How to file vehicle insurance claim for cars, two-wheelers damaged by floods
Cyclone Michaung recently caused havoc across Tamil Nadu triggering floods that submerged thousands of cars and two-wheelers across the state. Images and videos of vehicles submerged, partially submerged or being washed away emerged on social media over the past week. With situation still not in control in several parts of the state as many vehicles remain under water or damaged by the cyclone, manufacturers have extended assistance to their customers to get them towed, repaired and even help in filing vehicle insurance claims in case of partial or fully damaged cars and two-wheelers.
Several carmakers, including the likes of Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor and Tata Motors, are offering assistance to customers whose vehicles have been damaged in the floods caused by Cyclone Michaung in Tamil Nadu recently.
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All vehicle owners in India are mandated to buy insurance cover at the time of purchase. These insurance guards against unforeseen repair work due to accidents besides regular maintenance as well as claims in case of loss or damage of vehicles. Customers usually buy a third-party insurance, which is mandatory according to the Motor Vehicle Act of 1988. It helps a vehicle owner to recover cost in case of damage due to natural disasters.
Here is a quick step-by-step guide on how to file vehicle insurance claim in case of a damaged vehicle:
1. Notify the insurer immediately
In case a vehicle is submerged and cannot be moved by the owner, or swept away by flood, one needs to alert the insurance company of the situation. In case of a submerged vehicle, one should not try to start it to avoid further damage. This could also become a reason why the claim could be denied by the insurance company. It is advisable to try disconnect the battery of the vehicle, if possible, and get it towed to the nearest service station for inspection and repair. Notifying the insurance company will help one to get through this process.
2. Click images of the damaged vehicle for reference
Before even touching, one should click photos of the vehicle in the condition that it is found. A video clip will also help the cause to gather documentary evidence of the extent of damage the vehicle has undergone. The insurance company may seek these details while processing any claims against a policy.
3. Keep insurance documents ready
The third key step in filing insurance claim is to keep the papers ready. This will include copy of the insurance policy, details about the damage as well as filling up of claim forms. The forms are usually digital these days, which requires little or no paperwork and is hassle-free. However, one can seen help from insurance agents to complete these details before submitting it to the company.
4. Survey by insurance company
Once the claim is filed, the insurance company will appoint one of its representatives to physically examine the damage on the vehicle. The surveyer too will click photos and videos besides asking a few questions to the owner before submitting the report to the insurance company with findings. The insurance claim will be approved or denied based on this report.
5. Reimbursement process
In case of emergency or non-availability of network service centres, one may be forced to take the damaged vehicle to any garage to get it repaired. For instance, if a Maruti car is serviced at Maruti's authorised workshops, the owner can avail cashless insurance claims. However, in case of a third-party garage, the cost needs to be borne by the owner initially before filing reimbursement claims to the insurance company.
6. Report to police in case vehicle is lost
Floods may sometime sweep away vehicles and can become difficult for the owner to trace it. One needs to file a report at the nearest police station and get a copy of it to claim insurance. Once the police confirms that the vehicle cannot be traced, the owner will get the claimed amount as per the Insured Declared Value (IDV) of the model mentioned in the insurance policy.