For most Indians, owning a car is a symbol of prestige and an indication that they’re doing well for yourself. We think of it as an investment, and spend a significant amount of time on the purchase decision, and because we believe in safeguarding our assets (and also because the government has made it mandatory!), we insure our vehicles. But sometimes, when calamity strikes, and we need to rely on this insurance, our claim gets rejected.
Though only third party car insurance is mandatory by Indian Law, car owners usually opt for a comprehensive car insurance policy as well since it provides protection against damage inflicted on your own car as well.
After taking this precautionary measure, it can get frustrating to not only have your car damaged, but also have your insurance claim for the same rejected.
Let’s look at some reasons why this may happen:
1. Getting car repaired before filing a claim
This is one of the most common mistakes made – hurrying to get your car repaired before the insurer has had a chance to assess damage. It is important to always intimate your insurance company first so that an authorized personnel from their end can understand what happened, inspect your vehicle, and comprehend the extent of damage. In many cases, they can also help you get the best deal for the repairs.
Also, it is important to file your claim within the specified time period as per your policy, failing which the claim can get rejected.
2. Using it for an alternate purpose
While taking an insurance policy on your car, you are required to state the purpose for which the vehicle will be used. If you have stated that it is for personal use, but while investigating, the insurer finds that it was used for commercial purposes, the claim will most likely be rejected. It is always better to be truthful right at the very start. Also, if there is a change in the usage purpose of your car, you should contact your insurer immediately, and intimate them about the same.
3. Undeclared modifications to car
Your insurer needs to be kept updated about any modifications you, or the previous owner of the car- in case it’s a second-hand vehicle- may have made. Be it cosmetic or engine-related, all changes made to the car that alter it from its factory standard must be declared, else, your claim can get rejected. Even CNG/LPG kits, roof racks and paintwork are considered modifications, and hence, it is important to be aware of any such aspects and apprise the insurance company of the same.
4. No transfer of ownership
Insurance is taken in the driver’s name and not in the car’s name, and hence, in case you are buying a used or second-hand car, it is essential that you complete the transfer formalities at the time of purchase. Failure to do so can lead to any future claim getting rejected since the policy will be considered invalid.
5. Driver-related issues
The person driving the car at the time of the accident will be investigated as well, and should pass certain criteria, such as the possession of a valid driving license, and not being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Not satisfying these conditions will cause the claim to be rejected.
In addition, there are other cases such as continued use of the car once it has been damaged, parking in a no-parking zone, car being occupied by people exceeding the legal number of passengers allowed, etc. that can lead to a filed insurance claim being rejected.
While you have taken the wise decision to take an insurance policy on your car, it is also important for you to ensure that you do not make any of the above mistakes. After all, what is the use of a sound insurance policy, if damages cannot be claimed!
"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom"- Aristotle -
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