Due to ongoing thunderstorms, you get to see pictures of trees fallen on cars almost every day. Hundreds of cars have been reported to get smashed by trees when the car was parked under a tree on a stormy night or when you left it outside the office. Well, it is one of the most unpleasant discoveries to be made but do you know what to do in such situations. Do you know whether your insurance company cover such damages? To help you steer through this unpleasant incident here is a guide on who pays when a tree falls on your car.

The good news is the own damage part of motor insurance policy covers your vehicle in case of any natural calamities like the thunderstorm, dust storm, cyclone, hurricane and hailstorm. Hence, don’t worry about insurance if your car gets damaged in any of the natural calamities.

The motor insurance policy has two components- own damage and third party cover. While own damage covers loss caused to your car the third party cover is for loss caused to the third party.

The situation like a tree falling on the car due to the storm is covered under a comprehensive motor insurance policy, says, Sanjay Saxena, Head – Motor Underwriting and Motor Claim, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance. He adds, “If a customer has a comprehensive motor policy, he or she can file the claim by following the normal procedure starting with intimation to the insurer. The claim will be paid as per the terms and conditions/coverage offered in the policy.”

But you need to ensure that the insurance policy is active at the time of the accident as any delay in renewal can cost you at the time when you might need it the most.

Here are 7 steps guide on how to file a motor insurance claim

Step 1. Call up the insurer’s toll-free number and register the claim immediately. Keep your policy number handy as you need to share it while registering the claim.
Step 2: You need to file an FIR if there is any third-party damage or injury.
Step 3: To avoid any subsequent damage don’t drive the car further.
Step 4: Get your car repaired at the nearest repair shop. You can take the help of customer care of your company.
Step 5: Fill the claim form. You can either take it from the authorised workshop or you can download it from the company’s website. Submit all the required documents with the claim form.
Step 6: A surveyor comes to inspect the vehicle. Have all car-related documents ready to be inspected by the surveyor.
Step 7: Once inspection is done wait for your car to be returned. Meanwhile, you can follow the status of your claim through the claim number shared with you on the website of the company

Most importantly, add-on covers, such as zero depreciation, bought at the time of buying the motor insurance policy help you in giving that extra coverage. Saxena, says, “We advise that the customers should always read the insurance policy coverage carefully at the time of purchase and should opt for add-on covers such as Depreciation Shield, Roadside assistance and engine protector.”