Vehicle Insurance Claim Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

on the laptop a man is submitting Vehicle Insurance Claim form.

This article is written by Vanshika Jaiswal from Galgotias University, Noida. The article gives an outline about the concept of proceeding with the vehicle insurance claim. This article also talks about the steps to take for handling the vehicle insurance claims or all the important aspects to know about the insurance claims.


As insurance is an intangible good, the true favour of the service is experienced at the time of a claim. In auto insurance, the claims procedure is straightforward and simple to comprehend. In the event of a claim, all insurance companies have a dedicated customer service line for policyholders to call.

The customer purchases insurance to protect his financial interests in the event that his vehicle is stolen or damaged. Therefore, a claim can be defined as the payment required to repair the vehicle in the event of loss or damage caused by an insured peril.

Claims are the most essential aspect of insurance, as it is this amount that provides assistance in the event of an emergency. When you have an immediate need for assistance, ignorance of the claim procedure can cause you to obsess over it. Therefore, as a policyholder, you must be well-versed in the car insurance claim process in India.

Types of Vehicle Insurance Claims

The following are the types of vehicle insurance claims under which a policyholder may seek compensation for a loss or damage.

Third Party Claim

In insurance terminology, Third Party refers to anyone other than the Insured and the Insurer. When a person is injured or killed by your vehicle, you may be held liable for third-party damages. When you hit and damage another person’s property, you may be held liable for third-party property damage. In this instance, the claim procedure is as detailed below.

In the event of a Third Party Claim, please follow the steps below to file a complaint with the Insurer.

  • Notify the insurance company immediately by phone or in writing.
  • File an F.I.R. with the local police and provide the insurance company with a copy.
  • The claim would be handled by the insurance company’s legal department.
  • The verdict would be rendered by the Third Party Claim Tribunal, which would also determine the claim amount that would be paid by the insurance company.

Accidental Damage to Vehicle 

In the event of accidental damage to the vehicle resulting from a road accident or intentional damage by a third party, the following steps must be taken to file a claim with the insurer.

  • Take the damaged vehicle to the nearest “cashless” or available garage.
  • The insurance company will dispatch a surveyor to evaluate the loss or damage to the automobile.
  • The insurance provider will be provided with a survey report.
  • If the loss or damage is covered by the auto insurance policy, the insurance company will approve your claim and notify you.
  • After the insurer has approved the report, the vehicle is repaired. In the event of a cashless claim, the insurance company pays the repair shop directly.
  • If you have your vehicle repaired at a garage other than the tie-up garage, you must pay the claim amount upfront and then apply for reimbursement.
  • Within the specified time frame, the insurance company transfers the funds to your bank account.

Vehicle Theft

If your vehicle is missing or you suspect it has been stolen, the steps below must be followed when filing a claim.

  • File an F.I.R. with the local police, detailing the date and time of the theft.
  • After filing an F.I.R, the police attempt to find your vehicle. If they fail to recover within the specified time, they will provide you with an untraceable report.
  • Along with the car keys, you should submit the non-traceable report to the insurance company.
  • The insurance company would pay you the lesser of the car’s Insured Declared Value or its Invoice Price (if opted as an add-on).

What are the Required Documents for Filing a Claim?

There are a number of considerations to keep in mind to ensure a smooth claim process for auto insurance in India. The submission of required documents is the primary and most vital aspect of submitting an online insurance claim. Whether an auto insurance claim is filed online or offline, these documents must be submitted. Here is a list of documents needed to file a claim for auto insurance:

  • Registration Copy of the vehicle’s Driving License Pollution Certificate (RC Book) (if necessary)
  • Police claim form duly completed and signed by the insured FIR. (if necessary)
  • Keys to the Vehicle (for theft & total loss claims)
  • KYC paperwork for the insured.
  • Cancel Cheque leaf ( for reimbursement and theft cases)
  • Any additional documents required for the processing of the claim.
  • Important Considerations When Filing a Car Insurance Claim

There are a number of considerations to keep in mind when filing an insurance claim, some of which are listed below:

  • Examine yourself and your vehicle immediately after an accident to confirm and determine whether you or the insured vehicle sustained significant bodily injuries or property damage. Depending on the severity of the damage or injury, you can request medical assistance or other assistance.
  • Do not delay in filing the claim, as doing so could lead to the denial of your auto insurance claim in the future.
  • In the event of an accident caused by a collision with other vehicles, attempt to record the vehicle number for verification purposes.
  • Do not submit any false or misleading information when filing a claim, as doing so will result in an immediate denial of your request.
  • In the event that a third party is harmed, do not engage in physical or verbal abuse. Inform a police official immediately in such situations.
  • Keep all the necessary documents on hand to avoid any complications when filing a car insurance claim.

What steps should you take if your insurance claim is denied?

The policyholder’s vehicle insurance claim may not be paid in full. Some claims are denied. A provider of insurance reserves the right to accept or deny a claim. Therefore, it is prudent to take the necessary precautions to prevent your claim from being denied.

  • Damages to your car due to carelessness
  • Unacceptable delay in submitting the claim
  • A false statement made with incorrect information
  • Inaccurate or misleading information presented when making a claim
  • Claims made for damages not covered by the insurance policy.
  • Having your vehicle repaired prior to or without informing your insurer
  • In the event that a claim is filed after the car insurance policy has expired, the policy will be void.
  • Not disclosing information, such as modifications to the insured vehicle, is a breach of contract.
  • Driving the insured vehicle without a valid licence
  • Your used vehicle’s insurance is still under the previous owner.
  • The owner/driver uses the vehicle for purposes not specified in the policy.
  • At the time of the collision, the insured driver was under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances.

Step-by-step guide to filing a car insurance claim if your vehicle has been damaged in an unavoidable accident:

  1. Inform the Insurance Provider: First and foremost, notify the insurance company as soon as possible via their toll-free number or email. You must submit a properly filled-out claim form along with the required documents to the insurance company, as well as take your vehicle to a repair shop to obtain an estimate of the damage. The forms are also available at the insurers’ offices and on their websites.
  2. Inspection: A surveyor will be dispatched by the insurance company to assess the damages. You will also receive a copy of the surveyor’s report, which will be forwarded to the insurer. Your vehicle will be sent to a network garage for repairs based on the surveyor’s findings. After the work has been completed, you will need to submit the signed repair invoice, payment receipt, and other documents to the surveyor, who will then forward them to the insurance company.
  3. Cashless Claim: If all documents are in order, your vehicle will be repaired at a network garage affiliated with the insurer. The insurance company will then settle the claim directly with the network garage using cashless claim settlement.
  4. Reimbursement Claim: In the event of reimbursement, you must first pay the garage where you had your vehicle repaired; the repair cost will then be reimbursed to your account in accordance with the policy’s terms and conditions. Remember that the insurance company will not reimburse your bills if they are not submitted immediately following the release of your vehicle from the garage. Therefore, you cannot hope to submit small bills at the end of the year.

Third-Party Claim Procedure for Vehicle Insurance

In the case of third-party insurance, the motor insurance claim procedure is slightly different. Follow these steps for a claim against a third party:

  • If a third party has sent you a legal notice requesting a claim, do not respond until you have informed your insurance company. Also, refrain from making any financial commitments or out-of-court settlements before consulting your insurer.
  • Forward a copy of the notification to your insurer.
  • You will also have to submit copies of the RC book of the car, the driving licence and the FIR. The insurer will verify the documents and assess the accident and if found satisfactory, you will get a lawyer appointed by them.
  • If the court orders you to pay damages to a third party, the insurance company will pay those damages directly to the third party. The amount of a third-party claim is determined by the age, occupation, and income of the third party.

Insurance Claim Procedure for a Stolen Vehicle

Here is how to file a claim for the theft of your vehicle if it has been stolen:

  • First, file a report with the police and submit an FIR.
  • Submit a copy of the FIR to the insurance company.
  • Once you receive the final police report (court-stamped, non-traceable report), make a copy and submit it to your insurer.
  • The insurance company will assign an investigator to continue investigating the claim. Comply with the investigator’s requests.
  • Wait for the approval of the claim.
  • Once the claim is approved, submit the stolen vehicle’s RC book to the insurance company.
  • The owner’s name will then be changed to that of the insurer.
  • Provide duplicate car keys along with a subrogation letter. The insurer will also require a notarized indemnity on postage stamp paper. After all procedures have been completed, the insurance company will pay out the claim. The claim amount will be equal to the vehicle’s Insured Declared Value.
  • It is crucial to be knowledgeable about the procedures involved in filing a car insurance claim.


Nowadays, all insurance providers have excellent customer service networks, so you must communicate with your insurer whenever necessary. If you have any questions about claims, resolve them in advance so that the process of filing a car insurance claim goes smoothly when the time comes. Keeping the aforementioned points in mind will make filing and receiving a third-party or comprehensive auto insurance claim much simpler. Whether you need to file a minor claim due to a minor accident or a major claim due to the theft of your vehicle, understanding the procedures will make the process much easier.

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