The number of road accidents is too high. Adding insult to injury is the case where your insurance claim is declined. Sticking to the rules of the protocol becomes paramount in successfully achieving the compensation.
Filing a claim against your car or bike insurance policy is important after an accident. All claims are handled by the claims team. This team is responsible for investigating a claim and creating a claim report. The insurer decides if the claim should be settled or not based on this report. Sometimes the claims team cannot process a claim in an accurate manner due to certain things like missing documents, insufficient information, lack of evidence, etc. Here are some common mistakes which lead to the rejection of your claim:
1) Delay delaying filing the claim can cost more than a penny
It is advised that a claim should be filed, as soon as a claimable incident occurs, directly to the insurance company. It is advisable to inform the insurer before taking the vehicle to the garage as the insurer may help you to get the vehicle towed free of cost or get it picked up to the garage without any risk. In some cases where the policyholder is injured or in a state of shock, a slight delay is acceptable. Apart from such situations, it is mandatory for the policyholder to raise a claim as soon as possible. Check with your insurer for the number of days they suggest in which one is supposed to raise a claim.
2) Forgetting to file the FIR
First Information Report (FIR) is one of the most important things required for raising a claim in case of theft of vehicle or third party losses like death or injury. FIR is an official description of the accident and hence a crucial evidence for the claims team. Through this document, they can gauge the situation and determine if the owner of an insured vehicle was at fault in case of collision-related or accident, etc.
3) Not sealing an evidence if given a chance
It is advised that after an accident one should take pictures of the vehicle and the accrued damages. Though the claim may not get rejected because of missing the photos, it’ll help you to get the claim settled faster.
4) Furnishing Inaccurate Information
While filing a claim, the claimant might provide inaccurate information to the insurance provider. After receiving any type of claim, the claims team begins investing the incident and tries to gather evidence. If the investigated information does not match the one provided by the claimant, they cannot process the claim further and it gets rejected. The claimant needs to provide accurate information while filing the claim in the form of the application form.
5) Don’t forget to carry the license
Some accidents can cause a lot of damage to the insured car or bike as well as the involved third parties. In such incidents, the driver is also questioned. The person driving the vehicle at the time of the incident should be carrying a valid license at that time. Also, he/she should not be under the influence of intoxicating substances.
6) Stay away from Overloading
Only a certain number of passengers are allowed in a specific type of vehicle by law. For example, 4 passengers in sedan, 3 passengers in an auto rickshaw, 2 on a two-wheeler, etc. If the claims team finds out that the vehicle was overloaded during the time of an accident it can lead to claim rejection. Even if the driver of the insured vehicle is not at fault, the claim might get rejected due to overloading.
7) Insufficient coverage of the foreseeable loss
One of the most basic reasons for an insurance claim getting rejected is that people file a claim for situations which are beyond the scope of their insurance policy. For example, a claim for damage of an insured vehicle will be rejected if the coverage of the policy is limited to Third-party Liabilities. A similar example would be, filing a claim for a damaged engine without buying an Engine Protection Add-on.
8) Completing Repairs Before Intimation
As mentioned earlier, the claims team begins with an investigation after they receive a claim. As a part of the investigation, the claim assessor inspects the extent of damage caused to the insured car. This applies for a comprehensive car or bike insurance policy. After this step, the claimant can either opt for a cashless claim or a reimbursement claim.
In a Cashless claim, the damaged vehicle is repaired at one of the garages in the insurer’s network. Whereas in a reimbursement claim, the vehicle can be repaired at any garage and the bills are to be submitted to the insurance company.
If the vehicle is repaired before it is accessed for damages by the insurance company, the claim will be void and be rejected. This is because no report was created by the claim assessor. The first thing related to car or bike insurance is filing the FIR with the nearest police station in case of theft or death/injury of any third person. Secondly, taking pictures and videos of the incident is advised. Also, intimate the insurance company at the earliest for them to send an assessor. Lastly, do not get the vehicle repaired before an assessment is complete. Accidents are stressful but keeping calm and following the procedure will decrease the chances of claim rejection.
Filing a car insurance claim in a timely manner is important but be sure that you provide correct information to your insurance company. Being truthful about the incident will always be helpful. Likewise, being aware of the coverage and the situations which come under exclusions are also important. They define the basis of your claim.
(with inputs from Acko General Insurance)