Car theft is not new news in India. Even it is a big problem because a huge number of car theft cases come every year. If you lost your car and have a comprehensive car insurance policy then you can file the theft claim. Third-party insurance does not provide you the coverage for own damage and theft loss. Let’s understand the theft claim process here.
What are the Steps of Theft Claim Process?
Under the theft claim, the insurance company pays you the claim amount. It something different from an accidental damage claim. Theft claim is also a lengthy process because here insurance company does a detailed investigation.
Police departments also do search and investigation to trace the car. So it take some more time in comparison to a damage claim.
You need to be very careful while processing the claim. Do the proper formalities and documentation. The claim process may vary from one insurance company to another one. However, following are the steps for the theft claim process for car insurance:
1- Inform to Your Insurance Company
Whenever your car is stolen, you should inform your insurer immediately. Notify the details of the incident and or situation to the company. Understand the company’s complete Theft claim process and formalities.
Also, you should call your insurance agent and explain the situation. Your insurance agent may also help you to understand the procedure and documentation. He may also help you to process the claim as soon as possible.
I can understand the situation if your dream car is stolen. At the same time, I will advise you to please be cool and calm. Don’t be panic.
2- Do FIR (First Information Report)
This is a very important point. FIR is a must in case of a theft. You should report the case immediately to your nearest police station. In case of the absence of FIR, your insurance claim may get rejected.
You should not do any kind of delay in reporting to the police. Unnecessary so much delay can reject your claim. Once you are sure about the theft of your vehicle then inform your insurer and police without any delay. You also mention your personal belonging in FIR if stolen any.
3- Intimation to RTO
The next step is to inform your RTO (Regional Transport Office). For legal purposes, you need to submit a theft intimation letter to your RTO. Submit a letter to the RTO where your vehicle was registered.
4- Claim Documentation
After doing all the above you have to submit all the required documents to your insurance company. Documents list and formalities may vary from one insurance company to another company.
Normally you have to submit following documents:
Driving License Copy
RTO Papers and Related Form
And other documents as per requirement
You should provide all the documents with proper care. Missing of any required documents may delay your claim process.
If you get any confusion at the time of claim documentation then you may take the help of your insurance agent. You can also take the help of an insurance company to understand the requirement properly.
5- No Trace Report
Another important document of your claim process is NO TRACE REPORT. The police department do the search operation for your vehicle on behalf of your FIR. Police try to recover the vehicle as soon as possible.
If the police do not find your vehicle even after searching many days (For a specific period) then they provide you a letter that is called NO TRACE REPORT. Now you have to submit the letter to your insurance company to finalize the claim.
6- Investigation by the Insurance Company
Simultaneously insurance company does their own investigation for your claim. Insurer tries to find out all the facts and figures. The company may do a detailed investigation to get that there no fraud elements available in the case.
If the company finds out any fraudulent activities in the claim or fake documents etc then the company can hold or reject the claim. Companies have their own resources to check the authenticity of all the documents and facts.
7- Approval of Claim and Settlement
After investigation and all documents (including No Trace Report) formalities company come on the final stage. If the company found all the things satisfactory the you get the final approval for your claim.
After the final approval company does the final formalities for claim settlement and then you get your claim amount. You get the final amount as per your policy terms and condition. You must cancel your RC in as per process and guideline.
What will be the Claim Amount in case of theft claim?
Normally final claim amount is paid according to the Insured Declared Value (IDV) of the car. Insurance companies may deduct some amount according to your policy terms.
In some cases, the insurer will pay the purchase amount of the vehicle. It is possible when you have Return to Invoice add on cover in your policy. In this case, your insurer will pay the invoice value of the car.
What if you are not satisfied with the claim amount?
What should you do if you are not satisfied with the final claim amount? If you think that the company is not paying the right amount or you have some doubt about it then hang on for a moment. You have many options that you can implement.
First you check that where is the gap in the amount and read your insurance policy terms & conditions. You take the help of your insurance agent or any other expert to understand the exact points.
If you are not satisfied then you can request to review the calculation for the claim amount. You should also mention your all valid points that why you should get a different amount.
if a company doesn’t give a satisfactory answer then you can opt consumer court or legal option also. If you are right then you can fight for it and your insurer will have to pay you the satisfactory claim.
What about your personal belonging? Will you get the claim of LOPB?
Loss of personal belonging (LOPB) is normally not covered in a basic comprehensive insurance policy. To get the coverage for the belonging item you need to purchase a separate add on cover in your insurance policy.
If you have this add on then the company will be liable to pay claim for the personal belonging. Whenever you purchase this add on cover then please read its terms and condition properly. There may be some inclusions and exclusion in the cover which you should know.
You should not assume that company will pay claim for the all personal belonging which you will lose in any theft. One more thing you should mention your lost item in the FIR.
What may be the reasons if your claim denied by the company?
Ideally, insurance companies do not reject any claim without any valid reasons. Your claim may be rejected by the company due to any valid reasons. So you need to take care of those points.
Once you should go through your policy wordings. So that you can get the details of terms of the insurance policy. Here are some points which may be the reasons for claim rejections:
You should provide the correct vehicle registration type to the insurer. For example, you have purchased your policy for private cars but your vehicle is registered as a commercial. In this case company may reject the claim.
Another case, You have a private car insurance policy for your car but you are using your vehicle as a commercial then also the company may reject your claim.
Your insurance company may also reject your theft claim because of some of your negligence behavior also. This is your responsibility that you will take all the necessary step to safeguard the vehicle.
But if do the thing like – you leave your car key inside of the car and door is unlocked also or you parked your car in an unsafe place or you have forgotten your key somewhere and you didn’t do FIR or Intimation to your company.
All these may be considered as your negligence behavior and the company can reject the theft claim of your car.
Insurance not transferred
This mostly happens in the case of a used car. You have purchased a used car and transferred the vehicle in your name. But you have not transferred the insurance policy in your name.
You have also not purchased any new insurance policy for your vehicle. Then in that case company is liable to pay a claim.
Misrepresentation of fact related to theft
Any misrepresentation of fact related to the theft of a vehicle can be the reason for claim rejection. If you have taken the wrong no claim bonus discount or wrong anti-theft discount then also the company may reject the claim.
So, you should be very careful while providing your details. You should nor provide any wrong details to the insurer.
Why insurance company may reject your vehicle theft claim if you don’t submit all the keys?
Normally you get two sets of keys at the time of purchasing the vehicle. That’s why the company supposed to get two keys from you at the time of theft claim. The company may reject your theft claim if you submit only one key or no key. Maybe you have misplaced it.
The company want to recover both the keys from you because the insurance company wants to ensure that there is no intention of fraud from your side.
Insurer also want to ensure that you have taken all the necessary step to safe your vehicle. Company normally denied the claim in case of negligence behavior from your side.