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Don't get caught off guard: Mistakes that can get your car claims rejected

An expired or lapsed insurance policy renders your vehicle uninsured. If you meet with an accident during this period, your claim will be rightfully rejected.

car insurance

Sunainaa Chadha NEW DELHI
Hitting the road in India comes with its own set of challenges, and navigating car insurance claims can be just as tricky. While insurance is meant to provide financial protection in case of accidents or mishaps, there are certain mistakes that can lead to your claim being rejected. Here's a breakdown of some common pitfalls to avoid:

Driving without a valid licence:

This is a big no-no. A valid driving license is mandatory for operating a vehicle in India.  If you or the driver involved in the accident doesn't have a valid license, your insurance company will likely reject the claim entirely.

Not informing your insurance company on time

Timely communication is crucial.  Any delay in informing your insurer about an accident can raise suspicion and potentially lead to claim rejection. It's best to report the incident  as soon as possible,  adhering to the timelines specified in your policy documents.

Not understanding policy details

A primary reason for car insurance claim rejections is a lack of understanding about the specifics of the policy. Car insurance policies can be dense and full of industry jargon, which can be difficult to navigate without a clear understanding. Key elements such as deductibles, coverage limits, exclusions, and the fine print regarding the use of the vehicle must be understood fully.

Without this knowledge, you might find yourself in a situation where you assume coverage where none exists. It's essential to take the time to read through and understand your policy or consult with an insurance agent to clarify any points of confusion.

Delay in filing a claim
The timing of your claim is critical. Most insurance policies require that claims be reported soon after an incident occurs. Delays can complicate the claims process, as it becomes harder to accurately assess damage or determine fault. Immediate reporting not only facilitates a smoother claims process but also ensures that you comply with the procedural timelines stipulated by your insurance provider.

Not paying insurance premium
An expired or lapsed insurance policy renders your vehicle uninsured.  If you meet with an accident during this period, your claim will be rightfully rejected. Make sure your car insurance premiums are paid on time to ensure uninterrupted coverage.

Not Disclosing Modifications to Your Car:

Car modifications can alter the risk profile of your vehicle, potentially impacting the premium amount or even the validity of your policy. Failing to inform your insurer about any modifications, like aftermarket performance parts or CNG/LPG kits, can lead to claim rejection.

Using your car for commercial purposes

Most car insurance policies are designed for private use.  If you use your personal vehicle for commercial purposes like ride-hailing services or deliveries without informing your insurer and getting the appropriate coverage, your claim might be denied.

Providing Inaccurate Information:

Honesty is key.  Providing false or misleading information during the claim process,  be it about the accident details, the extent of damage, or even personal information, can be a serious offense.  This can lead to your claim being rejected and potentially legal repercussions.

Delaying Repair Work:

Unnecessary delays in getting your car repaired after an accident can raise red flags for the insurance company.  They might suspect you're trying to inflate the claim or have the car repaired elsewhere.  It's best to get a repair estimate from authorized workshops within a reasonable timeframe.

Not Cooperating with the Insurer:

The insurance company has the right to investigate your claim. This may involve  providing documents, attending inspections, or answering questions.  Any lack of cooperation or providing incomplete information can hinder their investigation and lead to claim rejection.

Not Including Proper Documentation

The importance of thorough documentation cannot be overstressed. From the moment an incident occurs, start compiling all relevant documentation: police reports, photographs of the incident, medical reports if there were injuries, and witness statements. This documentation is critical in substantiating your claim and ensuring that the insurance company has all the facts.
Not Knowing Your Policy Coverage:

Understanding your policy's terms and conditions is crucial.  Being unaware of exclusions or limitations in your coverage can lead to unpleasant surprises when your claim gets rejected. It's recommended to thoroughly read and understand your policy document before needing to make a claim.

With inputs from PTI

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First Published: May 16 2024 | 11:16 AM IST

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