Is There a Time Limit for Car Insurance Claims?

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 03/10/2023

Bought a new car or planning to buy one? Make sure you have your four-wheeler insurance at all times whenever you take your car out for a ride. It is mandatory by law to get four-wheeler insurance. While only third-party insurance is made mandatory by law, you can also purchase a comprehensive car insurance policy for your four-wheeler.

A third-party motor insurance policy covers third-party damages caused by your car. On the other hand, comprehensive car insurance covers damages caused to the third party, the car, and the car owner.

With all that said, buying a vehicle insurance policy is not enough to protect yourself. You must file a claim with the insurance company to get the compensation. There is a car insurance claim time limit, car owners often get confused about it.

Here is a detailed explanation of the car accident insurance claim time limit and car insurance claim process.

What is The Usual Time Limit For Accident Insurance Claim

Most car insurance companies specify a time limit of a few days, with a maximum time limit of 7 days after the incident to file a car insurance claim. Some insurance providers may even expect you to file a claim within 48 to 72 hours of the incident.

However, this time limit is not a compulsory rule. Instead, it is the most suitable time frame within which insurance providers expect car owners to file an insurance claim.

Filing a claim early works in your favour. When the damages are fresh, the insurance provider can inspect the vehicle better and provide an appropriate claim amount. For example, if your car is stolen or gets damaged due to floods, waiting several days to file an insurance claim can make the situation worse.

Can a Delay In Filing Claim Lead to Claim Rejection

The good news is that if, due to some emergency, there is a delay in filing a claim, there are negligible chances that the insurance provider will reject your claim.

Some unfortunate events, such as major accidents or natural disasters, may prevent a person from filing a car insurance claim immediately. In addition, the car owner may be occupied with his family and his safety during such times and may not be able to file a car insurance claim immediately.

Insurance providers understand this. Therefore, you can file a delayed claim for your car. However, ensure that you have a valid reason for the delay. Even if filing a claim is not possible right away, at least inform the insurance company about the incident as soon as possible.

Car Insurance Claim Process for Own Damage

Here is the step-by-step process to file a car insurance claim if there have been damages to your car.

Inform the insurance company: Almost all insurance companies have a toll-free number or email ID. Contact the insurance company immediately to inform them about the incident. Additionally, you can download the claim form from the insurer’s website. Fill out the claim form and submit it with all the required documents. You must also take your car to a workshop to assess the damage to the car.

Inspection: Upon receipt of the intimation about the accident, the insurer will send a surveyor to inspect the damages to your car. The surveyor will make a report of the damage and send it to the insurer and give a copy to you. Henceforth, your car will be taken to a network garage for repairs.

Submit the receipts: Once the repair work is completed, hand over the payment receipts and repair bills to the surveyor. He will send these documents to the insurance company.

Cashless claim: Some insurers offer cashless settlement in their network garages. You need not spend any money for repairs, except the deductions, under a cashless claim for your car repair.

Reimbursement claim: In a reimbursement claim, you need to pay the repair cost to the garage from your pocket, and then the insurer will settle the claim with you.

Submit the repair bills right after you receive your car from the garage. The insurer may not pass your claim if you fail to do so and file the claim only at year-end.

How to Claim Vehicle Insurance for Third-Party Damages

In the case of third-party insurance, the claim process is as follows:

Inform the insurance company: If you receive legal notice from a third party, immediately inform your insurance provider. Do not make any out-of-court settlement or negotiations with the third party on your own.

Submit the documents: Submit a copy of the notice, the car’s RC, your driving licence, and the FIR with the insurer.

Verification: The insurer will verify the documents and assess the damage. If approved, you will get a lawyer appointed by the insurer.

Claim settlement: In case the court asks you to pay the damages to the third party, your insurer will pay these damages directly to the third party.

Car Insurance Claim Process for a Stolen Four-wheeler

For a stolen car, the claim process is as follows:

Lodge an FIR: The first step is to file a complaint and lodge an FIR for the stolen car at the nearest police station.

the insurer: Next, submit a copy of the FIR to the insurance company.

File the final report: If your car is unfound after a reasonable time, the police will provide you with a non-traceable report. Submit this report to the insurer.

Investigation: The insurance company will assign an investigator to look into the matter.

Claim approval: Once the investigator submits his report to the insurer, your claim will be processed. At this stage, submit the documents required, duplicate car key, and notarised indemnity on stamp paper to the insurer.

Claim disbursal: Once all the formalities are completed, the insurance company will disburse the claim amount, which is equal to the Insured Declared Value of the vehicle.

Car Insurance Claim Rules

If you are unable to file a car insurance claim immediately after an incident, the following points can help you with a speedy claim settlement process.

Opt for an online settlement: Select the online settlement process to speed up the claim settlement.

Have enough proof: Attach sufficient photographs and videos along with your claim settlement form to substantiate your claim. If there has been a delay in claim filing due to a natural calamity or severe accident, attach photographs and videos to validate the same.

Choose the right insurer: Choose a car insurance provider with a high claim settlement ratio. It enhances the chances of your claim approval. At Tata AIG, we have a high claim settlement ratio of 98% to ensure a quick and hassle-free settlement process for our customers.


There is no specific time limit to file a car insurance claim. However, it is advisable to file a claim as soon as possible, and if there is a delay, ensure the insurer is informed of the incident on time. At Tata AIG, you can choose any type of car insurance plan. We have third-party insurance, standalone own-damage cover, and comprehensive cover. The best part is that you can compare car insurance policies at Tata AIG and select a policy that best suits your needs.

Disclaimer / TnC

Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.

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