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Simple Steps to Claim Third-Party Car Insurance

Simple Steps to Claim Third-Party Car Insurance

More than 4 lakh road accidents occurred in India in 2022 alone. These accidents often lead to severe injuries or tragic deaths of victims, making their families vulnerable financially.

As per the Motor Vehicle Act of 1988, third-party insurance is mandatory for all vehicle owners in the country. This provides much-needed financial aid and protection to road accident victims and their families against sudden costs or loss of income. 

However, the process of filing a third-party claim can seem complicated. To help you understand it better, this article discusses the process of filing a valid third-party claim for a car accident as well as the documents required to claim insurance.

Understanding third-party insurance and third-party claim

Before understanding the third-party claim process, let’s first understand the meaning of third-party insurance and third-party claims.

Third-party insurance is mandatory insurance that covers the liability arising out of accidents caused by a vehicle towards a third party. In the event of an accident, if the policyholder is found responsible for the damages caused, the third-party insurance will cover the resulting financial liabilities. 

A third-party insurance claim, on the other hand, is the process through which the affected party, seeks compensation from the insurance company for the damages or injuries incurred due to the insured party's actions.

Who can apply for a third-party claim?

Also known as act-only insurance, this insurance claim can only be filed by the affected third party. The beneficiary has to prove that the policyholder was responsible for the accident and financial losses suffered were a direct result of the insured's negligence. 

The third parties who can apply for a third-party claim include:

1. Pedestrians who suffer injuries in an accident

2. Passengers travelling in a car who get injured

3. Driver/owner/passengers of another car that the insured car hit

4. Legal heirs of the deceased third-party victim

5. Owner of property damaged in an accident 

Third-party insurance claim process

Follow these steps to ensure the smooth processing of your 3rd party car insurance claim:

Step 1: Report the accident immediately

Inform the police immediately and file FIR/panchnama on site mentioning all the accident details. Take photos/videos as proof. Note the contact details of police officials and witnesses.

Step 2: Collect all relevant documents

Start collecting each document required to file the third-party claim. Follow up with police regularly regarding FIR. Check policy clauses to see if any additional documents are needed. 

Step 3: Compute the compensation amount

Calculate the total financial loss suffered due to the accident. Include medical bills, loss of current and future income, vehicle repair costs, etc. 

Step 4: Hire a legal counsel

Appoint a lawyer well-versed in third-party claim procedures. Conduct a joint review of all collected documents and share your claim expectations. Note that the third-party claims are settled in special courts, called Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT).

Step 5: File a court claim through a lawyer

Work with the appointed lawyer to prepare the third-party claim petition detailing the accident. Mention the causes, financial repercussions and compensation demand. After verification, submit the MACT claim along with all attachments through your lawyer. 

Step 6: Follow up on the third-party claim

Follow up regularly on the next hearing dates and outcomes with your lawyer. Be available to provide any additional details/testimonies whenever the court demands.

Step 7: Accept and settle the claim

If MACT rules in your favour, the insurer is liable to pay compensation as demanded. 

Documents required to claim third-party insurance

The first step to file a legitimate claim is to collate all the necessary documents required to prove negligence on the part of the insured driver and quantify the financial losses suffered. 

Some key documents required are:

#1 Police documents

1. FIR copy: The First Information Report (FIR) filed with the police is one of the most vital documents. It has all the details related to the accident like the date, time, location and vehicles involved. It also states who the police held responsible for the accident after initial investigation.

2. Police Panchnama: This document contains investigation details about the accident site and vehicle condition, which will strengthen the claim.

3. Police charge sheet (challan): A document detailing complete police findings that establish the charges against the vehicles/drivers involved.

#2 Medical documents

If the third party is injured due to the accident, they must produce the following reports:

1. Medical certificate: This will be issued by the hospital/morgue and signed by an authorised medical practitioner.

2. Medical bills/receipts: All original medical expense bills and payment receipts are required.

#3 Vehicle documents

1. Vehicle inspection report: This report is issued by an RTO inspector detailing the condition of vehicles after an accident.

2. Repair estimate: This will be provided by the vehicle workshop detailing costs to fix the third party’s vehicle.

3. RC copy of vehicles: Registration Certificate (RC) copies of vehicles involved are necessary to establish ownership of the vehicle. 

#4 Additional documents

1. Witness statements

2. Employment/income proof of injured/deceased third party

3. Age proof of victim

4. Family member/nominee identity proof

How much compensation can be claimed?

The maximum compensation amount that can be claimed under third-party insurance is decided by the Motor Vehicles Act and varies based on:

1. Extent of damage caused

2. Loss of income

3. Medical expenses

Summing up

While the procedure of a third-party claim may seem complicated and time-consuming, moving forward step-by-step can help accelerate the process.

Additionally, make sure you connect with a reliable legal counsel and follow up diligently with all stakeholders. This will ensure you get rightfully compensated at the earliest to cover accident-related losses. Also, stay prepared with all the documents to avoid any claim rejection. Being aware of the claims process will give you clarity and confidence in pursuing the insurance claim. 

If you’re in the market to buy a new vehicle, Tata Capital offers vehicle loans that feature an easy 100% online application process and quick disbursal. You can get a loan for up to Rs. 50 lakhs and benefit from a competitive car loan interest rate as well. Tata Capital also offers flexible repayment tenures so that you can repay the loan with ease. 

Bring home the car you always wanted with reliable financing from Tata Capital today!

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