How to file insurance claims if your vehicle is damaged due to recent cyclones

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NEW DELHI: Cyclone Tauktae and Yaas have caused damage to vehicles (cars and bikes) and loss to property in some parts of the country. Several districts in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, Karnataka, Kerala, and West Bengal have been flooded in the wake of heavy rainfall due to Cyclone Tauktae, Yaas.

Even parked vehicles are at risk as strong winds often uproot trees and electric poles, causing them to fall on these vehicles. Sometimes vehicles can get partially or fully submerged, which incurs a financial loss.

In case your vehicle has suffered damage due to natural calamities, you need to immediately inform the insurer about the losses so that they can help mitigate your hardships and make a settlement of eligible claims.

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“Natural disasters usually come under “Act of God” and it is always suggested to opt for comprehensive motor insurance coverage for protection against any kind of natural calamity,” said Indraneel Chatterjee, Co-Founder, RenewBuy Insurtech.

Comprehensive motor insurance policies help consumers during such calamities. Policyholders should reach out to the insurers immediately after a disaster for claim settlement. There are special helpline numbers that are set up to fast-track claim settlement requirements.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has instructed insurers that they should encourage the policyholders to use electronic communication wherever possible for correspondence while intimating the claim and filing all the relevant documents. “Efforts should be made to ensure that digital processes have resorted to the extent possible for assessment of claims,” said Irdai.

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As proof, you need to also submit a copy of the insurance policy along with relevant documents such as a driving licence, copy of registration certificate, etc., to your insurer electronically. “Due to technological advancements; policyholders can now click pictures and send them to insurers over WhatsApp for insurance claims,” said Chatterjee. Do not attempt to move the vehicle from the notified spot until and unless the inspection is completed by the surveyor.

Once the claim is filed, the Own Damage (OD) component of a comprehensive motor insurance policy will help you in settling the claim. The OD component covers any damage caused to your vehicle occurring due to any natural calamity or accident.

In comprehensive motor insurance cover, the amount insurers pay, depends on the age of the car, and the car’s insurance declared value. Chatterjee said, “All insurers except few covers add-ons till 5 years, some insurers also cover till 10 years.”

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However, your claims can get rejected if the vehicle is not registered in your name or the surveyor suspects foul play and files an unconvincing report. Depreciation on plastic components and tyres are usually not covered unless you have taken a zero-depreciation add-on with your policy. Moreover, if you don’t inform about the damages on time, the insurer can reject your claim.

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