Planning on claiming or buying an insurance on your bike? Read this article before you do so.
The biggest pro in favor of owning an insurance contract is the ability to relatively hedge your risk against the case of an eventuality. Just like your health, home, and other assets, an insurance policy for your two-wheelers (scooters or bikes) is recommended for owners, protecting the vehicle against damage or theft. A certain amount must be paid as a premium to the insurer in return for a payout in case of damage or theft. In fact, all vehicles in India have to mandatorily be insured as per the law by the Government of India. Still, if you’re not sure about insuring your vehicle, or insurance in general, check out this article on insurance.
What is a bike insurance claim?
Your two-wheeler insurance policy would be essentially covering your bike against any damage or theft. Say you took a sharp turn on your bike and met with an accident, causing serious injuries as well as damages to your motorcycle. God forbid anything like this happens, but in case it does, your insurance provider will pay you for the financial losses once you have filed a motor insurance claim to the company (i.e. informing the motor insurance company and asking them for the compensation).
Types of bike insurance claims
You must first be aware of the (broadly) two types of bike insurance claims before applying for insurance:
a. Cashless claims: this type of claim allows policyholders to have their two-wheeler repaired without needing to pay upfront, as long as the bike is being taken for repair in a garage that is part of the insurers’ network. Your insurance company will directly pay the garage to get an insured bike repaired, which is convenient for you as a policy holder too.
b. Reimbursement claims: Not all insurance companies offer cashless claims. The policyholder of non-cashless insurance contracts will have to pay for repairs out of their own pocket, later filing a claim with the insurance provider to get a reimbursement of the expenses.
As mentioned in our article on things to note before buying health insurance, always prefer to go with the insurer providing cashless claims.
At the scene of the Accident
At the scene, turn on the hazard lights to alert the traffic of an accident and inform the police. Call an ambulance for medical assistance in case of any injury to you or anyone else involved in the accident. Do not make any statements remotely admitting guilt to the police, witnesses, other affected parties, or insurance adjusters regardless of whether it was your fault or not. Note the names and contacts of the other party and even witnesses, and if possible take photographs of the accident scene and note down any other information that seems relevant to you. If the other party (if any) was responsible, your insurance company will work directly with his/her insurer for the damage expenses.
If damages incurred by your vehicle exceed the limits mentioned in the policy, then your insurer may offer you an amount for the vehicle, less any deductibles. If you are unable to agree on a figure as a write-off, you should consider consulting a lawyer.
In case of an accident
If your vehicle is damaged due to an accident or other external means, inform your insurance provider first within a stipulated time (to avoid possible claim rejection).
Once informed, a surveyor will be appointed by the insurer, who will further investigate and examine the damages. The insurer will send an approval to a garage in their network to start with the repair work once the survey is completed. The repair expenses will be taken care of depending on whether the claim is cashless or reimbursement.
Some of the documents required include your proof of insurance, tax receipt, copy of the original FIR, original repair invoice and payment receipt (in case of reimbursed claims) and the discharge-cum-satisfaction voucher obtained from the garage with a revenue stamp.
In case your bike is stolen?
If your vehicle is stolen, file an FIR with your nearest police station immediately and inform your insurance company about the theft. You’ll need to submit documents related to your vehicle including the registration certificate, driving license, insurance document, original bike keys etc.
In the scenario of the vehicle not being found within a certain time, the police will issue you a non-traceable certificate, with which the insurer will settle the claim under the total loss category.
How to claim bike insurance – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is a No Claim Bonus?
No Claim Bonus is a reimbursement provided by some insurance companies at the expiry of the insurance policy for not making any claim requests during the period of the policy.
2) What does ‘claim status’ mean?
Claim status indicates the stage of the process of the claim and the steps remaining before completion.
3) Why is my bike insurance claim rejected?
There can be several reasons for the rejection of your bike insurance claim. Some of the most common reasons tend to be-
– Inaccurate details in the claim form
– Lack of a valid driving license
– Carrying of an expired two-wheeler insurance
– Accident due to drinking and driving
– Delay in informing the insurance company
– Claim documents not in order
– Please do not drink and drive!
4) What if I took a loan on the stolen bike?
The insurance amount is settled directly with the financier. The settlement amount varies according to the Insured Declared Value(IDV) stated in your policy document