How to Claim Motor Insurance for Vehicles Damaged in Cyclones?

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The testing times of COVID-19 became more concerning for India due to Cyclones Tauktae and Yaas. Both cyclones caused massive destruction on the infrastructural and agricultural front. Many died, many became homeless. Many are left with more stress and financial losses to bear as their vehicles are damaged too. Vehicle damage means a massive financial loss for the owner, but not when they have insurance.

Motor insurance policy buyers should always keep in mind that natural disasters come under the Act of God. Keeping the same in mind, comprehensive motor insurance is highly recommended so that if a natural calamity occurs and causes damage to the insured vehicle, policyholders remain unaffected by the unexpected financial losses. Own Damage (OD) component of the policy also plays a significant role as it helps with the settlement of claims in cases of the insured vehicle being damaged due to natural calamities like storms, flash floods, earthquakes, and landslides.

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Whenever a natural calamity takes place and the motor insurance policyholder finds their car or bike damaged, the first thing they must do is collect photographic evidence of the damage. Multiple pictures of the damaged vehicle should be taken before reaching out to the insurance company on the toll-free number and registering the claim. Necessary documents like photo proof of the damaged vehicle, a copy of the driving license & registration certificate, and others along with a copy of the insurance policy are required from the policyholder’s end.

Whether the policyholder has comprehensive insurance or own damage insurance, they can easily get their claims settled. Policyholders can also call on special helpline numbers that are available for fast-track settlements. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has also suggested insurance companies to promote electronic communication for claim intimation and subsequent document verification. So, the policyholder can submit all necessary documents electronically without facing any inconvenience.

Once the required documents of the insured vehicle are submitted, a surveyor is appointed for physical verification of the vehicle on-spot. Motor insurance policyholders are advised not to move their damaged vehicle from the notified spot till the time the official inspection is completed. Moreover, the damaged car or bike should not be repaired before reaching out to the insurer. The amount to be paid by the insurer depends on the age of the vehicle as well as it is Insurance Declared Value. Policyholders can easily check the claim status on the insurance company’s website.

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A motor claim can easily be settled, however, there are chances that it may get denied as well. As far as reasons are concerned, there are many. n It is important to be aware that commercial use of the car or bike insured may also lead to the rejection of claims. Damage to plastic components and tyres in the absence of a zero-depreciation add-on is also one of the causes of claim rejection. However, policyholders can always prevent claim rejection by being honest and on time.

In the uncertain times, we are living right now, every individual need to safeguard themselves, their loved ones, and belongings with insurance. Health and motor insurance are the two prime areas of protection that one must focus on by all means. Let us not forget that no matter the challenges we face in the future, we will always be financially and emotionally secured with insurance.

(By Ankit Agrawal, Co founder and CEO InsuranceDekho)

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