured

-          Copy of the insurance policy with complete policy number

-          Copy of the police FIR

-          Copy of the driving license of the person driving the vehicle at the time of accident.

-          Copy of the registration certificate (RC) of the vehicle

-          Stamp is required in case of company registered vehicle’s original documents

 

  1. 3.    Claim in case of theft

-          Claim form duly signed by the insured

-          Copy of the driving license of the owner of the vehicle

-          Registration certificate of the vehicle with all original keys

-          Copy of the original insurance policy

-          Copy of the FIR of the complete theft report

-          RTO transfer papers duly signed

-          In case of hypothecated vehicles form numbers 28,29,30 and 35 should be provided

-          A no trace report or Final Report from the police authorities stating that the vehicle cannot be located.

 


 Procedure

Buying Vehicle Insurance

Online Option

  1. Go to websites like www.policybazaar.com or www.insurancepandit.com where you can compare different vehicle insurance policies that are available, maximum insurance amount available, details of plan etc.
  2. Choose the insurance company you feel is most suitable for you and visit its website.
  3. Go to Motor Insurance section and choose the plan suited for your needs.
  4. Click on buy online.
  5. Fill in the details as asked, most of which are obvious and self explanatory.
  6. Go through the terms and conditions carefully and make final payment through various payment options available.

Offline Option

  1. You can get the details of each company by visiting them during the visiting hours or by purchasing through an insurance agent.
  2. Choose the insurance policy suitable for you. The agent can help depending on the type, city of purchase, age of the vehicle.
  3. Fill in the proposal form. Most of the details asked are easy to understand and self explanatory.
  4. The insurance agent will submit the form to the concerned company and get you the copy of the certificate, policy details, premium paid, duration of insurance etc.

Vehicle Insurance Claim

Third Party Claim

  1. If your vehicle is involved, you should mandatorily ensure that the accident is reported immediately to the police as well as to the insurance company.
  2. If you are a victim and somebody else’s vehicle is involved in the incident obtain the insurance details of that vehicle and make intimation to the insurer of that vehicle.
  3. Submit all the necessary documents to the insurance company as soon as possible.

Own Damage Claim

  1. Shift the vehicle to the side of the road to avoid further damage.
  2. Immediately inform the insurance company and police to enable them to depute a surveyor to assess the loss that is caused to the vehicle owing to accident or damage.
  3. Try not to move the vehicle from the place of incidence without permission of the police or the insurance company.
  4. Once you receive permission, take the vehicle for repairs, preferably to the registered garages of the insurance company.
  5. If you have cashless facility, you need not pay the garage as insurance company will directly pay it.
  6. Submit the documents to the insurance company as soon as possible because it may take approximately 7 days to settle the claim.

 

Theft Claim

  1. In case your vehicle is stolen, inform the police as well as the insurance company immediately. Additionally, inform the transport department about the theft.
  2. Apply for claim from the insurance company as soon as possible by filling the claim form and submitting the documents required in order.

General Information

The following are some frequently asked questions regarding vehicle insurance. This would create awareness about vehicle insurance especially for first time users.

FAQ 1: What are the types of car insurance options available in India?

Ans: There are two main types of car insurance available in India – ‘Third Party Insurance’ and ‘Comprehensive Insurance’.  Purchasing third party insurance would protect the policy holder against legal liability due to losses, injury, death or property damage caused to any third party in an accident. In India, it is compulsory to have a Third Party Policy. However, Third Part Insurance does not cover the insured against damages caused to his own vehicle during an accident.

In order to be compensated for any damages to self, co-passengers and own vehicle in addition to third Party coverage, one must have a comprehensive insurance policy.

FAQ 2:What is No Claim Bonus?

Ans: No Claim Bonus or NCB is the benefit accrued to an insured for not making any claims during the previous policy period. It is form of reward to the owner of the vehicle who is also the policy holder. It can be accumulated over a period of time.

NCB actually rewards a person for being a good driver and helps him to save money on his motor insurance premium. Having NCB empowers one to avail certain discount on own damage premium. Though NCB is given to the owner, it is not given to the insured vehicle. Hence NCB cannot be transferred to a new owner unlike insurance policy which can be transferred. However, NCB will get migrated on changing the insurance company for a particular owner.

FAQ 3: How is premium decided in vehicle insurance policy?

Ans: The factors that decide the premium are Insured Declared value or IDV, place of registration, cubic capacity of the vehicle, type of cover and age of the vehicle. No Claim Bonus is deducted from the premium. Adding any optional covers like personal accident cover for driver or passengers will increase the premium amount on to the basic policy premium.

FAQ 4: What are the exclusions in vehicle insurance policy?

Ans: Generally the following conditions are not covered in vehicle insurance policy:

-          Normal wear and tear and general ageing of the vehicle.

-          Loss or damage incurred outside the geographical area.

-          Electrical or mechanical breakdown of the vehicle.

-          Loss or damage due to depreciation of the vehicle.

-          Loss or damage caused by unauthorized person e.g. person without valid driving license or other documents.

-          Loss or damage due to nuclear risks.

-          Damage due to usage of vehicle for purposes which is restricted for it e.g. carrying goods in personal vehicles other than samples or personal luggage.

-          Loss or damage due to driving under intoxication of alcohol or effect of drugs.

-          Loss or damage of tyres, tubes and accessories, unless damaged in an accident or the vehicle is stolen.

-          Willful damage of the vehicle.

-          Vehicle used for pace making, speed testing or reliability trials.

FAQ 5: What are the various risks covered under Own Damage Cover?

Ans: The Own Damage Cover is sold as a part of comprehensive motor insurance policy. It cannot be purchased on a standalone basis. It covers the loss or damage to the vehicle and its accessories (if insured) due to the following risks:

-          Burglary housebreaking or theft

-          Natural disasters like typhoon, storm, earthquake, flood, cyclone, landslide etc.

-          Fire, explosion or lightening

-          Terrorist activities

-          Riot or strike

-          While in transition by road, rail, lift, inland waterways etc.

FAQ 6: Are cashless benefits available in vehicle insurance policy?

Ans: Many insurance companies like Bajaj Allianz provide cashless motor insurance policies. In cashless claim service the insured is not liable to pay for the repair charges as the company will directly pay to the garage where the vehicle undergoes repair. The customer only bears the depreciation, consumables and compulsory excesses. However, the customer needs to take the vehicle only to the garages registered with the insurance companies for repair of the vehicle.

FAQ 7: Under what circumstances can the claim be rejected?

Ans: Any claim can be rejected by an insurance company under certain conditions. Some common reasons for rejection of claim are as follows:

-          Expiry or cancellation of the policy or policy being invalid because the premium cheque has been dishonored.

-          If nature of damages does not correlate with the cause of accident, the vehicle being used for purposes other than authorized or there is misrepresentation or spuriousness of actual facts.

-          The date of accident or loss falls outside the policy period.

-          The person driving the vehicle during the incident of accident did not have valid license, was under influence of alcohol or drugs or was unauthorized to drive the vehicle.

-          The ownership of the vehicle has changed but the insurance company has not been informed within two weeks of such change or claim was for pre-existing damages.


NRI Corner

In order to purchase vehicle insurance, non-residents of India (NRIs) should provide the following documents

-          PAN card

-          Proof of domestic address

-          Proof of overseas address

-          Proof of income (Salary slips, Bank statements)

Additionally, in order to claim vehicle insurance in India, NRIs must purchase the vehicle in any city in India.

Also, the damages due to accident should be inside the geographical boundaries of mentioned countries. For example most vehicle insurance covers whole of India as well as SAARC countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, SriLanka and Maldives.


TI Mantras

An insured should know the following Do’s and Don’ts in order to avoid harassment and have a hassle free motor insurance claim.

Do’s

  1. Purchase vehicle insurance only from insurers registered with IRDA .
  2. Fill the proposal form yourself and provide true and complete information about your vehicle. Any misrepresentation of vehicle specification or misleading information can lead to trouble during claim.
  3. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of each and every clauses mentioned in the insurance policy
  4. Inform the insurance provider about theft or damages of your vehicle within 24 hours of the incident.
  5. Take pictures if possible and make notes of the details of the accident which would be helpful during insurance claim.
  6. Be present at the workshop during the time the surveyor checks the vehicle for the damages caused.

 Don’ts

  1. Do not sign blank proposal form and do not leave anything unanswered.
  2. Do not agree in any on the spot settlements for car insurance in case of any accident.
  3. Do not leave the vehicle unattended at the spot.
  4. Do not proceed for repairing the vehicle unless it has been inspected by the surveyor.
  5. Do not enter into any compromise with the third party for third party insurance claim.

 Scams, mistakes and horror stories

The following links have directly been taken from various blogs, articles and websites which depict real life situations. However, authenticity of such information lies solely on the concerned person who has posted the same. Users may visit just for reference purpose.

  1. http://voices.yahoo.com/my-car-insurance-horror-story-learn-mistakes-7960372.html?cat=27
  2. http://www.allthearticles.com/car-insurance-horror-stories.html
  3. http://www.consumercourtforum.in/f34/reliance-auto-insurance-cusotmer-horror-story-46779/
  4. http://4insure.me/uncategorized/auto-insurance-horror-stories/
  5. http://money.msn.com/saving-money-tips/post.aspx?post=cd7bb86c-6464-4d5e-a27d-6e270b7f0ad5

Resources/References

  1.  Compare Car Insurance – http://www.policybazaar.com/car-insurance/motor-insurance-plans.aspx
  2. Expert tips for saving on Car insurance – http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2006/07/28/10-expert-tips-for-saving-on-car-insurance/
  3. Car Insurance Claims: Process and Documents – http://www.apnapaisa.com/insurance/car-insurance-india/claims.html
  4. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority – http://www.irda.gov.in/

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