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Does Your Car Insurance Cover Theft?

There have been innumerous incidences where vehicles have gone missing. It need not be a public parking space. These incidences have been reported even in residential complexes along with other areas too.

With the increase in vehicle registrations in the country, the number of cases for car theft have also increased. The metro cities in particular witness a high number of such cases being reported. One of the reasons that the cars are parked on the streets is due to the lack of adequate parking space in residential premises. One evening you park your car on the road adjacent your home whereas the next morning it is missing! In spite of installing safety devices, the car burglars are devising techniques that make it essential to ensure the safety of your car more than ever.

Whereas a motor insurance policy is a mandatory requirement for all motor vehicles, have you checked whether your car insurance policy covers theft?

There are two types of car insurance:third party car insurance or a comprehensive policy. Third-party insurance is the minimum mandate as specified by the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019. Still, it does not offer the coverage as provided, in a broader manner, by a comprehensive motor insurance policy. A comprehensive motor policy insures the car, the owner as well as third party liabilities of property and person in case of an accident. Not only accidents but also calamities, natural or human-induced, are covered. Most importantly, it ensures there is theft cover to your motor vehicle too. Therefore, when you buy comprehensive car insurance online or offline,you can ensure the safety of your car in critical times.

Having learnt that a comprehensive cover is a preferred option to protect against theft, how does one raise a claim in case of theft?

As soon as you become aware that your car has been stolen, you need to approach three entities: the police, the Regional Transport Office (RTO) and your insurer.

The insured needs to file a First Information Report (FIR) about the theft of your car. Then approach the RTO to intimate the same. Intimating the RTO will ensure that your vehicle is not registered with a different name. The RTO will advise you to submit stipulated forms for reporting such theft of your car. Lastly, you approach your insurer for intimating the same. A copy of the previously filed FIR needs to be submitted along with the claim application form for your car insurance online.

Apart from the above, the following documents are relevant while filing a claim for reporting theft – a copy of the registration documents along with the car insurance policy. The additionally filed FIR along with RTO forms duly submitted are required. The insurer may even ask for the invoice of your car along with road tax recipes, car keys, and photographs of your car. If these documents cannot be submitted in original, photocopies should be furnished at the time of claim application.

What value will be reimbursed by the insurer in case of theft?

While you may think that the insurer will reimburse the full invoice value of your car, this will be only in case you opt for a Return to Invoice add-on. In other cases, the Insured Declared Value (IDV) as reduced by the depreciation shall be paid to the insured. You can compute the IDV of your vehicle when you use a car insurance premium calculator to compute the premiums. It helps understand the approximate value you shall receive in case of a total loss or theft of your car.

The extended coverage that a full-fledged insurance policy offers is why one must opt for a comprehensive car insurance policy. Finally, your insurance cover is crucial in ensuring the ultimate safety for your car.