Going through an experience of having any damages to your car resulting from an accident, total loss due to stolen by someone, or any other vandalism attempt (remember Lahore clash in 2014 where a so called vandal smashed many parked vehicles during a public rally) can be very stressful. Only get in touch with your insurance company to notify them or Police once you are calmed down from the situation and have dealt with the initial emergency aspects after following an accident. The setions below, explain what you need to know regarding making a car insurance claim in Pakistan following any accidental damages to your vehicle, total loss or any vandalism attempt made by someone arbitrarily.
Having a car insurance (specifically a comprehensive plan) is not very common in Pakistan however, the trend is growing after consumers are becoming more aware of its benefits. One must wonder how to claim insurance after a car accident. Getting your car insured might be one thing, but claiming an insurance is an entirely separate matter. Arbitrary from the considerations of getting your car insured, claiming your insurance after you are involved in an accident is a very thorough and fine process. It will involve the inspection and evaluation of even the smallest of details or ideas that do not come directly to mind. The process goes through the initial notification to the insurance company, the detailed investigation conducted by the Insurer, making coverage decision by the Insurer, negotiating the settlement where possible, and making the final payment to the Insured (you in this case).
Immediate Things to Do
Given the conditions of the roads, the quality of traffic control in almost all cities of Pakistan and the freedom that drivers tend to enjoy, cars are more prone to accidents in almost all cities around Pakistan. After you are involved in an accident (may God protect you), it is important to evaluate your surroundings rather than making an impulsive decision. Try to shift your car to a safe nearby location like at a safe side of the road to avoid any road block or any further damage to you or your car. If you have your family with you, transfer them at the safe location as well if possible otherwise better to wait for the emergency services.
In cases of an accident with a 3rd party car, immediately ask them about their personal details i.e. name, CNIC as well as their insurance status. Record such details for future reference. You need not making unnecessary statements in front of the 3rd party or any witness. Assess the conditions of the accident that is the condition of the road, traffic density and the manner in which the accident took place. Gather details about the damages done to your car and the injuries that were inflicted to all parties involved. You might as well take pictures of the accident scene. Bear in mind, that this is subject to the kind of insurance that covers you. Also, you will need to keep the following information ready before you notify your Insurer or police:
– Your car insurance policy number
– Your details ( name, address and phone number)
– Car details (make, model, registration number)
– Place where the accident occurred along with date and time of this incident
– Current state of your car (movable or immovable)
Notifying your Insurance Company About the Incident
It is now time for you to contact your insurance company. They (for example Jubilee General Insurance, Adamjee Insurance, Askari General Insurance, IGI Insurance, UBL Insurers, Crescent Star Insurance etc.) might ask for your insurance or your policy number at first and that is given on your insurance certificate. They will then indulge with you regarding the details of the accident; the parties involved, damage made to the car or individual, a verbal explanation of how the accident occurred. They might also ask if you need towing assistance. In an instance when your car cannot be driven, they might send you towing facilities to get your car towed to a location. On an entirely separate level, it might not be a bad idea to lodge a FIR of the incident or to consult your attorney regarding any possible legal action the needs to be taken. Even though lodging a FIR is optional but Insurers do want to know if you have reported to the police and want to know of the FIR number in case of any fatal incident.
Investigation and Claim Processing by the Insurance Company
Insurers will send a surveyor to analyze the scene of the incident, damage of the car who will then prepare a report of the incident for submitting back to the Insurance Company. After all the necessary documentation is prepared including claim form submission, the insurance company will investigate further, analyze the damage and will decide what will be covered and how much settlement payment will be made to Insured. Normally you will have to wait for 7 to 30 days in accordance with the company’s insurance policy provided to you at the time of getting your car insured. After an agreement is reached by the Insurer for the settlement figure, Insurer will issue the payment which may be in the form of a cross cheque to benefit of the insurer. However, based on the Insurer’s policy, these payments can directly go to their approved repair workshop.
Is it Necessary to Make an Insurance Claim?
It totally depends upon you and based on the incident you went through. If the accidental damage is minimal and the overall bill to repair it is not significant, then it is wise that you do not claim your insurance but rather deal with this personally. The insurance no claim bonus has the direct impact on the premium you will pay the next year. If you make a claim then you are letting go of your no claim bonus and henceforth you will have to pay an increased insurance premium the next year. If you have not claimed any accidental damage in past against your car insurance policy, you will be classified as a safe driver who presents less risk to the insurance company than an insured who has been claiming accidents multiple times. To deal with such a situation in a better and calmed way, we strongly suggest you reviewing your car insurance policy documents thoroughly including the specific details of your Insurer’s claim process so that you are well prepared in case you have to submit an insurance claim following an accident.
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