Even the bold and adventurous who face life’s unpredictability head-on have to toe the line when it comes to insuring their vehicle.
Although it’s hardly as exciting as buying a cool set of wheels, car insurance is mandatory in India, under the Motor Vehicle Act of 1988. Whether one is doing it out of a logical wish to protect their vehicles from unforeseen events on the road or because of the legal requirement, renewing car insurance is an annual necessity. But in today’s world, when we are all juggling multiple things, even the most critical things can slip through the fingers.
And mistakes cost money. There’s usually a cost attached to renewing a lapsed policy: the premium on renewal of a lapsed cover is often higher than a regular renewal. Further, all accrued benefits on a car policy, like a no-claim bonus, may be lost when a policy is renewed after expiration. And there is, of course, the likelihood of being fined if you’re caught driving without a valid insurance cover.
Regardless of the cost, given that lapsed car insurance cover has to be renewed, here are the steps to consider while renewing your lapsed car insurance cover.
- Reach out to your existing insurer: Most insurance providers allow a grace period for renewing lapsed policies, usually of up to 30 days from the policy expiry date. If the renewal is done within this grace period, the insurer may even allow you to retain the accrued benefits and levy a small charge for the delayed renewal. Renewing a lapsed policy within the grace period is, obviously, the best option, given the low level of hassle and cost involved.
- Evaluate premiums: In a way, this step is similar to getting new car insurance. There are multiple premium calculators, just like a car loan EMI calculator, that enable estimation of the premium, based on the car make, age and period of lapse. The premiums will likely vary between insurers, as will their requirements for documentation. Apart from the cost, the time taken to issue the renewed policy might be the most crucial factor to consider with a lapsed policy.
- Select the right policy: Even a delayed renewal is a good time to reassess whether the policy meets all your requirements. For example, does the policy need to be zero depreciation? Does it need to cover the cost of consumables? Does the policy provider have a good range of empanelled cashless garages? These are some factors to consider.
- Consider continuing with the same insurer: Continuing with the same insurer might help avoid steps like the physical verification of the vehicle, and resubmission of various documents (such as the vehicle’s Registration Certificate or Pollution Under Control certificate, as well as proof of identity or address).
In summary, a lapsed car insurance policy is an issue that can be addressed, although at some cost. And just as you look into online car loan calculators or car loan eligibility calculators before buying a car, you can estimate the cost of renewing your policy and make an informed decision, even in the case of an expired car insurance cover.