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Is it important to make Motor Claims on time?
If your vehicle is damaged or stolen, you’ll probably be thinking of making a motor insurance claim. It’s understandable if things might be a bit chaotic at the time, but it’s very important that you start the process of making a claim at the earliest possible moment.
Most insurers have restrictions on how long you have after an incident to report a claim – this can range from a few days to a few weeks. Any delays can mess up the entire claim procedure, which is surely the last thing you would want!
Why should you make Motor Claims on time?
This is really important, as if you don’t report a claim to your insurer on time, they cannot initiate the process of settlement.
As soon as you report own damage from an accident, or even theft, you will receive a claim reference number which is required to co-ordinate the claim settlement.
- In case your car has been damaged in an accident, call your insurer and take it to the nearest preferred garage.
- You will have to do a self-inspection, or in some cases your insurer’s surveyor might want to visit the garage and assesses the damage and submit an estimate report
- After you submit the claim form and other relevant documents, the insurance company will approve any settlement.
In case your vehicle has been stolen, first head to the nearest police station and file a First Information Report (FIR) and obtain a copy.
- Inform your insurer of the theft, and notify the Road Transportation Office (RTO) to prevent any unauthorized transfer ownership of your vehicle
- Submit all the relevant documents to the insurance company, so that they can employ special investigators to locate your vehicle.
- A month after you’ve reported the incident if the vehicle is still not found, obtain an “untraced vehicle report” from the police.
- Then the insurer will begin the process of generating IDV of your vehicle for your claim to reimburse you for the approved amount.
If you are injured or your vehicle have been damaged in an accident by someone else, you can claim third-party insurance from them.
- Head to the police station and file an FIR, noting any evidence to prove the fault of the person who damaged your vehicle (like pictures, medical files, witnesses)
- Note down the third-party motor insurance details of the other person’s vehicle which you need to raise a claim
- Hire a motor claims lawyer and file a compensation claim case in the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT). They will decide (or reject) the compensation amount after considering the submitted documents and the story from both sides.
As you can see, informing your insurance company is the first step of the claim process. As the claims procedure is quite lengthy and can take months to be completed. This is why it’s so important that you raise a claim on time if you don’t do this your settlement may be delayed or even rejected.
What happens if I make a claim late?
In the case of an accident or theft, if you don’t report the incident to your insurance company, it can result in significant losses for you.
After an incident, if you inform your insurance company immediately, they can guide you to the nearest garage and even arrange for your vehicle to be towed if is badly damaged. But, if you take your damaged vehicle to the garage without informing them, or wait until the repairs have been finished to inform them, you could be faced with out-of-pocket expenses that won't be covered, other consequential losses, or even your claim being rejected.
Also, remember to send you insurance company all the necessary documents within the set period otherwise, again, your claim may be rejected. 😞
How late can I claim?
After any kind of accident, it is very important that you make a motor insurance claim on time (be sure to check the time frame suggested by your insurer).
As the saying goes; the sooner the better. If it’s possible, try to call your insurer from the scene of the accident, or do it as soon as you can afterwards.
Don’t leave it longer than 24 hours. It is also important that you file an FIR with the police at the earliest as any delay can mess up the entire claims' procedure!
So, the next time you want to take claim against your motor insurance policy, try not to delay it. Call your insurance company’s helpline number immediately and raise your claim. They can not only guide you with the claim process, but it will also help you to settle your claims a lot quicker.
Making this one call on time will save you a lot of hassle and trouble with your claim settlement than if you delay in making your motor insurance claim.