How Many Car Insurance Claims Can You File in a Year?
If something happens to your car, and it is damaged in an accident or even stolen, you will be thankful for having a car insurance to protect you. You will likely be thinking of making a car insurance claim to get a reimbursement for any repairs that need to be made.
But, in some situations, you might be confused about whether you should make a car insurance claim or not. Or, you might be wondering if car insurers have any restrictions on how many claims you can make during the year. Don’t worry, we’re here to answer all your questions.
Is There Any Limit on the Number of Car Insurance Claims You Can Make?
Generally, there are no limits or restrictions on the number of claims you can make under your car insurance policy. This means that you can file as many claims as you need to, in case of damage to your vehicle due to accidents.
In some cases, such as when you have a Zero Depreciation add-on cover, there may be some restriction on the number of claims allowed under this cover. For a Roadside Assistance cover as well, you can only avail of it a certain number of times during your policy period. These limits will differ from insurer to insurer.
Additionally, in case of frequent claims, your insurer might add a clause in your policy to restrict such instances at the time of renewal. Thus, it is important to read your policy wordings thoroughly even upon renewal.
What Happens If You Make Multiple Car Insurance Claims?
While there might be no limits on the number of claims you can make, you should still note that filing multiple claims in a year can have an impact on your policy in the following ways:
No Claim Bonus: When you make no claims during the policy period, you can get a discount on your premium, which can even go up to 50%for 5 claim-free years! So, making a claim means that you will lose out on these NCB benefits, and you will have to start accumulating them from the start again.
Higher Premiums: Filing multiple claims during the policy year might show the insurer that you pose a higher risk, and thus, to cover this, they might increase your premium upon renewal.
Zero Depreciation Limits: If you have a zero depreciation add-on cover, your insurance company will not consider the depreciation of your car and its parts while calculating your claim settlement amount for repairs or replacement. But, there may be a limit to how many claims you can make under this cover. Once the limit is reached, the cover will not be applied, and your vehicle’s depreciation will be considered at the time of a claim.
How Should You Decide Whether or Not to Make a Car Insurance Claim?
While you now know that there are no limits on the number of car insurance claims that you can make during the policy year, you can also see above that frequent claims can affect your policy and its premium. Thus, there are some cases where it might be better not to make a claim:
- The claim amount is lower than the deductible – if the cost of repair is less than, or equal to the deductible (i.e., the amount you need to pay out of pocket before the insurer covers the claim), it is not worth making a claim.
- The NCB is higher than the claim amount – when the discount offered by your No Claim Bonus is higher than the total repair cost, it is not advisable to file a claim, as it will result in you losing your NCB.
- The damages to the car are minor – in case of minor damages, such as small dents, scratches, or broken mirrors, it may be more cost-effective to settle the repairs yourself.
On the other hand, here are some scenarios where you can consider making a claim:
- The damages are severe – for damages to your car that require a considerable amount of repair or replacement, you should go ahead and file a claim.
- The car had been stolen – if your car had been stolen, you must file a claim to recover its cost.
- The claim amount is high – when the claim amount is high, especially when compared to the total IDV of the vehicle, you need to consider making a claim.
- Third-party claims – in case you have been in an accident and the other driver was at fault, you will be able to file a claim under their vehicle insurance. But remember, you don’t need to file a claim under your own insurance in this case.