How a prolonged lockdown can affect your vehicle?

Here are some facts you must understand before you renew your motor insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How a prolonged lockdown can affect your vehicle?

The COVID-19 pandemic has not just altered normal routines but also confined people within their homes. One of the longest lockdowns to prevail in the nation has caused many limitations on mobility. Many of us haven’t ventured beyond the local grocery store in months. In scenarios like these, it is our vehicles that lie unused for days at a stretch. 

The silver lining to a prolonged lockdown came when the MoRTH (Ministry of Road Transport and Highways) issued an advisory on the 30 March 2020. The advisory stated that the validity of all transport-related documents expiring since 1 February 2020 would be considered valid till 30 June 2020. It includes fitness certificates, permits, driver’s licenses, and registration documents. However, to prevent the spread of coronavirus that still prevails, the Ministry advised state and union territory officials to extend the validity period from 30 June 2020 till 30 September 2020.

Additionally, on 21 May 2020, under Rule 32/Rule 81 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, relaxation will be given on fee validity. No late or additional fee will be charged on travel documents till 31 July 2020. 

Related: 8 Factors to review before renewing your motor insurance policy 

Effects of a lockdown on your car

  • Not firing up the engine of your idle vehicle could cause the engine to deteriorate and the battery to get discharged. 
  • Leaving a car stationary for a very long time can cause tyre damage; especially the part that is in contact with the ground. 
  • Vehicles parked in an enclosed parking space run the risk of rats entering and damaging electrical wires and plastic parts. 
  • Not ensuring periodic checks of components like air conditioning, brakes, or even wiper arms can affect their reliability. 

While you stay safe indoors, don’t forget to show your vehicles a little extra care. If you neglect to do this, there could well be a fat bill waiting for you post-lockdown. 

Related: How to check your EMI, car loan, insurance policy, and tax filing status online?

Importance of renewing your motor insurance during the pandemic

Taking note of the nationwide lockdown, the Ministry of Finance issued an extension of the validity of vehicle documents that expired since 1 February 2020. With online renewal possible, here’s why it’s essential to renew your documents even during a lockdown: 

  • It secures your NCB: A discount offered on the accumulated ‘own damage’ premium amount, your no-claim bonus (NCB) could grow to as much as 50% in just 5 years. If you don’t renew your policy, you stand to lose your NCB.
  • It allows self-damage claims: It is inadvisable to let your motor insurance lapse, especially after the government has provided a grace period. What’s more, adding riders in insurance can cover weather damage such as fading of paint or leather seats. 

Pro tip: What are insurance riders? Well, they are provisions added to an active insurance policy that give more comprehensive coverage. Riders can be purchased at extra cost that must be borne by the insured. 

  • It takes care of additional expenses: An umbrella policy covers unforeseen expenditure due to damages caused by a natural calamity – such as the recent Amphan cyclone.

To sum up, the validity of all motor vehicle documents has been extended for documents expiring from 1 February 2020. With the availability of zero-touch and online renewals, there is no excuse for failing to renew the insurance policy of a car even during a prolonged lockdown. Here's how you can save money while renewing motor insurance.