Car insurance claims

A car insurance policy is a mandatory requirement as prescribed by the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. That is why every car driving on Indian roads carries a valid insurance cover. This cover comes in handy in times of any contingency involving the car. In case of accidents or facing car related damages, a claim arises in the car insurance policy. There are three instances of car insurance claims which are as follows:

  • Accidents

    The most common instance of claim is when the car is involved in an accident. In an accident, three types of claims might arise.

    1. Third party claims – when your car injures or kills any third person or damages any third party property
    2. Own damage claims – when only your car faces damage. For instance, you ram your car in a tree or a light-post
    3. Both third party and own damage claim – when you injure any third party or damage any third party property and your car also faces damages.
  • Theft of the car

    When the car is stolen, a theft claim arises.

How to make a claim in these instances?

Whether your car is involved in an accident or it is stolen, you are required to follow a proper procedure to make a car insurance claim. Here are the steps to be followed in each of the above-mentioned instances of claims.

  • In case of accidents
    • Inform the insurance company immediately on its toll free number mentioned on your Policy Copy when you face an accident & intimate the claim. Mention the policy number and the details of the accident to the call centre of the respective insurance company.
    • Once the claim is intimated, you have to move your vehicle to Insurance company’s nearest network garage for cashless claim settlement. Network garage details will be provided by the call centre team & if you have to go for reimbursement claim you can move your vehicle to any nearby workshop as per your convenience.
    • Police FIR is Mandatory if there is any Third party Injury involved in the accident, or if the accident is major. Even in case of Good Carrying Vehicle, police FIR is mandatory.
    • A surveyor will visit the garage and assess the loss and will give necessary approval to start the repair work.
    • You have to fill the claim form and submit it in the workshop along with Policy Copy, RC Driving Licence of the driver who was driving the vehicle at the time of accident and all copy of all other vehicle documents in case of Passenger Carrying Vehicle & Goods Carrying Vehicle.
    • Any third party claim, if applicable, is settled by the insurance company based on the rulings of the motor accidents tribunal.
    • When the repairs are completed, the insurance company settles the bills with the workshop. You might have to pay a part of the claim from your own pockets. Once all the costs are settled, you can take delivery of your car.
  • In case of theft of car
    • Inform the insurance company of the theft immediately.
    • A FIR should also be filed immediately in case of theft
    • A claim is then to be filed with the insurance company. You have to submit the RC book, copy of the FIR, copy of the driving license, copy of the intimation sent to the RTO and the policy document
    • Once the police issues a ‘non-traceable’ report for the car after three months of loss of the car, the claim would be settled by the insurance company
    • You would have to transfer the RC book of the car in the name of the insurance company along with a letter of subrogation transferring all rights of your car to the insurance company.
    • Once these formalities are done, the IDV of the car is paid as claim.

Types of car insurance claims

Car insurance claims are of two types – cashless and reimbursement. Here’s what these claims are:

  • Cashless claims

    under cashless claims, you get the car repaired at the preferred workshop and once your vehicle is ready workshop mails the bills to the insurance company. The insurance company releases its liability and you have to just pay the difference amount and take the delivery of your vehicle (Difference Amount = Total Bill Amount – Insurance Co Liability Share).

  • Reimbursement claims

    when the car is repaired at a non-networked garage, once your vehicle repair work is completed you have pay the complete bill amount and take the delivery of your vehicle and submit original bills to surveyor. On receiving the bill the insurance company will reimburse the approved amount via NEFT to the insured’s account in 8 to 10 working days.

Things to look out for when making a car insurance claim

There are things which should be kept in mind when making a car insurance claim. These things, if considered, help in getting the claim settled quickly. Here are the things which should be kept in mind at the time of claim:

  • Excess

    There is a component of compulsory excess in a car insurance policy. This excess represents the portion of claim payable by you. In every claim, you would have to compulsorily bear the excess.

    Similarly, there is also a concept of voluntary excess. However, unlike compulsory excess which is mandatory, voluntary excess is chosen by you. If you choose voluntary excess, you would have to pay the chosen portion of claim. Voluntary excess, if chosen, earns you a premium discount.

  • Exclusions

    Engine capacity determines the third party premium which is a component of premium calculation. Higher the engine capacity higher would be the car insurance premium.

  • Depreciation

    If your car is being repaired, depreciation would be applicable on the parts being repaired. The insurance company would, thus, pay a portion of the actual bills after deducting the applicable depreciation (On Plastic Parts 50% on Metal Parts – As per Vehicle Age, & on Glass No Depreciation ) You would, then, have to bear the cost of depreciation and pay the unsettled claim yourself.

  • Preferred garage

    Cashless claims are settled only if the car is repaired at a preferred garage. So, before taking your car for repairs, check the preferred garages in the area. You can also find the garage from the insurance company’s toll free number while registering the claim and take the car to the networked garage.

  • Loss of No Claim discount

    When no claim is made in a policy year, the car insurance policy allows a premium discount in the next year’s premium. This discount increases every subsequent claim-free year. If, however, a claim is made, the discount becomes zero. So, avoid making small claims. Pay the repair costs of smaller claims from your own pockets to avoid losing the accumulated no claim discount.

  • Documents required

    Every claim requires a valid set of documents which should be submitted along with the claim form. Some common documents include copies of the diving license, RC book, policy bond and FIR, if applicable. So, when making a claim, make sure that the relevant documents are handy.

  • Using add-ons

    Add-ons are additional coverage features which enhance the scope of coverage of the car insurance plan. If you have selected add-ons in the policy, see if the add-on proves useful at the time of claim. For instance, if you have a roadside assistance add-on and your car is stranded in the middle of the road, you can call the insurance company and use the add-on for arranging assistance. Similarly, in case of a zero depreciation add-on, the insurance company would pay the full claim, without deducting depreciation. So, see if the selected add-ons are being used in case of your claim.

  • Add-ons selected

    A comprehensive car insurance policy allows optional add-ons which help in increasing the scope of coverage. Each add-on, however, requires the payment of an additional premium. Thus, if an add-on is selected in the policy, the premium increases.

When can a claim be rejected?

There are instances when your car insurance claim might get rejected. These instances include the following:

  • When you do not follow the claim process correctly
  • When you claim for an excluded expense
  • When proper paperwork is not submitted with the claim form
  • When there is a delay in making a claim
  • When the policy is in a lapsed state when the claim is made

When can a claim be rejected?

There are instances when your car insurance claim might get rejected. These instances include the following:

  • When you do not follow the claim process correctly
  • When you claim for an excluded expense
  • When proper paperwork is not submitted with the claim form
  • When there is a delay in making a claim
  • When the policy is in a lapsed state when the claim is made

What should you do when a claim is rejected?

In case of rejection of your car insurance claim, you can take the following steps:

  • Check if the claim you made was for an excluded coverage. If it was, you would have to bear the claim yourself.
  • If proper paperwork was not submitted due to which the claim has been rejected, make sure to submit all the required documents. Find out the list of documents the insurance company wants and submit them. Also retain all original bills related to repairs of your car following a claim. These bills might also be required by the insurance company
  • If you have not followed the correct claim procedure, try and find out your mistake. Correct the mistake and follow the corrected procedure of making a car insurance claim
  • In case of delay, complete the claim process as quickly as possible. Inform the company of the reason for delay. Keep all documents handy so that the claim process is settled without further delays
  • In case of a lapsed policy, there is no way out. Your claim would be rejected and you would have to bear the claim yourself. Try renewing your car insurance policy on time every time to avoid claim rejection in future.
  • For any other reasons if you believe that the claim has been unjustifiably rejected, you can make a complaint with the company’s internal grievance handling department. If you are not satisfied with the company’s grievance handling department you can also make a complaint with IRDA, insurance ombudsman or escalate it to the consumer forum.

How Turtlemint helps?

Turtlemint is an online platform which not only helps with the purchase of a car insurance policy online it also helps with claim settlement. Turtlemint has a claim handling department which helps you with your car insurance claims. You can contact Turtlemint in case of a claim and Turtlemint then coordinates with the insurance company with the settlement of your claim. Thus, Turtlemint helps in easy and speedy settlement of your car insurance claims.


You can find the list of tied-up garages on your insurance company’s website. Moreover, at the time of a claim, the insurance company, when notified, informs you about the nearest preferred garage where you can take your car for cashless repairs.

Yes, in each instance of claim the surveyor visits the garage to inspect the damages occurred. It is only after submission of the surveyor’s report that the claim is approved and the repair works begin.

An engine protect add-on covers the damages suffered by the car’s engine due to water-logging. Thus, in case of a claim due to damage of the car’s engine because of water-logging, engine protect rider ensures claim settlement.

In case of repairs at a non-networked garage, you would have to pay for the repair costs yourself. The bills would have to be collected and submitted with the insurance company for a reimbursement claim

No, car insurance companies pay a claim only if accidents occur within the India. If driving outside the borders of India and there is any accident, the car insurance claim would not be paid.