Picture this; you are in your car on your way to office when you meet with an accident. You walk away unharmed but it’s not the same with your car. The accident had clipped the rearview mirror, you start to worry about the repair costs. Then you realise, “oh well! I have car insurance”. But what if we told you claiming your car insurance isn’t always the right course of action. Although, there aren’t any hard and fast rules with claiming car insurance, one should have some basic insights on when to claim and when not to claim car insurance.
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When to claim car insurance
It becomes second nature to file an insurance claim every time your car gets involved in an accident. And why should you not? After all, car insurance is supposed to protect you from financial burden with costly car repairs and it is your right to exercise your car insurance.
When the repairs are expensive
When there is major damage to the car e.g. structural damage, mechanical damage, flood/fire damage with the repairs estimates exceedingly high. It makes the best sense to immediately contact your agent and file an insurance claim.
In case of an injury
In the event of an accident, if the occupant in your vehicle or any other vehicle involved or a pedestrian is injured, you should immediately file an insurance claim to prevent legal proceedings.
When the vehicle is a Total Loss
A vehicle is declared a “Total Loss” when the overall repair cost of the vehicle exceeds 75% of its IDV (Insurance Declared Value). In such a case, the insurance company will reimburse the current IDV (minus compulsory deductibles) of the vehicle.
When NOT to claim car insurance
- NCB (No Claim Bonus)– As the name suggests, is a reward for the insured by the insurer for not filing an insurance claim.
- Deductibles– These are applicable deductibles which are levied by the insurance company after a claim is filed.
- Future Premium– In this context, this is the premium you are going to pay, which may increase if multiple claims for the same vehicle are filed.
These are the 3 key factors that will be affected in case of an insurance claim. Take a look.
When the repair costs are minimal
If the damage to the vehicle is surface like a minor dent or a scratch or a broken mirror and the repair costs are meagre, it makes absolutely no sense to file an insurance claim. Claiming insurance in such case will roll back the NCB (No Claim Bonus) to zero and you will lose out on a discount on your insurance renewal.
When the loss is greater than the claim amount
Before filing a claim, always calculate the mandatory deductible you will be paying from your end and if the loss turns out to be greater than the claim amount, it is wiser to pay for the damages from your own pocket.
When the claims are frequent
Car Insurance is based on the equation of risk and a higher risk equals to a higher premium. All insurance companies keep track of the claim history of the insured. Frequent claims can adversely affect future premium amount during renewal. This is specifically worrying if you live in an accident-prone area.
When the third party pays for the repairs
If in an accident, the third party is found at fault, you can save yourself the hassle and let the other party’s insurer pay for your repairs. In this way, you can save your NCB benefits.
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