Buy add-on covers to protect against damage due to natural calamities

There are a few essential things to keep in mind while making the claims.
In the past six months, many states have been hit by cyclones, earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters, and properties, cars and other goods have been damaged in many households. For those, who have adequate insurance, this would be the time to make claims. 

Take for instance, in case of a car, Sajja Praveen Chowdary, head of Motor Insurance, PolicyBazaar says: “Accidents are just one risk that can happen. The general cost of an accident is in the range of Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000. Loss due to a natural disaster can be much higher. For example, 75 per cent of your car gets damaged when it is washed away with water or a big tree falls on it. These are large claims. It’s important to have a comprehensive auto insurance policy with adequate riders or add-ons.”
Bisheshwari Singh, chief marketing officer, Universal Sompo General Insurance, adds: “A comprehensive car insurance covers not only third-party liabilities and losses, but also damages.”


While natural calamities are automatically covered under Motor Insurance, and Own Damage (OD) policies cover damages on account of natural calamities, damages on account of “consequential losses” and depreciation are the major exclusions under motor policies.

For example, engine damage due to hydrostatic loss during monsoon is a common consequential loss. During the rains or cyclones, there’s a high possibility that water will enter the engine of your car. This occurs when you try to start the car while it is in water, resulting in engine damage. 
Your regular motor insurance policy does not cover this damage, as it becomes “consequential damage”. 

Sanjay Datta, chief, underwriting and claims, ICICI Lombard General Insurance, says: “Add-ons such as engine protect and zero depreciation which cover such exclusions should be purchased along with the policy.”
There are a few essential things to keep in mind while making the claims. Start the process as soon as possible and take video or photos immediately so that you have proof of the damage. Also, if you can’t submit documents digitally, do it physically at the garage or to the claims’ manager. Some companies, through their app, also allow vehicle inspection digitally.

Datta says: “In case of repair claim, a re-inspection is conducted by the insurer after the garage has repaired it to check the quality depending on the claim value/repairer history.”

For a repair claim, an invoice needs to be submitted. In case the vehicle is repaired at a partner garage, the claim would be settled in a cashless mode, wherein the customer only needs to pay the balance amount to the garage.

Otherwise, payment would be made to the customer upon receipt of the required documents. Claim amount against damages to the vehicle is limited to Insured’s Declared Value available in the policy.

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