How to claim for car theft and the total admissible amount for the same?

Car insurance – something which is mandatory when you buy a car.  A comprehensive car insurance policy covers you for the damages sustained by your car and even for any third party liability. It, thus, comes in handy when your car is damaged or stolen.

Car theft has become very common nowadays. In fact, according to police reports, in the first three months of 2016 in Delhi, 9741 vehicle were reported lost against the last year’s figure of 6724 during the same period. (Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/A-vehicle-is-stolen-every-13-mins-in-Delhi-rate-up-44-since-last-yr/articleshow/51836205.cms ).  Thankfully, if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy, you can get a claim if your car is stolen. Do you know the claim process?

The claim process of a stolen car is simple and, if, done properly, you can get your claim settled easily and quickly. Let’s find out how to claim for the theft of your car and the claim amount.

Step 1 – inform the insurance company immediately

This is the basic thumb rule when raising a car insurance claim. Your insurance company should be informed immediately of any damages or theft. When you discover that your car has been stolen, call up the insurance company’s claim assistance helpline and inform them. The company would tell you about the next steps which you should take to make a valid claim. You would also be given a claim reference number which you should note down for future references.

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Step 2 – Obtain a FIR

This is the most logical and important step which is required after the insurance company is informed. You should visit your local police station and file a First Information Report (FIR) of the car theft. This report contains the details of the car and the theft which has taken place. The FIR serves as the proof of theft and is required by the insurance company to process your claim.

Step 3 – Submit the RC book, FIR and both your car keys to the insurance company

The insurance company requires some important documents to authenticate your claim and process it. You would have to submit the RC book of the car, the FIR you have filed and the keys of your car. If your RC book was in the car, a photo copy of the same might be sufficient if insurer accepts it. You are provided two sets of keys and both sets are to be submitted to the insurance company. This is required to rule out possible gross negligence on your part. If you have both the keys on you it proves that you didn’t leave the keys inside the car which might have resulted in theft. If you did and the theft occurred due to the key in the car’s ignition, it is ruled to be an act of gross negligence on your part. In this case the insurance company has the authority to reject your claim. That is why both keys are insisted upon when you make a claim for car theft.

 Step 4 – Get your claim settled

If your car is not recovered by the police, the insurance company settles the claim for theft. The settlement usually gets completed within 2 months of making a claim. The claim amount would be the Insured Declared Value (IDV) of the car in the year when the theft took place. For instance, if your car insurance policy for the current year shows an IDV of Rs.4.8 lakhs, in case of theft, Rs.4.8 lakhs would be the admissible claim amount.

Wasn’t the process simple and easy? Just informing the insurance company, filing a FIR, submitting the FIR along with RC book and both sets of car keys and you can get the claim settled. There are a few pointers to keep in mind though. These include the following –

  • Make sure that your car insurance policy has not expired. No claim is paid on a lapsed policy.
  • Don’t carry the original insurance documents in your car. In case of theft you would lose the policy documents and might face difficulty in making a claim. Carry the copy of your Insurance Certificate in your car.
  • Never leave your car unattended with the keys still in the ignition. It increases the chances of theft and your claim might also get rejected.

Though losing a car to theft is a big deal, you might find yourself in this situation. If you do, utilize the benefits of your comprehensive car insurance policy. Know the steps of raising a claim and get your claim settled. Don’t expect the insurance company to reimburse you for the car’s cost though. You would get the IDV which is the fair market value of your car less applicable depreciation. So, be wise, be careful.

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