In contrast to what happens abroad, the driver of the other was furious and wanted to get into a fight. Thankfully it was near a busy signal and a policeman was available nearby to resolve the issue.
This is in stark contrast to what happens abroad. We just park the car on the side and wait for a policeman to come and issue a report to both parties. We make our claims based on that and that is reason we have car insurance. There is no need to get too emotional if there is no physical injury.
Putting that aside, in a country like India, owning a car is no longer an ‘owner’s pride’ kind of thing. It has become or is becoming a necessity in life. As banks are willing to lend money to help you buy your dream car, more and more people are queuing up for car loans.
But your dream vehicle can meet an unfortunate accident at any point of time. To cover these risks you need to take out a car insurance which is also known as motor insurance or auto insurance.
Car insurance claim or procedure in India
Nobody wants to get involved in a car accident. It not only ruins your entire day, it can cause multiple injuries and even deaths in some serious cases.
There is hardly any driver in India who has never got involved in a car accident throughout his life. It is true you cannot stop accidents from happening but you can be well prepared to meet the financial losses that results from an accident by buying a proper car insurance.
But before you can use that insurance money to recover your loss and back to normal as it was before the accident, there are a few dos and don’ts which should kept in mind in the process of making a car insurance claim after an accident in India.
What you should do after an accident?
An individual is full of anger and varying emotions immediately after an accident. These negative emotions will try to take control of your self.
In these trying times, you must keep your calm and try to do the following with the best of your abilities.
- You should make an attempt to prevent further accidents by keeping the flashers/emergency lights on. If the lights are not working then you should have a flashlight with you for your own safety while you wait by the side of the road. If possible place a glowing tape hazard triangle 10-20 ft behind your car.
- Even if there are no serious injuries, it is always prudent to call the police. You may need a police report to file a car insurance claim even if you are just claiming for the damage to your vehicle. The vehicle insurance renewal involved in the accident must remain where they are unless they are proving to be a hindrance to the traffic. If so, take pictures from all possible angles before moving vehicle to the side of the road.
- When the police arrive at the scene, make sure you tell the investigating officer exactly what happened. Do not speculate or guess; just tell it to the officer what you really know. Also ensure that the statements given by the other people involved in the accident are accurate as well. Try to make sure your story is heard first by the officer. Also do not admit it is your mistake openly if there is even small doubt. This can be used against you in some cases during your claim procedure.
- If there is visible damage to your car, then you use at least your cell phone camera to take a picture of those damaged areas. If you have visible injuries, photograph them also. But you should never interfere with the police investigation. If you are unable to take pictures at the accident scene, do click pictures as soon as possible before police arrives.
- Typically an investigating officer should take the name, address and telephone number of all the persons involved in the accident but if he fails to do that then it is your duty to take down the details from the people involved in the accident.
- The motor insurance company needs to be notified as soon as possible. There are many policies which require immediate reporting; so you must co-operate fully in this regard. If there are medical benefits in the insurance coverage then you must submit the accident related medical bills to the insurance company. Even better, ask for guidance on how to proceed from your insurance agent/company itself.
- Always maintain a file and keep all documents related to the accident together. The information should include all original bills, the claim number, the details of the adjuster who is handling the claim made by you, the names and contact information of all the persons, receipts of all expenses incurred due to the accident.