- Date : 26/08/2022
- Read: 3 mins
Motor vehicle insurance is a mandatory requirement to drive on Indian roads. If yours has expired, you need to act quickly, hold on to the benefits, compare premiums, be ready for an inspection, update your information and keep all documents handy.
The pandemic forced a lot of travel restrictions upon us. During the last two years, many vehicle owners have missed their motor insurance renewals either due to negligence or on account of financial constraints. Motor vehicle insurance is a mandatory requirement to drive on Indian roads as per the Motor Vehicles Act 1988. A comprehensive motor insurance cover not only safeguards your interests but also protects you against any liability arising out of an accident involving your vehicle.
Driving without valid motor insurance attracts a hefty fine and/or imprisonment of up to three months if you are a first-time offender. The severity of the fine and punishment increases if you are caught repeatedly without valid motor vehicle insurance. However, once the insurance expires, its renewal can often get tricky.
Here is a quick guide on everything you need to know about how to renew expired motor insurance.
1. Act quickly
As soon as you become aware that your vehicle’s motor insurance has been rendered invalid, you need to act swiftly. Thankfully, most general insurance companies offer a grace period of 15-30 days, within which you can renew your existing motor insurance. Note that the terms and conditions can vary from one insurer to another, and you may incur a penalty for late payment.
2. Hold on to the benefits
If the renewals are done within 90 days of a lapsed policy, you may be able to salvage some benefits like the No Claim Bonus (NCB). The NCB is a discount given on annual insurance renewal premiums for every consecutive claim-free year. It starts at 10% for the second year, going up to a maximum of 50% in the sixth year. Over the years, the NCB can help bring your insurance premiums down substantially. If you want to retain the accumulated benefit, ensure that you don’t miss the 90-day window offered by the insurer.
3. Compare premiums
Even if the insurance company permits you to renew an expired car insurance policy, it may re-evaluate the premium amount, which in all probability will be more than what you were paying thus far. It would, therefore, make sense for you to compare premium amounts for motor insurance online and choose a service provider that offers the best deal.
4. Prepare your car for inspection
Whether you opt to renew your existing plan or purchase a new motor insurance policy, your vehicle will have to undergo reinspection before a new policy is issued. The insurance company usually sends a third-party agent for this assessment, and the upkeep of your vehicle will have a bearing on the inspection report. So, you may want to ensure that your car gets some TLC beforehand.
5. Update the information
There is a possibility that your registered/communication address, phone number, or other personal details may have changed since you purchased your vehicle. The renewal process would be the ideal time to update any changes that will have a bearing on your insurance policy, the communication address, or the claims process.
6. Keep all documents handy
The process of online motor insurance renewal need not be tedious. Some of the documents required will include your vehicle’s make and model specifications (available with the purchase booklet), registration certificate (RC book), details of the RTO where the vehicle was registered, and a valid driving licence. If the insurer allows you to renew the expired policy, you will need to provide the policy details as well.