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Old 2nd April 2013, 14:59   #1
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Default A Unique Case of Vehicle Damage whilst Transporting a Car by Truck! Lessons learnt...

My first post on team bhp and it comes with a background of mixed experiences. The bad experience first. It is a long one, but I hope it will be useful for some folks.

I relocated to from Gurgaon to Bangalore last month and my 3 year old Ford Figo (ZXI diesel) got destroyed during transport. The car was shipped via truck along with 3 other cars and some motorbikes. On the night of 26th Feb 2013, the truck fell into a 300 feet deep ditch somewhere between Jalgaon and Aurangabad in Maharashtra. The truck driver and cleaner died in this tragic incident and the entire consignment was damaged extensively. Since then it has been a long battle with the insurance company to get a fair claim value.

Here are some facts of the case, which others might benefit from if (god forbid) faced with a similar situation:

1. The car was insured for an IDV of Rs. 4.14 lakhs and the policy was up for renewal sometime in 2nd week of April.
2. I did not take any additional marine insurance cover from the transporter, hence the vehicle was being transported entirely at my risk. This is mentioned clearly on the back side of the consignment note.
3. The entire cargo has fallen into a place where from where it is next to impossible to retrieve the remains. (the transporter paid Rs 20K to the local villagers to retrieve the bodies of the driver and cleaner)
4. The accident site is designated as forest land (more on the implications of this later)
5. The transporter has so far been very supportive in providing the documents to lodge the claim – site photos, FIR, Panchnama, Driving License copy of the deceased driver. They also appointed a security guard at the accident site to prevent theft of salvageable parts.
6. The insurance company also appointed a surveyor who initially was unable to reach the site but later managed to do so and clicked some photographs
7. I have been told by the insurance company that although visibly this is a case of total loss, it cannot be adjudged so unless the car is brought to a garage and that’s a policy all insurers apply.
8. The transporter has excused himself off the matter saying the cost of retrieving the damaged cargo is estimated at Rs 5 lakhs (based on quotations received from various crane operators). Clearly it is not worth it, considering it is not clear what the value of salvaged parts is.


Now I am faced with the following options:

1. Accept Rs 3 lakhs under something called “Cash Loss” in insurance terminology.
2. In this case the title of the car remains with me and I pocket whatever is realized from salvaged parts.
3. Bring the car to a garage and have it assessed for a total loss case.
4. Sitting in Bangalore and given my schedule, I do not have the bandwidth to go to Aurangabad and manage all this. Hence I am leaning towards accepting the Cash Loss settlement.
5. The insurance company surveyor has said he will put me in touch with salvage buyers in the area and I can talk to them to arrive at a fair price. I plan to do this once I formally accept the Cash Loss settlement.

Some interesting things have emerged from this case:

1. The cargo is lying in a designated forest area and I am told by the surveyor that the vehicles will have to be removed from there at some point as the environmental regulations do not allow for things to be dumped in a forest area. The transporter disputes this and says that there are other damaged vehicles lying in the area since years (apparently the site is an accident prone region). I am not too concerned about this regulation for the moment as this is clearly not a case of negligence on my part and is clearly the transporter’s responsibility.
2. I had no clue that there is additional marine insurance available over and above the basic automobile insurance. The insurance company said that obtaining settlement in marine insurance cases is easier than through a regular policy. Frankly I very much doubt this theory.
3. If one goes for a total loss case, then one of the documents that is to be submitted is a deed of subrogation, which essentially means that I am allowing the insurance company to lodge its claim with the transporter for negligence. Prima facie it doesn’t sound something very difficult to do, but then I checked my consignment note. One of the conditions of carriage is that I cannot authorize anybody to lodge any claim against the transporter in case of any theft or damage caused due to negligence. Very interesting.
4. The insurance guys asked me if the truck driver had a valid driving license at the time of the accident. I found this requirement very weird. It was not MY vehicle that was being driven. It was only being carried. The truck driver’s license validity is relevant only when the transporter is lodging the insurance claim for the truck. Moreover, how does one ensure at the point of loading a car who is going to drive the truck and that it is going to be one single person throughout? Nevertheless, I obtained a copy and it was valid. I sense it was just one of the ways to build up a case for rejecting the claim. Do not fall for it.
5. That it’s necessary to bring the car to a garage even in a total loss case is news to me. My inability to do so in this case is forcing me to settle for a lower claim value.


My advice to fellow BHPians from this experience is the following:

1. Thoroughly read the conditions of carriage before transporting your goods and understand their implications. Most of us are in the habit of quickly signing papers and getting over with it
2. If you are relocating, consider the cost-benefit of selling your vehicle in the city that you are leaving. Consider the costs involved - transportation, marine insurance (if you opt for it) and re-registration in the new state. In my case I lost a vehicle that had a market value of over Rs 5 L, an IDV of Rs 4.14L and I am faced with a situation of accepting Rs 3L plus some unlikely salvage value.
3. If you decide to transport, consider taking marine insurance.
4. Explore the option of transporting by goods train. Trains meet with lot less accidents than trucks.
5. Although it has not come to it in my case, submitting a deed of subrogation in favour of the insurance company is in my opinion not necessary and don’t be pushed for it. I am not some government authority without whose consent the insurer does not have recourse to the transporter for his negligence. Simply giving a declaration that I have not received any compensation from the transporter should be enough for the insurance company to ensure that I am not claiming from two different parties.

Now the good experience – Well, I bought a new car – A Wagon R LXI. Could not wait for the insurance claim settlement as commuting by auto rickshaw was becoming a pain. As much as I like my new car, it is an expenditure I could have done without. I was planning to upgrade to a Duster but the plans will have to wait due to the financial loss. Hence I have settled for the practical and frugal Waggy for now. The pictures of my erstwhile Figo crushed under a truck container made me emotional. It was my first car and it understood me. The Waggy is filling the void. It will take its time to understand me and I am being patient with it.

Its been over a month since the accident and I am feeling the pinch less with every passing day. I also remind myself that there were 2 people who died in the incident. Their families' loss is a lot more than mine and totally irreparable.

Last edited by GTO : 2nd April 2013 at 21:04. Reason: Adding some bold headings for readability. Thanks for sharing :)
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Old 2nd April 2013, 15:25   #2
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Default re: A Unique Case of Vehicle Damage whilst Transporting a Car by Truck! Lessons learnt...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malyaj View Post
My first post on team bhp and it comes with a background of mixed experiences. The bad experience first. It is a long one, but I hope it will be useful for some folks.

Its been over a month since the accident and I am feeling the pinch less with every passing day. I also remind myself that there were 2 people who died in the incident. Their families' loss is a lot more than mine and totally irreparable.
Hi Malyaj

I understand the pain you have gone through (apart from the financial loss) and appreciate the efforts you have taken to post your experience on this forum.This is very useful post for me as in the next few days i am relocating from Mumbai to Bangalore and have decided to transport my Fabia there by road. Needless to say i advertised to sell the car in Mumbai at a reasonable price but the ads were responded mostly by lowballers and hence decided to take my car with me.

I shall immediately call on the insurance company and enquire about marine insurance - and whether it would help in such cases.

Also congratulations on your new acquisition and wishing you a enjoyable stint with your Waggie.

Last edited by Rajeev1 : 2nd April 2013 at 15:48. Reason: Updating information gathered from insurance company
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Old 2nd April 2013, 15:46   #3
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Default re: A Unique Case of Vehicle Damage whilst Transporting a Car by Truck! Lessons learnt...

This is the first time hearing about marine insurance ?

Is it different from the regular one we buy for our vehicles ?

Have not seen vehicles being transported by trains ? Is it really possible in India ?
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Old 2nd April 2013, 15:49   #4
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Default re: A Unique Case of Vehicle Damage whilst Transporting a Car by Truck! Lessons learnt...

EDIT : Checked with my insurer and the insurance company states that no additional coverage is required to transport the vehicle by road transport and any damages which occur due to such transport would be covered as part of standard policy coverage. I am reproducing the relevant policy wordings below(refer IX):

The Company will indemnify the insured against loss or damage to the vehicle insured hereunder and / or its accessories whilst thereon
I. by fire explosion self ignition or lightning
II. by burglary housebreaking or theft
III. by riot and strike
IV. by earthquake (fire and shock damage)
V. by flood typhoon hurricane storm tempest inundation cyclone hailstorm frost
VI. by accidental external means
VII. by malicious act
VIII.by terrorist activity
IX. whilst in transit by road rail inland-waterway lift elevator or air
X. by landslide rockslide

Last edited by Rajeev1 : 2nd April 2013 at 15:52. Reason: Removed font hashtags
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Old 2nd April 2013, 15:50   #5
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Default

Mod Note: Do not post back to back on the same thread. Please use "Edit" function if posting within 20 minutes. Also use "multi-quote" option to reply simultaneously to different posts.

Thanks Rajeev,
Do check about the marine insurance. I understand that the transporter also arranges for it, or might be covered in their own policy at lower premium. Did you try selling your car to Mahindra First Choice or Maruti True Value? I have visited some True Value centers and have not seen any non Maruti cars so I wonder if they discourage sale of non Maruti cars. The price you will get from them will likely be lower than you what you might get from direct buyers.

One more point on the transportation of your Fabia. Check with the transporter if there is a possibility of keeping the car keys separate from the truck. Insurance companies ask for both keys in cases of total loss, and not having one key can reduce the claim value. Anyways, hoping all that doesn't arise and your car reaches safely without a scratch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeev1 View Post
EDIT : Checked with my insurer and the insurance company states that no additional coverage is required to transport the vehicle by road transport and any damages which occur due to such transport would be covered as part of standard policy coverage. I am reproducing the relevant policy wordings below(refer IX):

The Company will indemnify the insured against loss or damage to the vehicle insured hereunder and / or its accessories whilst thereon
I. by fire explosion self ignition or lightning
II. by burglary housebreaking or theft
III. by riot and strike
IV. by earthquake (fire and shock damage)
V. by flood typhoon hurricane storm tempest inundation cyclone hailstorm frost
VI. by accidental external means
VII. by malicious act
VIII.by terrorist activity
IX. whilst in transit by road rail inland-waterway lift elevator or air
X. by landslide rockslide
Rajeev,
The standard insurance does cover risk during transit. The marine insurance I guess is the one where the transporter includes you as an additional insured in its own policy, for that shipment only. Check with the transporter. I mentioned about it because the insurance guy told me it is easier to process claim under marine insurance. However I do not take his word for it. It may just be a way of passing the risk to the marine insurer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lambuhere1 View Post
This is the first time hearing about marine insurance ?

Is it different from the regular one we buy for our vehicles ?

Have not seen vehicles being transported by trains ? Is it really possible in India ?
I do not have any first hand experience of it, but have gathered from various online forums that it is possible to transport smaller vehicles by train, if not larger SUVs. Yes, marine insurance exists. Do not go by the word "marine" as it may give the impression that it covers only goods being transported by sea. It is a generic term used to cover goods in transit. I believe it is an insurance where your goods are covered under the umbrella policy of the transporter. The premium works out cheaper that way.

Last edited by noopster : 2nd April 2013 at 17:38. Reason: Back to back posts
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Old 2nd April 2013, 16:23   #6
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Default re: A Unique Case of Vehicle Damage whilst Transporting a Car by Truck! Lessons learnt...

Hello Malyaj, welcome to Team-BHP and thank you for taking time out for penning down your experience.

I myself relocated to Bangalore from Gurgaon in November 2012 and had my car carried in a truck. After reading through your experience, I consider myself very lucky that all I had to show for damage after the 2500 km transportation was a broken number plate, which was flimsy anyway.

May you have a long and happy journey with your Waggy.
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Old 2nd April 2013, 16:41   #7
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@malyaj

Thats one experience you had with the transporter, Insurance co. Your experience will definitely help many on the forum to do their homework before they handover their vehicle for transportation.

Any particular reason why you didnt opt for driving down to Bangalore?

Also any idea how much would the Marine Insurance premium cost roughly for transporting a hatchback and what would be the risk cover?
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Old 2nd April 2013, 17:23   #8
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Default Re: A Unique Case of Vehicle Damage whilst Transporting a Car by Truck! Lessons learn

This is one experience worth reading by everyone. Although i do not see myself relocating in near or far future but its a good read just to be aware of any pitfalls that are there.

There is so much ambiguity in Insurance and claim areas that it gets very difficult to someone to settle the case soon, and on top of that Insurance companies try every trick in the book to lesser or reject the claim. In my accident experience they asked for my DL and because it was broken and not readable they were arguing that i did not hold a valid Driving license. Later i gave them something called as extract from RTO so as they could proceed further.
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Old 2nd April 2013, 21:13   #9
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Default Re: A Unique Case of Vehicle Damage whilst Transporting a Car by Truck! Lessons learn

@malyaj--thanks for taking time to post your ordeal. It is a real eye-opener to us folks. I can feel your pain.

One of my colleagues lost most of his household goods in a truck accident during transfer, and based on his experience, I made sure I covered the goods under insurance before transportation. But I was not aware of marine insurance, and did not have the need for it as I decided to drive down to Hyderabad from Vizag.

My brother-in-law also transported his Alto by truck to Hyderabad from Chennai, after turning down my offer to drive it for him. The car was damaged during unloading, and it took him two months of running around to get the claim reimbursed by the transporter. During that period, he was using my Waggie, so did not feel inconvenienced.

I wish you all the best in your efforts to get the claim settled. Please do keep us posted.
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Old 2nd April 2013, 21:43   #10
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Default Re: A Unique Case of Vehicle Damage whilst Transporting a Car by Truck! Lessons learn

Malyaj,

Thanks for sharing your experience. It is a very helpful post. At the same time, I am sorry for the loss you have gone through. Hope things get better with you soon and you starting enjoying your life with Waggy which would cover up the loss of your Figo at least to an extent if not completely.

My brother is moving to Pune from Bangalore on his new job next week. I was insisting him to drive all the way to Pune instead of transporting the car. He is little hesitant but looks like now after reading your post and having a short period of time, I have to force him to drive the car to Pune.

Thanks again for the informative post.
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Old 3rd April 2013, 05:49   #11
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Default Re: A Unique Case of Vehicle Damage whilst Transporting a Car by Truck! Lessons learn

Thank you for sharing this experience; given how normal it has become for people to move cities, it will definitely help them make a good choice.

Damage during transportation has always been a grey area.. my Corsa was visibly damaged (1 non-OEM headlight and awfully repaired hood) while being transported from Gurgaon to Bangalore in '09. The transporter was arrogant enough to tell me that his job was to get the car transported, in whatever condition. Needless to say, when I moved back to Gurgaon, I drove down!

I'm glad your transporter is being helpful.

As for the other point you have mentioned, about transportation through rail - although I haven't heard of anyone transporting cars that way, I know of many people who transported their bikes and part of it is accepting that there will be some damage.

So, there clearly isn't a black or white - just 50 shades of grey (pun unintended ).
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Old 3rd April 2013, 06:25   #12
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Default Re: A Unique Case of Vehicle Damage whilst Transporting a Car by Truck! Lessons learn

Do you have some pictures that you talk about. Would very much like to know how un-salvagable the car is.
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Old 3rd April 2013, 06:41   #13
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Default Re: A Unique Case of Vehicle Damage whilst Transporting a Car by Truck! Lessons learn

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malyaj View Post
My first post on team bhp and it comes with a background of mixed experiences. The bad experience first. It is a long one, but I hope it will be useful for some folks.

I relocated to from Gurgaon to Bangalore last month and my 3 year old Ford Figo (ZXI diesel)

Its been over a month since the accident and I am feeling the pinch less with every passing day. I also remind myself that there were 2 people who died in the incident. Their families' loss is a lot more than mine and totally irreparable.
Hey Malyaj (Kaloni, right?)!

Really sorry to hear about your car. That is indeed an unfortunate and mad scenario - do keep us posted on how it turns out. I would personally have been mad as hell if I were in your place. Your calm post has many lessons for the rest of us as well.

But this gets me to the point - its always FAR easier to drive down than to leave such things to the "transporters".
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Old 3rd April 2013, 06:50   #14
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Default Re: A Unique Case of Vehicle Damage whilst Transporting a Car by Truck! Lessons learn

I am not sure what is this marine insurance. AFAIK marine insurance is taken if your goods are shipped by sea either in containers or otherwise. Its ususally taken for large consignments transported by sea.
Also your transporter looks very shady to me, he cannot get away by putting hidden clauses that he is not responsible for accidents or thefts during transit, in that case what is he doing in transportation business? his stupid clauses will not hold water even in a district court if you decide to haul him there.

I understand you are busy with your work in Bangalore, but if you cannot take out enough time for your own 5 lacs, then please do not expect insurers or transporters to do it for you, this is India, people dont do their work without a stick on their backside.



Have you filed an FIR for your loss? Ideally you should consult a lawyer who would advice you the next legal steps. Firstly get a FIR filed against the transporter for losing your goods, strengthen your case and if he doesnt relent, send him a police/court notice.
Send a notice to your insurer about loss +damage to your car and as per their survey ask them for full IDV compensation for damage. They cant give silly excuses that the car should be in a garage, in that case if you were driving and your car fell off a hill, will it be towed to a garage before the insurer pays up? Worst case you can arrange for pulling your car out of the wreck and then adding the towing bill to either the transporter or the insurer.
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Old 3rd April 2013, 08:21   #15
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Default Re: A Unique Case of Vehicle Damage whilst Transporting a Car by Truck! Lessons learn

Sorry to hear.

The IDV is 4.14L, and for cash loss they are saying 3 Lacs. Remember, when you sell the salvage, you can get a certificate from the seller and claim back the Road tax paid. I think you can also adjust to your new vehicle.

I am sure it would be a difficult job, but worthy. Did you try to negotiate with the insurance guys for a better amount?
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