How to claim damage if your car and property is damaged in flood?
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How to claim damage if your car and property is damaged in flood?

In the aftermath of any unforeseen circumstances, for instance, flood or flood like situations, there is typically damage to car body, engine or the windshield; damaged houses are also often seen after any natural disaster.

  • September 5, 2017  
  • |  
  • UPDATED   13:04 IST
How to claim damage if your car and property is damaged in flood?

Due to the heavy monsoon, cities are flooded; cars, automobiles are damaged along with land properties and houses. Can you claim damage done to your car and property through insurance? In the aftermath of any unforeseen circumstances, for instance, flood or flood like situations, there is typically damage to car body, engine or the windshield; damaged houses are also often seen after any natural disaster. One can claim insurance for the damages of their home and vehicle, if they have a comprehensive motor and home insurance cover in place. In such unforeseen circumstances, here is a quick guide on claiming from your insurance policies.

Motor insurance policy

What is covered?
The insurance companies claim to offer coverage for any loss or damage done to the vehicle insured by them but there are only a list of calamities that are covered by the insurance companies. Cases of natural calamities for which the loss and damage of the vehicle is covered by most of the insurance companies are:
a.   Fire, explosion, self-ignition or lightning
b.   Earthquake
c.   Flood, typhoon, hurricane, storm, tempest, inundation, cyclone, hailstorm, frost
d.   Burglary, housebreaking or theft
e.   Landslide and rockslide
f.   Riot and strike
g.    Accident by external means
h.    Terrorist activity
i.    Whilst in transit by road, rail, inland-waterway, lift, elevator or air

For circumstances like the recent flood that has affected so many places in India, one can file a claim under motor insurance for the car getting washed away or damage to the engine due to heavy floods, or serious damage to the car body mostly due to tree fall etc. or damage to windshield due to some other object strike in case of earthquake, floods, arson/riots etc. (unless the person is part of mob which has created the riots/arson).

Procedure of claiming the insurance policy
In case of natural disasters such as floods, earthquake, heavy rain fall etc, the insured should immediately inform the insurance company about the incident and damage that has happened. The insurance company inspects the damages and estimates the cost of repair. "In case, you get your car repaired after an unforeseen event on your own and without informing insurer, your claim might get rejected. This is simply because the insurer will not be able to trace the damage once the car is repaired" says, Tarun Mathur, Co- Founder and Director, Policybazaar.com

Exclusions
The insurance companies normally mention about their exclusions and exceptions in their terms and conditions. There are certain cases in which the insurance companies refuse to give a helping hand even though you might have your car insured from them. Mostly these cases are quite common for all the insurance providers.
1. The insured has to prove that the loss or damage of the vehicle happened independently and was in no way occasionally done, but if the insurance company finds it otherwise, the company will not make any payments for such a claim.
2.  Damage to engine when driving through water logged area. A recent example is the scenario of the heavy rain fall in Mumbai, but if the person has taken an engine protector as an add-on, in that case it will be covered.
3.   Depreciation on plastic parts, tyre /rubber parts etc. will not be covered by the insurance company but if the insured has purchased a zero-depreciation add-on, which covers such damages, then the insurance company will pay.
4.   Damage to electrical accessories in the vehicle will not be covered unless electrical accessories value has been added to the coverage while taking the policy.
5.    Features like assistance on the spot of the vehicle will not be provided unless the policy has roadside assistance as part of the coverage.
Home insurance policy
What is covered?
Insurance companies covering your home insurance usually cover damage due to natural calamities such as flood, rain, earthquake and man-made disasters (like fire, terrorism, riots, etc.) The complete structure of the building and contents are covered under this scenario; but the companies has a list of circumstances based on which your insurance company will pay you

1.   Flood, storm, cyclone
2.   Fire & lightning
3.   Aircraft damage
4.   Riot, strike
5.   Missile testing operations
6.   Burglary and theft cover

Many policies do not cover flood or overflow of the sea, rivers and lakes caused due to earthquake. Read the policy document carefully before buying the policy.
The contents of home are also covered against burglary or theft including silver articles, jewelries, precious stones and other valuable items, but they should kept in a locked safe place, to get claims on it.

Procedure of claiming the insurance policy
Every insurance company has its own time between which one has to inform about their losses, which varies between 7-15 days. But before filing for a claim, they have to lodge an FIR which needs to be submitted with insurance company.

"The claim process after any unforeseen event under home insurance is hassle-free" says, Mathur. The insured needs to provide documents to show that house is in the name of a person filing the claim. The insurance company inspects the damage to property and content, and settles the claim. "However, one needs to be careful and have all receipts in place if something is repaired before informing the insurer" adds Mathur of Policybazaar.

Exclusions
a. The company will not settle claims if they find out direct or indirect involvement of any member of the house in an attempted burglary.
b.   No loss or damage will be covered by the company on loss of vehicles, money, securities, deeds, bonds, certificates, documents of any kinds, debit or credit cards, unless it has been previously specifically mentioned by the company.
c.  If a house is left unoccupied for more that 30 days consecutively and the insurance company is not informed about it, no claim will be provided by the company.