According to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, car owners must possess valid insurance under the 3rd party liability policy that provides cover in case of accidents and vehicle mishaps. Car insurance is an important legal document that is a binding contract between the car owner and the insurer and hence must be safely held on throughout the policy period.
In the unfortunate incident of a vehicle gets involved in an accident, the insured will wish to claim damages, but he realizes that his policy documents are missing. This article talks about how he can get a duplicate car insurance copy in such a situation.
Steps to get a Duplicate Car Insurance Policy Online
Losing an important document such as a car insurance document may be worrisome, but the process of obtaining a duplicate car insurance policy is not very difficult, especially if the policyholder has obtained it online through an insurance company. Securing a copy of the insurance is mandatory if the original insurance is partially or completely destroyed.
Given below are the detailed steps to obtain a duplicate car insurance policy:
Immediately Inform your Insurance Company
The first step in getting duplicate car insurance is letting the insurer know about the loss of the car insurance document. The policyholder can call the insurance provider on their toll-free number or send an email informing them about the missing insurance document and requesting a duplicate policy paper. This communication must be done as early as possible so that the insurer can begin the process of duplicate policy issues.
File a First Information Report or FIR
The policyholder must file an FIR with the police. Then he must submit the FIR copy to the insurance company along with the application. A formal police complaint will strengthen and help the insured justify his case of missing car insurance documents.
Place an advertisement in the Newspaper
A standard procedure while applying for duplicate car insurance policy papers is to publish an advertisement in the newspaper. The ad must be placed in the local newspaper of the state in which the insurance papers were lost. The policyholder must bear the cost of publishing the advertisement.
Submit the application to the Insurance Company
After informing the insurance company about the missing policy document, the insured must send a hard copy of the insurance application requesting the issue of a duplicate car insurance policy. Details such as the name of the insured, the policy number, policy issuance date, type of coverage, etc. Along with these details, the FIR copy must also be submitted with details of how the insurance policy was lost.
Obtain an Indemnity Bond
The last step in getting the duplicate insurance copy is to obtain the indemnity bond. A notary must acknowledge the indemnity bond, must include the full name of the insured, and signature of two witnesses. The insured must then pay the amount for the stamp free paper and procure the bond. Upon receiving the indemnity bond, the insured must submit it to the insurance company so that they can process the request for the duplicate car insurance policy.
How to Apply for a Duplicate Car Insurance Policy Online?
Most car insurance companies have an e-portal where customers can perform various activities such as applying for a new policy, renewing the policy, and obtaining a copy of duplicate car insurance online. If the insurance company has this facility, the insured must log in to his account through his user id, password, and policy number to download the policy papers. Given below are the detailed steps to apply for the duplicate insurance policy online:
- The insured must first visit the official website of the car insurance company
- Then he must select the option that says “download an e-copy of the insurance policy”.
- He must then enter the policy number and the registered mobile number
- An OTP will then be sent to the mobile number entered
- The policyholder for verification must enter this OTP
- In the next step, the insured must provide his registered email id
- A copy of the new insurance policy will be sent to this email id in PDF format
If the policyholder has any issue while applying for duplicate car insurance online, he must contact the insurance company right away. He may need to visit a branch along with a written application citing the reason for needing a duplicate car insurance copy. The insured may be required to pay a nominal amount as the fee for the policy reissue service.
Steps to Follow while Buying a New Car Insurance Policy
After registering the theft or loss of car insurance policy papers, the next step is to obtain a new set of papers from the insurance provider. The insured can either request a duplicate copy of the existing policy or apply for a new policy. If he decides to go for a new policy, he must do detailed research, compare online various insurance policies, and choose the best one in terms of coverage and budget.
He can purchase the new car insurance policy either directly or through third-party websites. He must follow the steps mentioned below to choose the right plan and the insurance provider:
Analyze the categories
The first step in choosing the right car insurance policy for you is to understand and analyze the 2 main categories of vehicle insurance- comprehensive and third-party liability insurance. These two must be deeply analyzed so that the amount of coverage needed can be decided.
Several quotes from various insurance providers must be acquired and compared. This helps in choosing the most affordable one with maximum coverage. Comparisons can be made on the factors such as premium, claim settlement ratio, and track record of the insurance companies.
Look out for Discounts
Many insurance companies offer discounts to policyholders for factors such as a good driving record, safety equipment, and gear lock, and so on. Such safety features are economical for both the insurer and the insured.
Customize if needed
Several car insurance policies offer add-on features that help consumers to customize their policies according to their needs for vehicle usage, age, model, and other factors. Policyholders must include add-ons to enhance the protection for their car and themselves.
Points to Remember about Car Insurance Policy
It is mandatory to keep in possession, third-party vehicle insurance while driving. It is illegal to drive without valid insurance and a punishable offense under the law. Hence, it is wise to immediately procure a duplicate car insurance policy if the original is lost.
The original insurance documents must be kept in a safe place. It is also wise to take photocopies of all original insurance documents so that if they are misplaced or stolen, the copies can be produced by the insurance company.
To ensure the safety of vehicle-related documents, it is sensible to store them digitally on mobile apps. This helps in situations when physical insurance copies are forgotten or lost.
Q1. Where can one find an insurance policy number?
If the insured has purchased the policy online, then he must log on to his account on the official portal of the insurance provider to view the policy number and other details. If he has purchased the insurance policy offline, then he must visit the nearest branch of the insurance company to obtain the required information.
Q2. Are there any benefits of purchasing a car insurance policy online?
The benefits of buying car insurance online are ease of application and quick access to information. There is no need to maintain physical documentation, and most transactions can be completed paperless. The insurer can process the car insurance application much faster online than conventional methods, and online claim settlement is also more efficient.
Q3. What are the documents needed for raising a car insurance claim?
Given below is the list of documents needed for raising a car insurance claim:
- Copy of car insurance policy
- Driver’s license
- Claim form duly filled out.
- Vehicle registration certificate
- PUC or Pollution Control certificate
- Driver’s fitness certificate
- FIR or Police Report
- Original bills and receipts for repairs incurred.
Q4. How must one raise a car insurance claim?
The policyholder must call the insurance company; notify them about the incident about the extent of damage to the vehicle. The insurance company will then suggest the next course of action to be taken.
Q5. Can an expired car insurance policy be renewed?
Yes. An expired car insurance policy can be renewed; provided, the insurance company has performed a satisfactory inspection of the vehicle.
Q6. What are the types of car insurance policies?
The 2 main types of car insurance policies in India are comprehensive car insurance policies and third-party liability policies.
Q7. What documents must the car driver possess while driving his car?
The driver/owner must have his Driver’s License, Registration Certificate of the vehicle, Insurance policy, and Pollution under Control (PUC) certificate.
Q8. Can one file for a claim if his vehicle meets with an accident during the grace period after expiry?
No. The insurance policy is invalid after it expires, and the policyholder is not covered against any accidents or damages incurred during the grace period.