In India, insurance renewal is just as important as buying it. You must renew your insurance policy before it expires to keep it active and prevent out-of-pocket expenses during an accident. Read on to see how you can renew car insurance online and the important factors to consider when renewing an expired policy.
So, let us get started with car insurance renewal online.
Online Car Insurance Renewal Process
Visit your insurance provider’s website for buying or renewing car insurance online. Car insurance renewal is a fairly quick and simple process. It takes only a few minutes to renew a car insurance policy if an inspection is not needed. The policy will be emailed to you once the online payment is completed.
Car inspection is part of the renewal process. It depends on the length of time since the expiry of the policy. If you are renewing car insurance within a week of policy expiration, you might not need to get your car inspected. Some insurers allow renewal without inspection within a month of policy expiry. However, it is mandatory to inspect a car before renewal if the insurance policy has been inactive for more than 90 days.
Three Stages of Car Insurance Renewal
An insurance company’s promise to cover your car is null and void once the policy expires. It means you cannot make a claim if your policy is not valid. There are three possible situations:
1. Immediate Renewal of Car Insurance after Expiration
Despite your insurance company’s regular reminders, you might forget to renew the policy. Then, one day, your insurer may call and inform you that your policy has expired. You may panic and renew your plan online immediately. Usually, immediate renewal of the policy does not have severe consequences. However, you must avoid driving your car with an expired policy.
2. Renewal of Car Insurance After Grace Period
Some insurance companies offer a grace period of 30-90 days for renewing car insurance. This period varies for every insurer. The grace period doesn’t mean that your car insurance will renew automatically. It just means that you can renew car insurance without facing major consequences such as an increase in the premium amount. The grace period also allows you to keep your No Claim Bonus intact. However, you must remember to not drive the car after the policy’s expiry, even if it is in the grace period.
3. 90-Day Car Insurance Renewal
Delaying your car insurance policy renewal beyond 90 days can attract unwelcome actions from the insurer. You may have to deal with a car inspection, policy cancellation or even the cancellation of the No Claim Bonus amount you have accumulated. All these actions have the potential to increase your premium for your next policy year. Driving your car without car insurance can lead to legal troubles and fines. In India, it is mandatory to have valid third-party insurance to drive your car.
Why Should You Always Have Valid Car Insurance
Driving your car without valid car insurance makes you vulnerable to financial and legal risks. Here’s a list of all the troubles you might have to face:
Driving your car without valid car insurance can expose you to trouble with the law-enforcing authorities. If caught, you may have to deal with monetary penalties or even jail time.
Your expired policy cannot provide you with coverage. It means you cannot raise any claim if your car meets with an accident when uninsured. You will have to bear the expenses all by yourself.
You can lose the NCB amount you have accumulated over the years if you take more than 90 days to renew car insurance. This could mean a big loss, especially if you had a 50% NCB discount. The discount is generally given to applicants as a renewal benefit if no claims are raised during the policy period. The amount accumulates for up to five claim-free years. After five years, the discount freezes at 50% and is set to zero once a claim is made.
If considerable days have passed since the expiry of your car insurance, the insurer would want to inspect the car before renewing your policy. This inspection can lead to a price hike for two reasons:
1.The car inspection costs the company money, which is recovered in the form of an increased premium.
2. The car is at risk due to bad maintenance.
The Policy Renewal Process
The longer you delay policy renewal post-expiry, the longer it will take the insurer to issue a renewed plan. In case your insurer demands a car inspection before renewing your policy, you will not be able to renew the policy immediately. The renewal time depends on how much time the inspection process takes and the time taken to pay the penalties, if any.
1. Speak to the Insurer
Contact the insurance company of your choice. Inform them that you would like to renew car insurance, and find out if they offer online support, telephone support, and email support.
Do not drive your car without a valid insurance policy. Make sure you park the car safely to prevent any damage. These precautions are necessary, as the insurer will not cover any losses for your uninsured car.
Once your policy is expired or is close to expiry, you can use this situation to your advantage and review your insurance cover and the insurer. You can also use this time to shop around for the best deals and decide if you want to switch insurers.