Filing Claim for Your Stolen Vehicle
An unfortunate incident that has been rising at an alarming rate in India is your car or bike getting stolen just about from anywhere. It could be parked in your house or could be in front of the restaurant or movie theatre you are visiting. Finding your vehicle stolen after enjoying a good movie or a dinner can be easily classified as a shocking and traumatic experience. However, if you have your car stolen; it’s time to get beyond your shock and trauma and take some concrete steps especially if you do have a comprehensive insurance policy for your vehicle. Here we would walk you through the steps of filing a claim for your stolen vehicle.
Eligibility for filing a claim for a stolen vehicle
You can actually claim for your stolen vehicle and get almost complete to full reimbursement if you have purchased a comprehensive policy for your vehicle. It might be pointed out here that this facility is not covered under third party motor insurance which you must buy with every vehicle in India as per the law. It’s only a comprehensive insurance cover that protects against personal accident and liability; third party liability and finally theft. It also covers damages to your vehicle due to an accident. It is naturally more expensive than third-party insurance but is definitely worthwhile for all its advantages.
Steps for filing a claim for your stolen vehicle
When you come to know that your vehicle is missing, you might feel to be in a state of shock. However, you need to get above it and take some concrete steps so that you do not find yourself in any kind of soup. The below-mentioned steps would help you systematically tackle the disaster and get your reimbursement from the insurance company.
- Ensure that your vehicle is genuinely stolen
It might sound silly, but it has often proved right in many a case. It could be that your car has been towed away by the police or you just went to the wrong lane looking for your vehicle. Taking a minute to breathe and think instead of panicking straightaway might save you plenty of heartaches and hassle. If you are in the right lane, enquire from nearby shops and people if your car has been towed away. Once you have confirmed that your vehicle is genuinely stolen, you can move to the next step.
- Call/visit the police and file an FIR
Once confident that your car has indeed been stolen; it’s best that you inform the police about it as fast as possible and lodge an FIR with them. This increases the possibility of your vehicle being traced and found. While making an FIR, you would be required to provide your vehicle’s make and model number; it’s VIN, location, where it was last parked and all other relevant details. In case you have any tracking device or system in your car like the OnStar or LoJack, etc.; you must inform the police about it to make the job easier. After lodging the complaint; it is imperative that you get a copy of the FIR. It is best that you make several copies of it to take care of any contingencies.
- Intimate your vehicle insurance company
The next step to do is inform the insurer of your vehicle. You can simply call its customer support number and fill up the claim up. You might be asked a series of questions like all the vehicle details like make, model, etc.; details about when and where the theft occurred and finally whether you have lodged a police complaint or not. Most insurance companies always investigate a stolen vehicle claim thoroughly. Hence you need to be patient and co-operative with them.
- Submit all mandatory documents to your insurer
Once you have filled up the claim form; you must move to collecting all mandatory documents and submitting them to your insurer. These may vary from company to company. Generally, the important documents include the FIR report, the vehicle keys, RC Book, claim form, letter of subrogation, and all other relevant documents.
Time to get your claim reimbursed
Initially, you needed to file your claim within 24 hours of your vehicle been stolen but the bar has now been lifted and you can file your claim anytime. Still, it is advisable to file it as fast as possible. Usually, there is a waiting period during which the insurance company waits for the car to be recovered or traced back. This can vary from seven days to a month. Post it, the company reimburses you the amount as per its norm minus the deductible and the depreciation value.
Once you follow all these rules, you need not panic. You can relax and wait patiently and recover your losses.