For new car buyers, the car insurance aspect of the policy is usually handled by the vehicle dealer. Thereafter, they only think about car insurance either at the time of policy renewal or in the event of a claim. The policy can be renewed via the car dealer but a claim can only be settled by the insurance company. Thus, it is important to know about the claim settlement process. This article is about the steps to claim cashless car insurance in India.
Car insurance companies work hard to make the car insurance process extremely convenient for policyholders. They try to make all the processes associated with car insurance super simple. When it comes to claim settlements, you as a Comprehensive Car Insurance policyholder have two options: Reimbursement Claim Process and the Cashless Claim Process. The following sections will help you understand the Cashless Process and the steps to claim cashless car insurance in India.
What is the Cashless Claims Process?
A Cashless Claim is a type of claim where the garage and the hospital settle most of the bill among themselves provided you meet the terms and conditions. All you must account for is the depreciation cost, the deductibles cost, and any other repair cost that is not covered by the policy. A noteworthy advantage of this type of process is that if the repair amount is huge, you do not need to arrange for it immediately, which is the case in the Reimbursement Process. More on that later.
A Cashless Claim is possible because of the tie-ups between insurance companies and the garages. The garages that have a tie-up with insurers regarding cashless claim settlements are termed as Network Garages. As the garage and the insurer have a tie-up, the process between the two is streamlined and usually, the claim gets settled quickly and smoothly.
How to Claim Cashless Car Insurance in India?
To raise a cashless car insurance claim in India, you need to inform the insurance company about the accident or the damage instantly. If it is an accident case and the accident is a massive one, they will send their surveyor on the spot. If not, then they might ask you to take the vehicle to a network garage or they might tow it themselves. This depends upon the insurer. In this case, the surveyor will have a look at the vehicle at the garage.
Once the surveyor ascertains the damage and discusses it with the garage, the repair work will begin and you will be notified about the approximate bill and the insurance coverage amount. The insurer will cover the expenses as per the inclusions and the terms and conditions of the policy. The balance amount needs to be settled by you. This balance amount is marginal as compared to the entire bill amount.
Also, Read: Motor Insurance Surveyor: Roles in Insurance Claims
How Does Cashless Claim Process Work?
The cashless car insurance process works on trust, coordination, and professionalism. There needs to be shared trust between the policyholder, the garage, and the insurer. All parties need to coordinate effectively and act professionally.
The Cashless Claims process works based on the tie-up between the garage and the insurer. In some cases, there might not be an official tie-up, but even then, the insurer might coordinate with the garage and settle the claim in a cashless manner for the policyholder’s convenience. Some insurers have a list of network garages while Acko has almost all as Cashless Garages.
Steps to Claim Cashless Car Insurance:
The exact process to claim cashless car insurance might differ from one car insurance company to another. There might be subtle changes in the process based on the insurer’s tech support and overall strategy. Here’s an overview of the cashless car insurance in a stepwise manner.
Step 1: Contact your insurance company either by calling them or sending an email. Nowadays, some insurers have a dedicated section on their website/app to initiate a claim process. For example, Acko Login.
Step 2: Share the details about the car damage.
Step 3: Follow the stated process. For example, in case of a theft, you might be asked to file a First Information Report and share other supporting documents.
Step 4: For accident claims, the surveyor might visit the accident spot. Otherwise, the car needs to be taken to the network garage and the surveyor will have a look at the damages there.
Step 5: The surveyor and the mechanic will discuss and let you know the repair cost and the amount covered by the policy based on the coverage and the applicable terms and conditions.
Step 6: The car will be repaired and the bill will be settled between the garage and the car insurance company. The balance (deductibles) amount needs to be paid by you to the garage.
Note: In some cases, the towing of the vehicle to the garage and the delivery of the repaired vehicle is performed by the car insurance company.
Also, read: 6 Ways to Ensure a Successful Car Insurance Claim
Mandatory Documents While Registering for Your Car Insurance Claim:
Nowadays, digital-first insurers do not ask for a list of documents. They are not in favour of form-filling either. However, there might be instances where you may have to scan some documents and share them with them along with the damaged car’s photograph. They might also ask for a video of the damaged car. Some traditional insurance companies still rely on form-filling and ask for a list of documents to be submitted while registering a car insurance claim. The following list will give you an idea about these documents. Note that the requirements may vary from one insurer to another.
- Car insurance policy.
- Driving License.
- Registration Certificate.
- First Information Report from the police (for accidents).
- Cancelled cheque.
- Policyholder’s identity proof. For example, Aadhaar Card details.
- Claim form.
Reasons Your Claim Is Being Rejected:
There can be several reasons why your claim might be rejected by the insurer. Here are some instances that might lead to the rejection of cashless car insurance claims in India.
1. Invalid Policy
You cannot raise a claim against an expired policy. Your policy needs to be active at the time the accident or the damages to the car took place. Car insurance companies will reject the claim even if it is raised just one day after the policy’s expiry date.
Also, Read: 10 Reasons Why Your Car Insurance Could be Invalid
2. Wrong Cover
You cannot raise a claim for Own Damage against a Liability-only policy. You need a Comprehensive Plan for that. The moment you raise a claim, the insurer will check whether the reason the claim is raised for is covered in the policy’s inclusions or not. If it is not included, your claim will be rejected.
3. Incomplete Documentation
Due to digitisation, tech-savvy insurers do not rely too much on documentation. However, if your claim application demands specific documents such as the First Information Report (FIR for the accident), then you need to submit the same. Without such documents, the claim request won’t move ahead.
4. Disobeying the Protocol
In the Cashless Claim process, it is crucial to wait for the insurance company’s representative to have a look at the car before it is repaired. If you repair it beforehand, the claim might not be honoured as the insurance company will not know the extent of the car’s damage first-hand.
5. The Exclusions Category
A car insurance policy comes with a set of exclusions. What this set comprises are events wherein the insurance company is not liable to pay the claim. For example, drunk driving is an exclusion. So is driving with an invalid driving license. Thus, if you raise a car accident claim and it is found that you were driving drunk or did not have a valid driving license, the insurer can reject your claim.
Also, read: Third-Party Car Insurance
How is The Cashless Claims Process Different from The Reimbursement Claims Process?
If you are wondering which is better between the cashless and the reimbursement process, then there is no definite answer. The answer depends upon your choice. For some, one might be better over another. For example, if a policyholder wants to repair the damaged car at a friend’s garage that is not a part of the insurer’s network, the policyholder might go for the Reimbursement Process.
The fundamental difference between the two processes is that the claim is majorly settled between the insurer and the garage in the cashless process. And you must get the car repaired, settle the bill with the garage, and then file a Reimbursement Claim. As per this fundamental difference, the Cashless Process does seem to score over the Reimbursement Process in terms of convenience.