When it comes to filing an insurance claim, timely reporting is crucial. However, there may be instances where the policyholders are unable to report a claim promptly.
This raises the question whether delays in reporting a claim, result in claim processing delays? In this write-up, we will delve into the potential impact of delayed claim reporting and explore relevant Indian case laws that shed light on this matter.
Understanding the impact of delayed reporting on claim processing-
Assessment of Loss: Timely reporting allows insurance companies to promptly assess the loss or damage. A delay in reporting may complicate the evaluation process, especially in cases where the evidence or circumstances surrounding the claim may change over time.
Investigation and Verification: In order to authenticate the claim and confirm the circumstances around it, insurance firms often conduct investigations. The investigation process can be hampered by a postponed claim report since it may make it difficult to gather important information or cause witnesses’ memories to fade.
Procedural Requirements: Insurance policies often have specific provisions and timelines for reporting claims. Failing to adhere to these requirements may result in claim denial or additional scrutiny, potentially leading to delay in claim settlement.
In (2017) 9 SCC 724 Om Prakash Versus Reliance General Insurance and another, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India held that it is common knowledge that a person who lost his vehicle may not straightaway go to the Insurance Company to claim compensation. At first, he will make efforts to trace the vehicle. It is true that the owner has to intimate the insurer immediately after the theft of the vehicle. However, this condition should not bar genuine claim settlement particularly when the delay in intimation or submission of documents is due to unavoidable circumstances. The appellant had furnished cogent reason for the delay in informing the insurance company (the Respondent herein). The Hon’ble court condoned the delay and allowed the appeal thereby directing the respondent insurance company to honour the claim.
While the impact of a delayed claim report on claim processing may vary depending on the circumstances, it is generally advisable to report claims promptly to insurance companies. A delay in reporting can complicate the assessment, investigation and verification processes, potentially leading to delay in claim process or additional scrutiny. It is essential to review your insurance policy’s specific requirements for claim reporting and adhere to them diligently. The aforementioned Indian case laws highlight the significance of timely reporting and they emphasize that unexplained delays can have adverse effects on the claim processing outcome. As a policyholder, it is in your best interest to report claims promptly to ensure a smoother and timely claims settlement process.
Despite all your efforts, if you still face a road block with regards to your claim, please feel free to connect with the subject matter experts at Bima Seva Kendra. When disputes or concerns emerge during the claims process, they can serve as a mediator between you and the insurance provider, assisting in the resolution.