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ImageKnow your rights

Usually many insurance companies have their own in-house adjusters/surveyors to assess the damage and decide on the claim amount, usually for claims below Rs.20, 000. But in some cases the in-house adjuster/surveyor assesses damages worth more than Rs. 20, 000 which is illegal.

There are provisions in the Insurance Act regarding that has specific rules about who qualifies for carrying out an assessment or survey of the damaged car in case the claim amount is more than Rs 20, 000. According to the Insurance Act it is mandatory that only an independent surveyor can do the assessment for all claims above Rs 20, 000.

This way a fair assessment of the extent of the damage is ensured paving way for an amicable settlement between the insurer and the insured. The law also states that the adjuster/surveyor should submit the damage assessment report within 30 days of the surveying the damage.

When you should negotiate

If your claim is simple that is there is no ambiguity on whose at fault issue, or the damage was negligible, and required only a little or no medical treatment for the passengers, then the adjuster/surveyor may require you give an estimate for repairs, study it and if satisfactory then probably settle the claims fully.

But if your claim is complicated that is if the liability is uncertain, or if your car insurance does not have adequate coverage or simply you do not agree with your adjuster's/surveyor's settlement offer, then this is when you should begin negotiations.

Remember, it is always better to keep a written account of the conversations/discussions on the claims dealings with your insurance agent and with adjuster/surveyor and any other people involved in the claims process.
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