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According to the response to an RTI (Right to Information) query made by a popular daily publication in India, the overall crime rate in India dropped during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. However, in the same year, motor vehicle theft cases increased.
In 2020, about 2801 cases of motor theft were registered in Mumbai, out of which about 2019 cases were of two-wheelers, 185 were of cars, and the remaining cases were of other vehicles like tempos and rickshaws. Car is an asset and if your vehicle gets stolen it may be a great inconvenience, apart from the financial loss.
As per the Motor Vehicles Act, if you are a car owner, you must compulsorily have at least a valid third-party insurance cover. Car insurance gives you the financial safety net against the losses that you may incur due to accidental damages and theft.
However, to claim the losses due to car theft from the insurance company, you must follow a specific process, which we discuss below.
As soon as you know about your car theft, you must immediately file a complaint at the nearest police station and a copy of an FIR (First Information Report). It is the foundation for filing a claim with the insurance company. So, under no circumstance you can skip this step.
After you file a complaint and get an FIR, you must inform your insurance company about the theft along with the policy details. The insurer may also ask you to submit a copy of the FIR to initiate the further claim process. It is better to inform the insurance company as soon as possible so that you can set the ball rolling and get the compensation without any delays.
You must also inform the Road Transportation Office (RTO) about the car theft. As per the law, it is a mandatory requirement. You must get the transfer papers from the RTO, which is one of the critical documents you would need during claim settlement.
After you have informed all the necessary authorities, it is time to start gathering the necessary documents to underpin your car insurance claim request. You must submit the following documents:
• The original FIR obtained from the police station
• Copy of the policy documents
• Copy of driving license
• The original keys to the stolen vehicle
• Copy of the vehicle RC
• Transfer papers received from RTO and duly signed by the authorised RTO office
• Copy of forms as requested by the insurer
• Copy of the claim request form duly signed
You must get the no-trace report, which is also known as an untraced vehicle report from the police station. This document essentially states that your stolen vehicle cannot be located. Once you have this document, you can be certain that your insurance claim request will be processed and approved. Remember, the police generally need about 30 days from the date of filing the complaint to generate this report.
As you go through the steps mentioned above, when you inform the insurance company about the theft, they may appoint a team of investigators to trace your car. The team may also help you get necessary documents from the policy authorities. Generally, these investigations take about 45-60 days, so be patient.
Another important thing to remember is that from the date of filing a complaint, if your car is untraceable, the insurance company may take about 90 days to generate the IDV (Insurance Declared Value) of your car. It is the maximum value of your car as assessed by the insurer.
Once you start the claim process, follow the steps correctly. Don’t get frustrated or fret about the long procedures involved. Do your part well and be patient. The insurer will sanction your claim if you have followed the rules correctly.
At Kotak General Insurance, we provide full support to all our customers in filing their claim for car theft. If you have any queries or doubts about the process or need help, you can get in touch with us through phone (toll-free number 1800 266 4545) or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
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