FAQs 229 views March 24, 2020

Purchasing a motor vehicle is one of the utmost important parts of possessing a car. It gives you a sense of security and responsibility too while driving the vehicle. But if your car is involved in an accident, it may drain you both emotionally and monetarily. In India, it is obligatory to have third-party car insurance but usually, individuals buy a comprehensive car insurance policy because any loss or damage to own car or vehicle can turn out to be quite expensive and it is a very practical thing to get while having your car or vehicle insured each year. The general perception in the market is that you can get claim effortlessly if you have your vehicle insured. But, in real life, it may not look that simple. According to the IRDAI’s recent update on increasing the Personal Accident coverage concerning the claims made, insurance companies will do their due diligence to find out whether there were any mistakes made by the owner-driver in connection with the accident and then will proceed accordingly. Hence, the owner-driver must be cautious and vigilant while driving his or her vehicle.

While insurance companies perform their responsibilities as need and as per the law, some may be an exception to this rule to guard the financial benefits of the insurance company, either by disagreeing with the claim made or by paying the minimum amount on effective claims. You must be aware of this aspect which can support you immensely when you are in the process of submitting the necessary documents thereby validating the claim.

Some guidelines as to how you can deal with an insurance company in case of an accident are mentioned below.

Be aware of the scope of the plan

You must be aware of the coverages that are applicable under your insurance policy. Consult with your lawyer, if needed, and understand the areas where you are entitled to get the coverages. There are many expenses which if you are not aware of, you might not be compensated also.  Once you have recognized these parts, arrange necessary documents to support the claim. Keep all the documents in an organized manner and show them to your advocate so that he or she can review and advise thereafter.

Do not befriend

Insurance claim officers may seem to be very friendly. But they do not fall into your friend’s lists. This approach is used so that you trust them and become much more relaxed while talking with them. This may result in you saying something by mistake that can damage your claim. Always remember that insurance agents signify the insurance company’s interests. So, they will be concentrating on resolving your claim keeping mind the insurer’s benefits.

Appoint your Lawyer, if needed

A personal lawyer supports accident victims in getting better reimbursement for the injuries. With the victim’s permission, a personal lawyer can go ahead and complete several jobs related to submitting and authenticating a claim. In maximum cases, having a lawyer benefits the victim to get the maximum payment in comparison to petitioners without a lawyer. Furthermore, insurers may try to play away with the accident victims ignoring their rights. And hence, having an attorney on your side can surely help you to protect your interest.

Handling of Communications

Usually, you need to inform the insurer within 48-72 hours in case of an accident and maintain this timeline is very important. You must also respond to all the queries raised by the insurer promptly without a delay. Moreover, if you are delaying in handling the necessary communications with your insurer, you may be passing a wrong message to them which would imply that that the claim unimportant to you. 

Allow the specialists to negotiate

You must avoid negotiating a settlement of your own. Remember an insurance agent is habituated to deal claims daily and they may give you a quick settlement to tempt you to accept the same so that you do not hire any lawyer, which would otherwise mean a greater amount to be compensated. Having an expert will always help you in this kind of situation. On the contrary, not having any lawyer may end up in denial of your claim or getting an insufficient sum of compensation which is not desirable.

Insurance agents are skilled negotiators

Irrespective of the fact that how cooperative your insurance agent may look like, his or her main job is to protect the interest of the insurer and are trained to minimalize the amount of compensation of the claim.

Do not agree immediately

After any car accident, most people are in the need of money to have the vehicle restored or for paying the medical bills. Insurers are well aware of this fact and know that victims are susceptible and virtually offer a lower settlement instantly. The insurer may attempt to settle your claim speedily to minimalize the amount to be paid to you for repairs, medical expenses, etc. If you accept the first settlement offer hurriedly, you may not get what you deserve to get.

An insurer will try to not to pay your medical expenditures

The insurer may attempt to prove that your injuries were a part of the pre-existing diseases and may, therefore, reject your medical expenses. So, you must have the photocopies of all the relevant medical records of your visitations made to the doctor and necessary follow-ups as and when recommended. 

Never give any official statement

You must not give any official declaration or statement without any consultation with your advocate. Else it may go against your claim.

Alternative Repair shop

You have full right to select the garage or a shop where you want your vehicle to get repaired and it is not mandatory to follow the insurer’s suggested repair shop. But make sure to bring the estimation of the repair to insurer’s notice.

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