The current flood situation in Chennai is a great reminder that ill fate can befall us any time. And, a similar situation had wrecked havoc years back in Mumbai as well. Floods, resulting from heavy downpour, can really do a number on your vehicles. So, if you ever find your car stranded or submerged in water, not everything might be lost. Here’s a quick guide on how one should go about insurance claims.
First things first:
It is best to inform your insurance company about the situation you and your car might be in. This helps, as the company representative will guide you through all the pre-requisites about registering a claim in such a situation. The last thing one needs is for the claim to be rejected on grounds like a lack of image as evidence.
Call your dealer friend:
If you have good relations with the service advisor of your authorised service station - which you should – it’s also a good idea to call him/her and tell them of your situation. If nothing else, they should be able to tell you the exact procedure the respective service station or carmaker follows with insurance-related claims.
The insurance company will send their representative to assess the car. He will inspect the vehicle, analyse it and based on the observations prepare a report and inform you about what all will be covered. It is a good idea to have your dealer friend around at this time as he might be able to get you better coverage on some technical aspects. If uncontested, there are hardly any hassles when it comes to claims. These are cleared easily as well.
Get the right policy:
OK, so this should be the starting point. But, it’s never too late. Get a zero depreciation policy as it covers everything including natural calamities. Else, pay extra and include natural calamity to your insurance policy. Things like floods might be uncommon, but a falling coconut or a tree or even a large stone being flung at your windshields or windows by a passing truck are lot more common than you think.
However, a dealership won't start rectifying your vehicle until the insurance agents inspects the vehicle completely, creates a report and gives the dealership the green signal.
Don’t be a hero:
No matter how mechanically inclined you might be, don’t try and be a hero. Don’t try and start the car yourself. If nothing else, it will ruin your chances when it comes to getting a handsome claim on your insurance policy. Make sure you inform and register a claim before trying to bring your car back to life on your own. In case an attempt is made to start the vehicle, and if water enters the engine, it becomes difficult to pass a claim. Many insurance companies might not cover this and you might find yourself in a tight spot.