In India, the Motor Vehicles Act mandates that every car must have a third-party car insurance policy that offers coverage for damage to third-party property or injury to a third-party person. Since these policies do not offer coverage for damages to the insured car, many people opt for a comprehensive car insurance policy that includes third-party liabilities and damages to the insured vehicle for various reasons.
The concept of 3rd party car insurance is very interesting. If your car causes damage to third-party property or injures a third-party person, then legally, you are liable to pay for the repairs/treatment and might even be required to compensate the third party. So, if you are driving on the road and jump a signal only to crash into another car and damage it, then you are legally bound to pay for the damages. However, if you have third-party insurance for four-wheelers, the insurer pays for the damage caused. While this is easy to understand, the process of claims under third-party car insurance can be complex.
This article will share the third-party claim process for better understanding.
What Can Be Claimed Under Third-party Car Insurance?
The following claims are permitted under third-party car insurance:
- Damage to a third-party vehicle/property due to an accident caused by the insured car
- Injury, disability (temporary or permanent), or death of a third party person(s)
It is important to remember that you cannot claim damages to your car under these policies. Also, the insurer will reject the claim if the driver was under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicant or driving without a valid driving licence.
How To Make A Third-party Car Insurance Claim
There are two scenarios that we would like to talk about and explain the claim process for each of them. These are:
● 01: You damage a third-party property
If your vehicle causes an accident or collision that leads to a third-party property getting damaged, then here is how you can get the claim filed and settled from your insurer:
- Either you or the affected party will lodge a police complaint and obtain a charge sheet from them
- You will have to share a copy of your car insurance policy with the third party for claim processing
- You will have to inform your insurance provider about the accident
- The affected third party will be required to file a claim with the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT)
- The tribunal will ascertain the guilty party and award a compensation
- The insurer pays the compensation on your behalf
It is important to remember that cases in the tribunal can take a long time. Hence, many people opt for an out-of-court settlement for minor damages.
● 02: Someone else damages your property
If you follow all traffic and road rules, but your car gets rammed by another car that has just jumped a signal, then you can claim compensation that the insurer of the other car will pay. Here is the process to file a third-party car insurance claim in such cases.
- Visit the nearest police station and file an FIR.
- Take a copy of the FIR from the station.
- Try to collect evidence from the scene of the accident/collision, like photographs or video, to establish your claim.
- Talk to people and ascertain if anyone would be willing to be a witness in court.
- Ask for the details of the third-party policy from the other car owner.
- Hire a lawyer who specialises in motor claims and file a compensation claim with the MACT.
It is important not to run away from an accident scene regardless of who was at fault. Usually, people settle such matters between themselves as it saves time and money. Also, make sure you go through the inclusions and exclusions of the car online insurance policy to better understand the scope and extent of the policy before signing the dotted line. Good Luck!