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Amitab Singh was the proud owner of a ‘Santro Zing’ which He had purchased 9 months ago with the help of a loan. One evening he went out for dinner with his family, parking his car on the road. Much to his disheartenment, when he came back 2 hours later, his car had vanished. It had not been towed away as he had first assumed but, had been stolen. Luckily, he has comprehensive insurance coverage but, he is still at a loss as to what he should do next. If you too wish to know the same, then, read on… IMMEDIATE STEPS TO TAKE WHEN YOUR CAR IS STOLEN.

Go to the police station in the area from which your car has been stolen and lodge a First Information Report (FIR) within 24 hours of the theft. Make sure you keep a copy of the FIR. Next, intimate your car insurer about the theft. The insurer may depute an investigator to verify the facts and collect the necessary paperwork. If the original Registration Certificate (RC) book, driving license and insurance papers were in the car at the time of the theft and you do not have any copies with you, you will have to acquire their copies from the Regional Transport Office (RTO) and the insurance company. You also need to intimate the finance company from whom you have taken a loan about the theft and submit a copy of the FIR to them. LENGTHY PROCESS The theft of a car can lead you into a complicated legal tangle. Not only will it involve trips to the police station but you will also have to answer a series of questions by the insurance investigator till he is satisfied that the car is really stolen.

HOW MUCH INSURANCE WILL YOU GET? Though your car will be insured at its market value at the time of insuring it, claims will be settled at the Insured’s Declared Value (IDV). This value keeps on reducing on a yearly basis as it also accounts for the car depreciation (as per the schedule provided by the Indian Motor Tariff), besides the current market value of the car. The insurance amount that you will be eligible for will be this reduced depreciated value of the car. IF THE CAR IS UNDER A FINANCING SCHEME If the stolen car had been purchased on an auto loan which is still outstanding, then, in spite of the car being stolen you need to repay the loan. In fact, in such cases, the insurer will credit the claim amount directly to the financer since the car is hypothecated in its favour and therefore, the financer is the actual car owner. Further, since the insurer can take up to 6 months to settle the claim, you will be liable to continue to service the loan by paying the applicable Equated Monthly Instalments (EMIs) until then.

THE ACTUAL CLAIM Once the insurer has been able to ascertain the genuineness of the claim and the amount to be paid, the applicable sum will be given to you or your financer (as the case may be). Further, if the car is later traced, it will be returned to the insurance company. IN CASE OF ‘THIRD PARY COVER’ If you have skimped on insurance and taken only a third party cover then, you are not eligible to receive any sum from the insurance company as the scope of the cover does not include thefts. LAST WORD Even if you have opted for the comprehensive insurance policy, a theft will set you back financially. So, it always makes sense to take additional precautions while parking your car.
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