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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Kerala floods: What you should know about claiming insurance for damaged vehicles and property

Luckily the claims settlement process has been simplified and deadlines have been extended to address the crisis.

Written by Adhil Shetty | New Delhi |
Updated: August 25, 2018 10:55:04 am
Man pours water out of flooded home People clean their houses after the flood in Chengannur in Kerala. (Express Photo by Vignesh Krishnamoorthy)

The flood waters are receding in Kerala now, but people’s struggles aren’t over yet. To restore their homes, vehicles and other property, people who have insurance will have to turn to insurance companies. Luckily the claims settlement process has been simplified to address the crisis. India’s insurance regulator has asked insurance companies to expedite the process of registration and claim settlement for anyone affected by the floods.

How to go about it

The first and foremost thing to do is to inform the insurance company either in writing or by calling them. Do not delay this, even if you don’t have immediate access to your insurance document. In case you’ve lost the policy document, inform the insurer by calling their toll free number.

The claim should ideally be registered within the duration specified in your policy document, but in this case the deadlines have been extended by insurance companies. The insurer will contact/visit you within 48 hours.

Here is how you can claim for home and motor insurance coverage:

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Motor insurance

Damage to the engine is covered by basic car insurance as long as it’s not a consequential loss. So, if your vehicle has been standing in a waterlogged condition, do not start the engine as any damage caused due to the ignition will be regarded as negligence, and won’t be covered.

In order to aid those who have lost documents due to the floods, insurance companies have waived the need for documents if there’s a soft copy of the registration certificate online. All you need to do is share basic details with the insurer like your name, vehicle number and phone number and the insurance company will get your policy details.

Home insurance

Home insurance covers all loss and damage caused to a home due to theft, burglary, natural calamities, aircraft crash etc. A miscellaneous property insurance gives you the option of protecting the contents of your home as well. Go through your policy document or call up the insurer to understand the inclusions and exclusions in your insurance. Unlike theft or burglary, property damage due to a flood doesn’t require you to file an FIR.

Just assess the extent of your loss and register the claim with the name of the policyholder and other details such as the PAN number, date of birth and other particulars stating the damage. Following the registration of your claim, an assessor will visit you to survey the damage and assess the value in order to cover your losses. However, remember, wear and tear of your property due to negligence will not be covered.

Protecting oneself from natural calamities is not possible, but being ready for the aftermath is possible through insurance. And times like this make us wonder how prepared we are financially to cope with such natural disasters. Take preventive measures by buying property and vehicle insurance to protect yourself against any such unforeseen circumstances.

What insurance you need

When it comes to insuring your car, owning a vehicle insurance is mandatory. However, opt for a comprehensive insurance instead of a basic third-party liability cover, as a comprehensive policy will also cover damage to your car. You can opt for add-ons like engine protection to secure your car from damage caused by water ingress, or hydraulic lock. A zero-depreciation add-on, or a return-invoice add-on, allows you to reclaim the full value of the parts or the car instead of depreciated value. Some insurance products also offer towing of the vehicle to the nearest garage and overnight accommodation as well.

Home insurance on the other hand can be bought by both the home owner, and people living on rent. You can insure the structure of the house, and the contents inside. The premium for such insurance will depend on the value of the items you are insuring and the strength of the insurance. You can specifically choose to insure precious items in your house. However, check for the inclusions and exclusions of a policy when you buy one.

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The writer is CEO, BankBazaar. The article has been published in collaboration with BankBazaar. Opinions expressed are that of the author.

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