What to Do After a Car Accident: A Guide to Filing a car Insurance Claim

According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, nearly 1.5 lakh people die every year on Indian roads, with an average of 47 accidents and 18 deaths every hour. There can be many reasons for road accidents, such as high speed, improper roads, drunk driving, etc. In all of these cases, there will be property damage and bodily injury. Besides accidental deaths, many accidents occur on Indian roads, which do not result in deaths but result in property damage. One must at least have a third party insurance policy while driving on any Indian road as per the Motor Vehicles Act. Accidents resulting in third-party property damage are covered under the temporary protection section of your car insurance claim policy.

The main question during an accident is how to proceed with the settlement. In India, it is common to settle minor accidents resulting in bodily injury or property damage by paying a certain amount. But having a comprehensive vehicle insurance policy can save you money and time by accommodating your legal liability. One should not panic and run away from the scene, thinking that they can escape the law. It is best to assess the situation and act accordingly. If you feel a threat to your life, it is better to drive your car to a nearby police station, surrender there and describe the incident rather than feeling the scene.

Below is a guide to understanding the car insurance claim process that must be followed in the event of non-payment in cash as well as payment in the event of an accident involving your insured car:

Steps to Follow for Car Insurance claim After an Accident:

1. Filing a damage claim is the same as filing a third-party auto insurance claim.

  • Contact your insurance company immediately after the accident and tell them about the damages.
  • Report the incident to the police and obtain an FIR.
  • Record details of the vehicle, driver and witnesses in the FIR.
  • Submit a claim to your insurance company and ask them to appoint a surveyor to assess the loss.
  • You can file the claim online also, provided your insurance company provides this facility.

2. Documents required to claim car insurance:

The insurance company may ask you to provide certain documents to help it validate and accept the claim. You will have to submit all necessary documents for the claim and fill out the claim form. Below is a list of documents you must provide when filing a car insurance claim:

  • A copy of your insurance policy
  • First Information Report (FIR) submitted to the police
  • Fill out the claim form and sign it duly
  • A copy of your vehicle registration certificate
  • A copy of your driver's license
  • Detailed estimate for repairs
  • Medical receipts in case of physical injuries
  • Original records of other expenses incurred

3. Third party claim

If you're filing a car insurance claim for personal injury or property damage against the other driver, a claims adjuster will be appointed as soon as you file your claim. Unlike your insurance company, you are not obligated to cooperate with the other driver's insurance company. Do your best to remain friendly and professional but beware: the adjuster is not your friend and has little or no interest in paying you a fair settlement.

Once your doctor tells you that you have reached maximum medical improvement, you must prepare and submit your settlement application. (Here are some sample demand letters you can use to write your own.) The adjuster will respond, perhaps with an offer much lower than what you asked for. Don't get angry or upset about this, a low initial settlement offer is the norm. Prepare a written response rejecting the offer and counter it with a demand slightly less than the original settlement demand.

Typically, you will engage in discussions with the adjuster until you reach a settlement agreement for an amount that falls in the middle.

Instructions for filing a third party claim:

  • Obtain the insurance details of the vehicle that caused damage to your car and report the accident to that vehicle's insurance company.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company immediately. Make sure you report the accident to your insurance company within the specified time frame.
  • Next, submit a third-party claim request to your insurance company. If you are the victim, you need to file a lawsuit against the third-party car owner. In the event of injury, death, or property damage caused by your vehicle to a third party, a claim must be submitted to your insurance company.
  • Inform the police by calling the police helpline number and filing a First Information Report (FIR). Be sure to mention the following information in your FIR:

         i) Registration number of the vehicle involved in the accident

         ii)Driving license number

         iii)Names and contact details of witnesses, if any

  • Once this is done, you must file a claim to the Motor Accident Claims Court that has jurisdiction over the area in which the accident occurred or to the court that has jurisdiction over the area in which you (the claimant) and the third party (the defendant) reside or He owns the business.

Own Damage Claim:

You can file a car insurance claim for damage if any loss or damage occurs to your insured vehicle as a result of an accident. Your insurance company pays medical expenses and repair costs incurred due to the accident. However, you will have to verify the damage or loss resulting from the accident. You will only be eligible for this claim if you have a comprehensive policy.


Q. How to fill a car insurance claim form?

A. Filing up the claim form

Mention all details related to your car damage. Also, mention the details of the bills incurred to repair the car. There could be medical bills also. 

Q. Is FIR mandatory for car insurance claims?

A. It is mandatory to file an FIR in the event of a theft, road accident, or fire. If the accident was only minor and there were no severe damages, you may not need to file an FIR. However, if a third party is involved in the incident, filing an FIR becomes necessary.

Q. How do I write a letter to the insurance company for a car accident?

A. Dear [Insurance Adjuster's Name or Claims Department], I am writing to file a claim for a car accident on [Date of Accident] at approximately [Time of Accident]. According to the terms of my policy, I am entitled to file a claim for the damages sustained to my vehicle during the incident.

Q. How many days after the accident can we claim for car insurance?

A. How many days do we need to wait before claiming car insurance? You can claim car insurance between 1 to 7 days after the accident.

Also Read: Johnson & Johnson is proceeding with a $6.5 billion settlement in the baby powder lawsuit

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