CLAIMING INSURANCE AFTER VEHICLE THEFT There are a number of reasons to claim insurance for vehicles. Damage during an accident, damage ...
CLAIMING INSURANCE AFTER VEHICLE THEFT
There are a number of reasons to claim insurance for vehicles. Damage during an accident, damage due to third-party act, and damage due to own fault and loss of the vehicle due to theft is usually the major reasons for filing a claim of insurance. However, it is easier said than done. We often see a number of insurance claims fail, leading to the filing of cases in consumer courts.
If you own one or more vehicles (for personal use), then it is imperative that you know the process of filing a claim and the things to be vigilant in order to successfully process your insurance claims. This article will deal with the steps which should be undertaken in event of loss of the vehicle due to theft.
Steps to be undertaken before filing an insurance claim:
As soon as the owner discovers the theft of the vehicle, he/she must immediately call on 100 and inform the PCR of the theft. The time of this call should be noted down. No delay must be caused in making this call. It is highly recommended that the call be placed as soon as possible. This ensures that if the vehicle is used for any criminal activity, the owner is not held liable.
After calling on 100 or informing the PCR, you need to register an F.I.R (or file a lost-vehicle report) of the stolen vehicle under section 379 of Indian Penal Code. Registration of F.I.R is mandatory and the copy of this F.I.R is a fundamental document to file a claim of insurance later-on.
It is extremely important to register a complaint as soon as possible. If any delay is caused, recovery of the stolen vehicle becomes very difficult, especially if the vehicle crosses the State border. If the delay is caused without any reasonable explanation, and meanwhile some criminal activity has been committed using the stolen vehicle, then the criminal liability for such crime will be placed on the owner of the car. Thus, immediate registration of complaint saves you from many problems.
F.I.R can be registered either physically at the nearest Police Station or through the online portal. Each state has its own online website (or mobile application) for this purpose. You can obtain the information for the same by calling on PCR or dialing 100.
For instance, for the state of Panjab, you can register a lost-vehicle report through www.ppsanjh.in. For NCT Delhi, you can go to http://www.delhipolice.nic.in/ and for the state of Uttar Pradesh, you can visit Uttar Pradesh Police portal here.
Your application must contain the following details:
1. Time of the theft, and the last time you saw the vehicle.
2. Place of Theft or parking address from where it was stolen.
3. Details of the vehicle (color, model, registration number, and other crucial details).
4. Photos of the vehicle. (if any)
5. Items and documents that were stolen along with the vehicle.
6. Attach all important documents along with the application like your Driving license, RC, insurance certificate etc.
Once you register a Lost Vehicle Complaint, you will receive a signed F.I.R copy. If you register online, a signed F.I.R copy will be sent on your registered email id. Keep this copy safe as it will be used for various legal formalities.
Also, remember to inform the RTO of the theft as well as the documents lost along with the vehicle.
Steps to file an Insurance claim:
Keep the following documents ready:
· Copy of the F.I.R
· Driving License
· Registration Certificate of the stolen vehicle
· Insurance certificate (make sure your insurance certificate is not expired)
· Original vehicle-keys
· NOC from the bank (in case the vehicle was taken on loan)
· Loan Agreement copy in case the loan on the vehicle is not fully paid
In case you have lost the documents along with the vehicle, then use Photostat or scanned copies of the documents. It is advisable to immediately apply for duplicates after you discover the loss of documents.
If you have lost the original vehicle keys, then you need to file a report of the same with the nearest Police Station or online. A copy of this report will be attached along with the insurance claim.
In case the vehicle is lost under someone else’s watch, then a copy of that person’s driving license needs to be attached as well. Please note that if the vehicle was lost by an under-age person, then the insurance claim will fail. Similarly, if a non-commercial vehicle is used for commercial purposes and lost while under commercial use, then again the insurance claim will fail.
Follow these steps to file a successful insurance claim:
1. Inform the insurance company of the theft. You can either submit a written application or call the customer-care of the Insurance Company. If you are submitting an application, write a detailed application, attach all necessary documents along with a copy of the F.I.R.
2. You must inform the Insurance company of the theft within one-week or sooner if possible. No unnecessary delays should be caused at this stage.
3. After you inform the insurance company of the theft, they will usually send an agent to collect the documents. Make sure that you submit proper documents as mentioned above along with a copy of the F.I.R.
4. Remember to take a “Documents Received” note from the agent. This is very crucial and many people tend to miss out on this point.
5. If the vehicle is not recovered within 60-days, then a “vehicle untraceable” declaration must be obtained from the Police Station. The same needs to be attached to the documents of an insurance claim.
Points to Remember:
· In spite of attaching proper documents, there is a chance that the Insurance claim will be refused. In such a scenario, you can file a case in Consumer Court and claim your insurance amount along with compensation.
· If an insurance agent is not sent within 15 days, then you need to keep reminding the insurance company. Don’t expect that the insurance company will willingly honour your call or application.
· Make sure that you receive and note down your complaint number, claim number, application number etc. for future reference.