You buy your dream car to travel every part of the country with luxury. How would you react on discovering that your car is missing? Someone stole your car. This is when your motorcar insurance comes into the picture. It is a comprehensive cover for personal accidents, natural and man-made damage caused to the vehicle. Filing a vehicle insurance claim after the theft of an automobile is not the same as filing the claim for any other reason. Theft is the total loss of value of the automobile and is equal to the complete destruction of the car in an accident that causes it to be written off as scrap. Car theft in India is widespread and some instances happen daily. Every day, 105 cars were stolen in the year 2016-17 (Ref: Indpaedia). To make a claim with motor insurance companies in India, your vehicle needs to be covered under the comprehensive insurance policy which includes third party cover, a loss or damage to the vehicle, accident, theft, and risks against natural calamities.
Here is how you can file a car insurance claim in case of theft
FIR – The insured must lodge the First Information Report (FIR) immediately. It is an official proof of the fact that the car has been stolen. It is the first and an important step to file your claim. Without this, you cannot claim your insurance. The car insurance cover requires the owner to take all the responsible steps to recover the loss due to the lost vehicle.
Informing the Regional Transport Office – One should notify the RTO about the theft of the vehicle. It will ensure that the thief does not transfer the vehicle to his or her name. One should inform the RTO in writing and submit the acknowledgement to the car insurance company. A copy of the RC book with a stolen endorsement must be obtained from the RTO. It should be submitted to the insurer.
Submit original car documents – To file a claim, the car owner should submit the original vehicle insurance policy document, tax invoices for the last year and other documents of the car.
Acknowledgement from car loan provider – If your car loan is not yet repaid, then you are bound to inform the lender and obtain a response from them. You should also submit the latest loan statements to indicate the total amount due.
Claim Form – Call the customer service centre of the insurance company and fill the claim form by giving all the necessary information which includes policy number, vehicle details, time and description of the incident. You will be required to submit the duly signed claim form, copies of the Registration Certificate (RC) of the vehicle, policy document and driving license.
Closure report – The police will try to investigate the loss and try to recover the car and submit their report stating that the vehicle could not be found. The court will close the case after this and a No Trace certificate will be submitted to the insurance company. The payout will be made only after the document is submitted.
Other documents – Your identity proof and a copy of your driving license should be submitted to the insurance company. Additionally, you will be required to provide an NOC for transfer of the vehicle to the insurance company along with a letter of indemnity on a stamp paper. You will have to transfer the RC of the stolen vehicle in favour of the company, hand over all sets of keys and give a letter of subrogation to the insurance company. Finally, you hand the documents over to the insurance company and claim.
Every insurance company follows the steps mentioned above for the acceptance and reimbursement of the claim. However, it is crucial for the vehicle owner to take immediate action and report the theft to the authorities. Motor Insurance companies in India offer quick processing and approval of the claim if you have purchased comprehensive motor insurance. It is important to note that in case the vehicle is taken on a loan, the insurer will have to reimburse the payout amount to the financier, and if there is any excess amount, it will be borne by the insured.