Srinagar: An insurer is supposed to pay a policyholder the full insured declared value (IDV) of a vehicle that has suffered total loss or has been stolen. But many car owners said their insurers are denying them the IDV even when the total cost of repairs cost more than the insured value.
The IDV is the maximum sum assured fixed by the insurer which is provided on theft or total loss of vehicle. It is the current market value of the vehicle and if the vehicle suffers total loss, IDV is the compensation that the insurer will provide to the policyholder.
Bilal Ahmad, an aggrieved policy holder said, “The IDV of my Alto car was Rs 80,000. After the floods, an insurance agent (surveyor) assessed the damages of my car and a workshop put the estimated cost of repairs at Rs 80,000. The surveyor asked me to get it repaired at a workshop. But the workshop is now charging me Rs 1.3 lakh in cash and the insurance company, as per the surveyor, will pay only 50 percent of the amount.”
On the other hand, Bilal said, a friend of his not only got 70% of the IDV of his damaged car, he also got to keep the vehicle.
“My surveyor didn’t give me any such option. He asked me to get it repaired from a workshop. This is simply a cheating,” said Bilal Ahmad, who plans to sue the surveyor and the United Insurance Company.
Gurmeet Singh, the insurance surveyor who assessed the car, said because of the scarcity of staff, proper assessment of the damaged vehicles was not carried out in many cases.
He said the if the cost of repairs exceeded IDV, the vehicles were declared as total loss.
“As per terms and conditions of an insurance policy the depreciation charges were to be paid by a customer for any repair work,” he said.
Irfan Ahmad, managing director of Jamkash Vehicleades Pvt Ltd, a leading car seller, said, “Repair estimates are based on approximate charges. Suppose a mechanic detects some fault in a vehicle which wasn’t factored in at the time of making the estimate, then a supplementary estimate sheet is made after getting a nod from surveyor.”
“But if the repair cost exceeds the IDV, it is declared as totally damaged as happened with 400 vehicles out of 1400 which our workshop received in the aftermath of the floods.”
Another aggrieved policy holder, Sajad Hussain, owner of a damaged Swift Dzire VXI, said his car has been in the queue for repairs since September at Jamkash Vehicleades, Ganderbal. The estimated cost of repairs was Rs 3.23 lakh against the IDV of 288,000.
“I haven’t only suffered monetarily loss but visiting the workshop frequently has consumed my time. It has disturbed my routine life,” he said.