Car Insurance Claim Settlement

The claim settlement is the ultimate goal of purchasing car insurance. The settlement of claim means the offering of compensation to policyholders for damage or loss to their cars. The car insurance claim can be settled in two ways which are cashless and reimbursement claim settlement, where the former is more preferred.

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What is Car Insurance Claim Settlement?

Car Insurance Claim is the process under which a car insurance policyholders requests the insurer to compensate for the expenses/damage incurred by him/her due to an unfortunate event involving his/her car. The amount and extent of the claim amount depend on the Insured Declared Value (IDV) of your car and the type of car insurance policy bought by you - third party, own damage or comprehensive.

Types of Car Claim Settlement

A car insurance claim can be settled in either of the two ways:

1) Cashless Claim

If you get your car repaired at a garage authorised by the insurer then you enter a cashless claim settlement process. As the name suggests, under this type of claim the entire process is cashless which means that the policyholder is not required to pay any cash/money to the insurer authorised garage for the repair of his/her car. The insurer makes the payment to the garage directly subject to the claim amount. The policyholder is only liable to pay for the compulsory deductible and voluntary deductible if opted for at the time of policy purchase.

2) Reimbursement Claim

When you get your car repaired at a garage/workshop outside the authorised network of the insurer, you enter a reimbursement claim settlement process. Under this process, the policyholder makes the payment for the repair cost at the garage of his/her choice and gets the repair cost reimbursed from the insurer later subject to the claim amount. The insurer reimburses the entire claim amount to the policyholder after factoring in the applicable deductibles - compulsory and voluntary (if opted for).

Car Insurance Plans In Own Damage Claim Settlement Ratio (FY 2019-20)

The claim settlement ratio of different car insurance companies for the FY 2019-2020 is as follows -

Car Insurance Providers

Claim Settlement Ratio (CSR) FY20

Personal Accidental Cover

Third-party Cover

Network Garages

No Claim Bonus

IFFCO Tokio General Insurance
95.30% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 4,300+ Available
Royal Sundaram General Insurance
92.66% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 4,600+ Available
The Oriental Insurance Company
91.76% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 3,100+
HDFC Ergo General Insurance 91.23% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 6,800+
Universal Sompo General Insurance
90.78% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 3,500+ Available
TATA AIG General Insurance 90.49%
Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 5,000+ Available
The New India Insurance
89.60% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 3,000+ Available
SBI General Insurance
89.51% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 16,000+ Available
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance 88.83% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 4,000+ Available
Future Generali India Insurance
88.69% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 2,500+ Available
Bharti AXA General Insurance
87.99% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 5,200+ Available
ICICI Lombard General Insurance
87.71% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 5,600+ Available
Liberty General Insurance
87.48% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 4,300+ Available
Cholamandalam MS General Insurance
85.89% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 7,100+ Available
National Insurance Company
85.71% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 3,100+ Available
Edelweiss General Insurance
84.52% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 1,000+ Available
Reliance General Insurance
84.26% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 3,800+ Available
Acko General Insurance
83.91% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 2,000+ Available
United India Insurance Company
82.93% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 3,100+ Available
Kotak Mahindra General Insurance
82.81% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 1,300+ Available
Go Digit General Insurance
80.47% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 1,400+ Available
Magma HDI General Insurance
79.60% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 4,000+ Available
Shriram General Insurance
77.26% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 2,000+ Available
Navi General Insurance
76.20% Upto Rs. 15 Lakh Available 900+ Available

(Source: IBAI’s General Insurance Claim Insights Handbook For Policyholders - 5h Edition)

Documents Required for Car Insurance Claim Settlement

You need the following documents at the time of claim settlement of your car insurance:

  • Duly signed and filled claim form
  • Insurance Policy Document
  • Car’s Registration Certificate (RC)
  • Driver’s licence (DL)
  • Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certificate
  • Original receipt/bills of repairs (in case of reimbursement claim)
  • FIR (in case of fatal injuries/accidents or third party liabilities)
  • A copy of PAN Card (if the claim amount is more than Rs. 1 lakh).
  • Duly signed Satisfaction Voucher (SV) or Discharge Voucher (DV)

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Cashless Car Insurance Claim Settlement Process

Given below is the insurance claims process for car accidents which is generally observed with most of the insurers. However, the actual process may vary from insurer to insurer:

Step 1: Intimate Claim With Insurer

Inform the insurer immediately about the road accident or any other mishap involving the insured car and initiate a claim process. You can do this by calling the customer care number of the insurer or through the insurer’s official website or mobile app (if available). The insurer will provide you with a claim reference number after registering your claim.

Step 2: Assessment of Damage Sustained

After the claim has been successfully registered, the insurer will assign a surveyor to you who will assess the extent of damage/loss sustained by the insured car or will send you a self-inspection link on your registered mobile number.

In the former case, the surveyor will send the damage report to the insurer after the inspection whereas in the latter case the insurer will estimate the repair cost and reach out to you as soon as possible. Provide all the required documents to the insurer at this stage for easy and quick settlement of your claim request.

Step 3: Towing and Repair of Car

Get your car towed to a garage authorised by the insurer for repairs. You can also ask the insurer to provide a towing service for your insured car. Insurers generally provide free towing facility up to Rs.1,500, however, this varies from insurer to insurer.

Step 4: Claim Settlement

The insurer will pay for the repairs directly to the garage according to the entitled claim amount. The policyholders can take back their repaired car after paying the necessary deductibles.

Reimbursement Car Insurance Claim Settlement Process

Given below are the common steps needed to be followed for a reimbursement car insurance claim process:

Step 1: Claim Intimation

The first step is to inform the insurance provider about the accident/mishap involving the insured car immediately. This can be done by contacting the insurer’s customer care team on call or via email. The insurer will provide you with a claim reference number after registering your claim.

Step 2: Survey and inspection

After the registration of your claim, the insurer will assign a surveyor to you who will inspect your insured car and assess the extent of damage/loss sustained by it in the accident/mishap and report it to the car insurance company. Policyholders must submit all the required documents to the surveyor to help process the claim settlement.

Step 3: Towing and Repairs

After the inspection of the insured car, policyholders can get their car towed to a garage of their choice to proceed with the car repairs. Most insurance providers provide free towing facilities up to Rs.1,500.

Step 4: Final Reimbursement

Since the insured car is getting repaired at a garage outside the authorised network of the insurer, the policyholder needs to pay the entire repair cost to the garage and initiate a reimbursement process for the paid amount with the insurer. The insurer will reimburse the repair cost subject to the entitled claim amount after deducting the applicable deductibles.

Common Insurance Claim Rejection Reasons

Below are some of the common reasons which lead to rejection of car insurance claims by insurers:

  • Occurrence of accident/mishap involving the insured car outside the geographical location stated in the insurance policy.
  • Occurrence of accident when the driver is under the influence of intoxicants.
  • Occurrence of accident when the insured car is being used for illegal activities.
  • Expiry of insurance policy.
  • Fraudulent claim

How to File for Car Insurance Third Party Insurance Claim?

The following steps will guide you in filing a third party insurance claim:

Step 1: Contact the insurance providers helpline and inform them about the situation as soon as possible. Make sure to let them know before the stipulated time as delays can lead to claim rejection.

Step 2: File an FIR at the nearest police station, you will need a copy of this document for filing the claim.

Step 3: Submit the documents that are required along with the duly filled insurance claim form. The documents required may vary according to your insurance provider and situation, make sure to clarify what you are required to submit when contacting the insurance provider.

Step 4: After the required documents have been submitted the insurance provider. All third party claims are settled in the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal. The third party must file a claim in the tribunal who will decide on the claim amount.

Step 5: If there is a case where you are required to compensate the third party the insurance provider will take care of it for you.

How Many Car Insurance Claims Can You Make in a Year?

There is no limit to the number of insurance claims you make within a year. However, it is advisable to refrain from filing a claim if the damage is not significant. The cost of the damage should ideally be higher than your NCB amount and your deductibles. Moreover, multiple claims can make your premium rate higher during your next renewal.

What are the Types of Covers Available in Car Insurance for Accidents in India?

Type of Car Insurance Cover Who is Covered Type of Cover Compensation Limit
Accident Cover Third Party Third Party Insurance No Limit
Personal Accident Cover Owner-Driver Comprehensive Car Insurance and Third Party Insurance Rs. 7.5 lakh
Passenger Accident Cover Those present in the car at the time of a mishap Available as an add-on cover Depends on the policy

How to File for a Car Accident Claim?

The following is what you must to when filing a claim for a car accident:

  • Make sure to take note of the registration numbers of the vehicles involved in the accident, the time, location and date.
  • File an FIR at the nearest police station. You will need a copy of the document for filing the claim.
  • Inform the insurance provider about the situation as soon as possible. Make sure to do it before the stipulated time or you risk claim rejection.
  • Submit the required documents along with the claim form duly filled to the insurance provider.
  • Next the surveyor will be sent to assess the damage of your vehicle and the claim will be approved accordingly.
  • Once the claim is approved you can take your car to a network garage and get it repaired.

How to File for Car Accident Death Insurance Claim?

The personal accident cover is available for covering the death of the owner-driver and the third party insurance covers the death of a third party in case of a mishap. The following steps will guide you in filling for claim under both:

Under the accident cover, the immediate family or the nominee of the deceased receives 100% compensation from the insurance provider.

  • In the event that a mishap involving the policyholder’s car leads to a death either of the policyholder or a third party, the immediate family must complete the legal requirements such as obtaining a death certificate of the deceased.
  • At the time of the accident or as soon as possible an FIR will need to be filed.
  • Inform the insurance provider about the mishap as soon as possible. Depending on your situation and their requirements the documents required will be specified.
  • Submit the required documents and forms. Once these have been checked and assessed the insurance company will issue the reimbursement to the nominee of the deceased.

How to Claim Insurance for Car Theft?

The following steps will guide you in filing an insurance claim for car theft:

  • As soon as you find out that your vehicle is missing file an FIR at your nearest police station. You will require a copy of the document for the claim process.
  • Inform the insurance provider as soon as possible as well. Make sure to clarify what documents you will be required to submit for the claim.
  • Once the police submit the no-trace report, give the insurance providers the required documents and forms. Before the reimbursement is handed to you, you will be required to give them all your car documents and any spare keys that you may still have of the vehicle.
  • The claim amount you receive for theft will depend on the IDV of the car and will take into account the depreciation rate of the car.

Can you File for Insurance Claim for Scratches on your Car?

Yes, you can file for an insurance claim if your car has scratches. However, keep in mind that policyholders are always advised to refrain from filing a claim unless the damage to the car is significant. This is because you will lose your NCB and secondly, multiple claims can lead to higher premiums when renewing your car insurance policy.

What is the Maximum Time in Which the Insurance Provider Should Settle a Claim When All Documents are Submitted?

After you submitted all the required documents processing the car insurance claim should not take more than 30 days. In rare cases, when there is some complication that requires further investigation it should be completed within six months.

How to Negotiate Car Insurance Claim Settlement?

Many people even with the knowledge of claim settlement process are unable to get the claim:

1. Initiate the Car Insurance Claim at the Earliest: One should immediately contact the insurance company and claim should be raised as soon as possible.

2. Create and Maintain Records: Maintain the records of the accident with medical bills, car repair invoice, bills, FIR copy, etc., to explain the event correctly, which can expedite the process.

3. Set a Claim Settlement Amount: Examine the damage and derive a minimum acceptable amount by the insurance company. However, you should be flexible with the amount.

4. Send a Letter of Demands: Write a letter to your insurer explaining the injuries suffered by you, medication and treatment taken, damage and loss incurred, etc. Justify your demand with necessary documents.

5. Negotiate Your Terms and Demands: If you are not convinced with the offerings or compensation provided by the insurance company, bargain for your demands before reaching the final amount.

6. Get the Settlement in Writing: Develop notes of communication with the insurer and emphasis that all the claim settlement offers are sent by them in writing. Also, once the claim is settled, try to get a signed and dated hard copy of the contract.

7. Seek the Legal Advice: If you are unable to reach a settlement even after several negotiations with your insurer, try to get in touch with the car insurance expert or lawyer to explore legal options, evaluate the event, and expedite the negotiation process.

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Car Insurance Claim Settlement FAQs

  • How is a claim settled in the case of theft of the insured car?

    In the case of theft of a vehicle a claim can be made by following the steps below:

      Step 1: Register an FIR (First Information Report) at the nearest police station and inform your insurer. The police will try to trace your vehicle until 90 days after which the police will issue a non-traceable report for your vehicle.

      Step 2: If the police are not able to trace the insured car in the stipulated time period then a court of law will issue a Non Objection Certificate (NOC).

      Step 3: Post NOC issuance, the insurer undertakes an investigation from its side to trace the vehicle. In case the insurer is not able to find the vehicle, the claim settlement process gets initiated.

      Step 4: Since it is a case of theft i.e. total loss, the insurer will provide you with the IDV of the car after deducting the applicable deductibles.

  • How can I locate the nearest garage associated with my insurer?

    To locate your nearest garage authorised by your insurer, you can either call and enquire on the customer service helpline of the insurance provider or look for the same on the insurer’s official website. The option is generally present in the claims section on the website by the name ‘list of network garages’.

  • When and to whom do I need to submit the documents?

    Policyholders are required to submit the documents to the surveyor when the vehicle is at the garage for repairs.

  • What is the role of the surveyor in the claim settlement process?

    When a claim is raised by any policyholder the insurance company sends a surveyor to conduct an inspection to assess out and understand the extent of damage incurred by your car. Surveyor submits an assessment report of the damage to the insurance company for claim settlement processing.

  • Can an individual make a claim if the insurance policy had expired a day before the accident?

    No, you cannot make a claim if your car insurance policy has expired. It is thus very important to renew the policy in time because no claim can be made under an expired policy.

  • What are the documents required to register a claim?

    To register a claim, you need a copy of an FIR (in case of an incident), ID proof, Address proof, and policy details.

  • Are natural calamities covered under car insurance?

    Yes, natural calamities including flood, cyclone, earthquake, hurricane etc. are covered under Comprehensive as well as Standalone Own-Damage car insurance plans.

  • What is the meaning of No Claim Bonus?

    No Claim Bonus is a reward provided by the insurance company to the policyholder at the time of renewing the insurance policy for not making any claim during the term of the insurance policy.

  • When is a claim settled in a cashless manner?

    Whenever the repair is done at a network garage of the insurance provider, a claim is settled in a cashless manner.

  • Can my claim be rejected?

    Yes, an insurance claim can be rejected in the following cases:

    • If the repairs are made before making a claim.
    • If any changes are made to the car without informing the Insurance Company.
    • If the insurance policy has expired
    • If the car’s driver was under the influence of alcohol/drugs at the time of the incident.

  • What car insurance add on covers are crucial?

    Various add-on covers that are important for your car are No claim bonus(NCB), zero depreciation, total cover, engine cover, roadside assistance cover etc. InsuranceDekho offers various add-ons that you can avail of with your standard car insurance policy.

  • Is there a limit on the number of add-ons I can purchase?

    No, there is no limit on the number of add-ons that can be purchased with a car insurance policy.

  • What are the documents required for add-on covers in car insurance?

    No documents are required for availing of add-on covers in car insurance.

  • What are the different types of add-on covers in car insurance available in the market?

    There are various types of add-ons offered by insurance companies such as Zero Depreciation, NCB (No claim bonus) , Consumable Cover, Roadside Assistance cover etc.

  • What do I need to know before buying a car insurance add-on?

    Before buying a car insurance add-on, you must know its features, coverage offered, and the premium amount.

  • How do add-on covers enhance car insurance?

    Add-on cover provides additional benefits over your standard car insurance policy. Add-ons such as Zero Depreciation, NCB (No claim bonus), Consumable Cover, Roadside Assistance cover, Key protection cover, offer extra coverage for specif car parts/circumstances, thereby enhancing the basic coverage.

  • Why should I buy a add-on covers in car insurance?

    Add-on covers are the additional benefits that are provided on your basic car insurance policy. These offer overall protection to your car from losses/damages thereby compensating and protecting you from paying high claim costs.

  • Is it necessary to have car add cover on every year?

    No, it is not necessary to have a car add-on cover every year.

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#Applicable on non-inspection cases i.e. existing policy has not expired or when buying a policy for a new vehicle.