By Neeraj Gupta
A lot of efforts and analysis go into buying insurance for your car. After a thorough research you buy the best motor insurance policy for yourself, which has features like zero depreciation, 24X7 roadside assistance, engine protection etc. You may have a policy, which provides a near 360 degree protection but still there can be scenarios where your claim might get rejected. These circumstances may occur due to your ignorance, negligence or false information. IRDAI statistics states that nearly 10% of all vehicle claims are rejected and most of the claims rejected by an insurer are for valid reasons even if you have complete documents. Here are a few such scenarios where your motor insurer can reject your claim:
Undertaking repairs before informing your insurer
It is mandatory to inform your insurer about the accident before getting your car repaired. Authorized personnel from the insurer’ side will come and inspect the damages, estimate the cost of repair as well as help you get the best deal for repairs. If you get your car repaired after an accident on your own and then inform your insurer about the incident, your insurer has the right to reject your claim. The fact is your insurer will be unable to trace the accident and necessary repairs, therefore, leading to the rejection of your claim.
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Providing incorrect information
Giving false information on no claim bonus (NCB): NCB is a discount in premium offered by an insurer if no claim is made in the previous policy year. However, people wrongly use this benefit while renewing their policy from a new insurer and conceal the information about claims made during previous year. Such incidents could lead to claim rejection because insurer will always investigate before settling any claim.
Incorrect car details: People often hide the age or the variant of the car to lower down premium, which is not advisable. For example, you own a Suzuki Swift ZXi (Top model) but in your insurance policy you have mentioned Suzuki Swift LXi (Base model). God forbid, if you meet an accident and file for claim, in this scenario, your insurer has the right to reject your claim as details mentioned in the application are incorrect.
Also, getting a CNG kit installed without informing your insurer may also get your claim rejected, because CNG-fitted cars are considered to be at higher risks and their insurance premiums are also higher than a normal petrol/diesel car.
After adding a CNG kit please ensure to get the same added to your RC, as it is a mandatory requirement. Post that do inform the insurer to include the same in the insurance and pay the differential premium. Any vehicle which has CNG kit added but not endorsed on the RC cannot be insured.
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Delay in intimation of accident
Informing your insurer about any accident should be a priority. Ideally insurers demand to inform about the damage within 72 hours. Your car insurance claim may get rejected if you fail to intimate your insurer about the accident or theft within the set timeframe.
Insurance cover not in registered in owner’s name
We usually resist ourselves from transferring the policy on our name when we purchase a second hand car. The reason could be a lengthy procedure or we might have to pay some extra money. But it is necessary to transfer the policy in the name of registered vehicle owner within two weeks of purchase of an old car. Failing to transfer would mean rejection of claims by the insurer.
In all scenarios ensure RC and the insurance policy have the same details.
Invalid driving license
Most of us remember to renew our policy from time to time and if you forgot to renew it, your insurer will not forget to remind you. However, driving licences are valid for a slightly longer period and it is not easy to remember when you need to renew your licence. Failing to have a valid licence during the accident may have your claim rejected. Apart from this, driving a class of vehicle, which you are not licensed to, will also lead to claim rejection. In simple words, let’s assume you have a licence which only allows you to drive a two-wheeler but you were driving a four-wheeler at the time of an accident. In such a scenario, your claim will be denied by the insurer.
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Claim for multiple Accidents
Often due to lack of time, we don’t get minor dent and scratches repaired and wait till a big one hits us. Now at that time, trying to get repairs done for multiple accidents will become difficult. Not because an insurer restricts you from filing multiple claims, but your insurer doesn’t want you to wait until a bigger accident and file claims together.
Typically in a claim event, an insurer would normally approve repairing of up to 2 panels and maximum 3 panels in some special cases.
(The author is Head of Motor Insurance, Policybazaar.com)