Monday, May 25, 2009

VEHICLE INSURANCE - THINGS TO DO AND EXCLUSIONS TO WATCH OUT FOR

For all those who have vehicles and either have a vehicle isurance or are about to get one, there are few things which you need to keep in mind and check before you decide on the insurance provider. Lack of knowledge about the various standard policy details and exclusions at times results in unnecessary heartburn and difficulty for the vehicle owner. Following are the important points which you need to keep in mind with regard to your vehicle insurance.
THINGS TO DO
i. You must not take any action on the damaged vehicle -- repairs, moving the vehicle -- before the prior approval of the insurance company/ surveyor. Sometimes, an insurance company might decide to take a spot survey. It is important then that you keep the car at the accident spot till the survey is over.
ii. You must keep all replaced parts for inspection. Do not dispose them till the surveyor gives his/ her approval for the same.
iii. You should never enter into a compromise or make an out-of-court settlement with the injured or legal heirs of the deceased without the insurer's consent since these compromises or settlements are not payable in terms of insurance policy.
iv. The documents you need to deposit with your insurance company include the original bill of repairs/ replacements, cash memo, payment proof,etc, for finalisation/ disposal of your claim by the insurance company.
v. You cannot submit xerox copies of bills/ invoices to your insurance company. Do submit original bills.
vi. Once your claim is approved, arrange to deposit the salvaged/ damaged parts with your insurers. Else they may deduct the salvage value from the claim amount.
vii. Do cooperate with the advocate deputed by the insurance company.

EXCLUSIONS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Most insurance policies come with a set of exclusions that we almost never pay attention to.
i. There is a compulsory deduction made when you claim the loss amount. For example, IFFCO-TOKIO General Insurance Co Ltd deducts Rs 500 when a claim is made. This amount differs from company to company and is meant to protect against petty claims.
ii. Other exclusions under the package policies include wear and tear, breakdowns and consequential loss among others.
iii. But the most important exclusion, is the damage to tyres, tubes and other nylon, glass and plastic accessories.
Damage to tyres and tubes is not paid for unless the entire vehicle is damaged at the same time of accident. Liability is limited to 50 per cent of the cost of replacement.

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