Missed EMIs, exceeding the due date of bills, or missing insurance renewal is far more common than you think. In fact, most people have faced one of these or similar situations at some point in life. It could be due to procrastination, laziness, or a financial crunch. Yet, this is not something that should be taken lightly.
Missing the due date to renew car insurance policy has its repercussions and can prove to be a costly mistake. You must know you cannot file a claim even minutes after your car insurance policy expires. For instance, if your car insurance policy expired at midnight, and you meet with an accident at 12.30 am, your insurance claim will be rejected and you will have to pay for the damage out of your pocket. Hence, you must renew car insurance policy on time to enjoy continuous coverage.
What happens if you miss renewing your car insurance policy?
Today, most insurance providers use advanced digital means to stay connected with their customers. Policyholders often receive many reminders in advance to renew their policy before expiry. However, if you fail to renew expired car insurance despite reminders, then you will have to bear the consequences. Expired car insurance means:
- You cannot take your car to the road
According to the Motor Vehicle Act 1988, all vehicles in India must have valid third-party insurance to drive on Indian roads. In case you are caught driving without car insurance, you will have to pay hefty fines and/or face imprisonment for up to three months.
- You lose your coverage
If you fail to pay the required premium on time, your car insurance policy will lapse and you will not be able to file a claim unless you renew car insurance. So, in case of an unfortunate event, you will have to bear the expenses out of your pocket, leaving you with an unnecessary financial burden.
- You will have to pay a higher premium
Insurance providers keep a record of your payments. Safe drivers, who rarely or never file a claim, can avail of a discount on their policy premiums. People who file more claims or do not pay the premium on time may have to pay a higher premium, sometimes, with a penalty. To renew expired car insurance means to buy a new insurance policy, and that comes at a higher premium amount.
- You may lose your accumulated No Claim Bonus
For every consecutive claim-free year, your insurance provider gives you a discount on the policy premium for the next policy period. This discount is called the No Claim Bonus or NCB. Depending on your policy terms, you can avail of up to a 50% NCB discount. However, if you make a claim or forget to renew car insurance even once, your NCB resets to zero and you lose the accumulated NCB benefit.
What you should do if you miss renewing car insurance?
In case you miss renewing your policy on time, do the following at the earliest:
- Contact your insurance provider
As soon as you realise you have missed to renew car insurance policy, get in touch with your insurer or insurance agent. They are experts at handling such cases and will guide you on how to renew your expired insurance policy. They will also explain the process. You can also renew expired car insurance online. This will save you both time and effort. Remember, you may have to pay a higher premium amount to renew your policy.
- Pay during the grace period, if possible
Even if you did not renew your car insurance on time, your policy is not immediately cancelled. You are offered a grace period between 3 and 30 days, depending on the insurer. You can pay the premium amount during this period and enjoy the benefits of car insurance. You may have to pay a fine, but you will not lose policy benefits.
- Do not drive till you renew car insurance
If you choose to drive without an active insurance policy, you would only be putting your vehicle and yourself at further risk. In case of an accident, you would be liable to pay for damages on your own. Additionally, if found without a valid insurance policy, you would be paying hefty penalties too.
- Choose the new policy
To renew expired car insurance, you can choose to change your insurance provider and buy a new policy from a different and better provider. Before choosing the policy, do not fail to compare policies across all important parameters.
- Keep required documents handy
Once you have zeroed in on the new policy, get ready with the documents needed by the insurance provider. They will give you a detailed list of documents. Also, keep the previous policy document and Registration Certificate of your car handy. You would require these to renew car insurance. In addition, you may have to give the insurer some additional details such as the age of the car, make and model, date and location of registration etc.
- Keep your car ready for the survey
Some insurance providers would ask for a physical survey of your car before they renew expired car insurance. It is important to set up the appointment as soon as possible to avoid delays.
Car insurance is a legal requirement to drive your car on public roads and keep yourself and others safe. Renewing car insurance after the due date can be expensive and stressful. In addition, you face the risk of losing several benefits that come with continuous coverage. So, renew your policy on time and remain stress-free.
Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purposes only. For more details, please refer to the policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.