Car Insurance Renewal - Extending your Vehicle’s Life against Unpredictability
Car Insurance is your primary line of defence against the unforeseen eventualities of life that could potentially (and negatively) impact your cherished set of wheels. And, car insurance renewal, is the essential, thoughtful and responsible option to save yourself, your car and your loved ones against such eventualities.
How to Deal with Car Insurance Renewal
Car Insurance Specials
Car insurance is mandatory by law for all running vehicles in India. Auto insurance provides financial protection in the case of a vehicular accident or third-party damage. Several public and private insurance companies offer various types of car insurances for all makes and models of cars in the market. All new cars come with a car insurance policy which has to be renewed after one year. A premium amount has to be paid every year to keep your car insurance policy active. The factors affecting your car insurance premium are IDV (Insured Declared Value), type and age of the car, Cubic Capacity of the engine, and geographical zone.
Premium = Own Damage Premium – (No claim bonus + discounts) + Liability Premium as fixed by the IRDAI
Online car insurance premium calculator is available on the insurance provider’s website and third-party websites like BankBazaar. Enter policyholder’s name, contact details, and address, followed by name of car manufacturer, car model number, manufacturing year, car sub-type, fuel type, and registration date. Click on the ‘calculate premium’ tab and get an instant quote on how much premium you need to pay for your chosen car insurance policy.
Renewing your car insurance is extremely simple. You can do this easily online on your insurer’s website or even on BankBazaar. You can also switch your policy to a different insurer. The process is easy if you do it on time. Renewing your car insurance before it expires makes all the difference between it being hassle-free and it turning into a nightmare. But if you have missed your due date, or realised your policy has expired, fret not! There are ways to fix this situation. It might require extra effort and might cost you more, but it will get your insurance renewed.
Car Insurance Renewal after Due Date or Expiry
Car insurers offer different terms and conditions on their policies. Some companies offer grace periods to give you some time to pay the premium and renew your policy. This period can range between 3 days and 30 days. Some companies impose a late fee for using the grace period.
Not all companies offer this period. If you do not have a grace period, then your policy will expire on the due date. In case you are granted a grace period, be sure not to overuse it or take advantage of it. Use it only when you absolutely need it.
If you are renewing your policy after the due date, here are some pointers:
- Ensure you have a grace period. Ask for this information from your agent or insurer.
- Be aware of fees and charges for using the grace period.
- Making late payments can disrupt your future payment schedule.
- You may face issues with renewing your policy if you consistently pay during the grace period.
- When you are renewing your policy, ensure you have paid all dues including late fees.
- Also make sure any changes that have to be made to your policy is done accurately.
Expired Car Insurance Policy Renewal
If you fail to renew your policy before the expiry date, then your insurance lapses. You will not have insurance on your car and you legally can’t drive on the roads in India. The police can impose a fine or seize your vehicle if you do not have a valid insurance policy. The consequences of missing the renewal before its expiry are plenty.
- If your policy has lapsed for a significant period, you may not qualify for renewal. You might need to apply for a new policy.
- Your premiums might be higher and previous benefits might not be applicable.
- Fines can be imposed for the days you missed.
- Vehicle inspections might have to be conducted.
- You might lose your no claim bonus.
- If you choose to drive your car without a valid policy, you can run into trouble with the authorities.
- If you meet with an accident without a valid insurance policy, you will have to bear the damages on your own.
Some important things to remember about your car insurance policy are:
- It’s always better to renew your policy before it expires.
- Find out the time at which the insurance lapses. Policies may run out at 12:01 a.m. on the date of expiry, which means you only get one minute of coverage on the due date.
- Renew ahead of time to avoid hassles.
- Some insurers provide a car insurance renewal notice to policyholders. If your insurance company offers this facility, sign up for it, so that you do not miss the deadline.
Car Insurance Renewal after Accident and Claim
People also face issues with renewing their policy after meeting with an accident or making a claim from the insurance company. Since the purpose of insurance is to protect you in the event of an accident, one would wonder why insurers increase the premium after you have been in one! It can be frustrating if you are not aware of the details of your car insurance policy. These are things that weren’t taught in school, and we struggle to learn in real life. Many people take policies without knowing the intricate details of their policy which can later be a headache. Let’s take a look at the consequences an accident can have on your car insurance renewal.
Car Insurance Renewal after Accident
If you have had an accident, renewing your policy can be tricky. Legally, as per your insurance policy, you must report any accident, even if it’s a minor one, to the insurer. A lot of people do not report minor bumps because there is not much damage or costs, and filing the accident with the company would be time-consuming, tedious and result in troubles later.
Third party claims - If the company is liable to pay third party claims, then your insurance premiums can increase significantly upon renewal.
Free pass - Insurance companies may give you a free pass on your first “at fault” accident. In this case, your car insurance renewal quote and policy will remain the same. When you are shopping around for insurance, this is a good point to remember to ask the agent. Always find out if there is an option to buy an endowment which will cost a little extra, but will get you forgiveness for your first accident which was your fault.
Hit-and-run - For collision cases in which the other driver was at fault but disappeared, your claims will not affect the premium at the time of renewal.
Surcharges - Companies may also impose surcharges on your policy. If you face surcharges, you can ask your agent for how long the surcharge will be applicable. Usually, companies drop the surcharge after 2 years or so, if you have not caused any accident in that period.
Car Insurance Renewal after Claim
Having a made a claim on your insurance policy will affect its renewal, but there are many things to consider here.
Non-fault claims - If the accident was not your fault, you can file a claim, and the insurance company will try to recover the costs from the other driver’s insurance policy. These claims do not have much of a negative impact on your renewal. However, you could stand to lose the whole or part of your No Claim Bonus. In the event that your insurer is not able to recover the costs from the third party, then the case might be considered a “fault claim”. In all cases, your premiums can increase by around 30%.
Non-accidental claim - If you have made a claim in the event of vandalism, fire, theft and so on, this will not affect your premium when you renew your policy. But if you file multiple claims, this can affect your eligibility for claims-free discounts. If the claims rate is too high, your policy can be terminated.
Fault claims - Claims in which your insurance company has to pay third party damages can increase your premium significantly upon renewal. Only in cases where you are granted forgiveness for the first case will your premiums remain the same.
Car Insurance Renewal with Outstanding Claim
Many times claims take months to be processed and disbursed. Sometimes claims are outstanding when you have to renew your policy. This can complicate things for both yourself and the insurance company.
As the company is still investigating your claim, you might be found at fault in the accident. In the case of insurance, you’re guilty until proven innocent. This can increase your car insurance renewal quotes. But there’s no need to worry about this. After you renew your policy, wait till your claim is settled. Once it’s confirmed that it was a case in which you were not at fault, you can talk to your insurer and get your premiums lowered. The extra money paid will be adjusted.
Advantages of Online Car Insurance Renewal - Beat the Rush, Save Time and Patience
Renew motor insurance online to save time, any additional monetary inputs and your patience. In today’s fast paced world, most of us do not have the time or inclination to visit a physical outlet and renew our respective car insurance policies. Instead, we will prefer the simplicity and immediate reach afforded by the car insurer’s online portal. Broadly speaking, the following are the most obvious advantages of online car insurance renewal-
Save time - Renewing motor insurance online takes less time, and definitely doesn’t erode your patience.
Hassle-free process - Unlike visiting an actual outlet of the insurer, the online car insurance renewal process is simpler and quicker. Plus, there are no documents to submit or verifications to affect immediately.
Available 24x7, 365 days a year - Renewing car insurance online is always an option. From the comfort of your home or office, renew your policy wherever and whenever you feel up to it.
Do not wait - Often, the insurance policy expires and a lag exists before you renew the same. With online car insurance renewal, this isn’t a problem anymore as you are served an e-copy of your updated policy instantly. Take a printout, enjoy peace of mind.
No documentation - Online renewals involve little to no documentation. Usually, the concerned documents only need to be produced at the time of a claim.
Safe and secure - Car insurers are aware of the need to provide maximum security when it comes to the online collection of your personal information. Thus, they have built portals that are robust, secure and highly customer centric. Renewing your car insurance on these is not just a breeze, but quite an enjoyable experience too.
Hence, it definitely makes sense to utilise the safer, smarter, and simpler online route when renewing your car insurance policy than opting for the traditional way involving long queues, less patience, and greater turnaround times.
Online Car Insurance Renewals - Three Words, Simple, Fast and Click!!
When set to renew motor insurance online, it’s all a matter of clicking a bunch of pre-designated buttons. Your chosen car insurer has simplified this flow by keeping the entire process limited to a short number of steps. A login followed by clicking on the clearly marked ‘renew’ button. As is the norm, specific information pertaining to your current policy and about your own self needs to be furnished, that’s it.
Car Insurance Renewal Tips
Keeping your car insured all the times is a must. Not only from a statutory point of view, but also to safeguard against unwanted expenses in case of an accident or mishap. Do watch out for a renewal notice from the insurer in the form of letters or emails and ensure renewal before the due date to avoid unwanted expenses in the form of re-inspection charges. Renewing car insurance can be tricky sometimes. Be it the sophisticated breakup of premium amount or insurance jargons, it may put you in a mental fix.
The top three things you must consider before renewing car insurance have been explained below:
The proposed premium can be further brought down by negotiating with the company representatives such as agents or customer service. Get in touch to see how they can help you in reducing the premium amount in the form of discounts on the overall value or by eliminating add-on options such as “zero depreciation cover ”.
Consider Including Add-On Coverage
In addition to the standard features and benefits, add on options enhance the policy cover. Look out for optional covers that suit your usage and ask for inserting them in the standard cover. Add-on options come with certain cost.
Scan for Accuracy of Information
Look out for errors in the policy information and have them corrected before issuance. Renewal is the right time to update your contact and other details. Incorrect information may lead to denial or delay in processing claims.
How do I reduce my car insurance renewal premium?
Listed below are some ways in which you can bring down your auto insurance renewal premium:
- Opt for higher voluntary deductibles - A voluntary deductible or excess is the amount of money you pay towards the repair of your car following an accident, before the car insurance kicks in and pays the rest. If you are confident of your driving skills, you can opt for a larger deductible. This will cause a considerable reduction in your car insurance renewal quote. However, you should settle at a value that you can pay comfortably at the trying time of an accident.
- Do not raise claims for small expenses - If you refrain from making claims under your car insurance, you can get an NCB that offers you a discount in renewal premium of up to 50%. Do not lose out on this benefit by raising claims for small bumps and scratches that you can easily afford to pay for by yourself.
- Remember to transfer your NCB - At the time of car insurance renewal, if you are switching insurance companies, you should make a note of getting an NCB retention letter from the old insurer. This certificate will enable you to preserve the NCB and use it later on your new car insurance policy. The NCB retention letter can preserve the NCB for up to 3 years before it is linked to a policy.
- Compare insurance plans online - It is highly recommended to compare car insurance plans online before renewing your policy. This way, you will have an idea of the solutions available in the market. If your insurance needs have changed since you first got your car insured, you can look to include additional coverage under the plan. Likewise, you can also switch insurance companies if you think that your ideal insurance policy is offered by an alternate provider.
- Get membership in AAI - Consider getting a membership in the Automobile Association of India. Apart from offering you a host of benefits like updating address on your driving license easily, getting an international driving permit (IDP) within the shortest time, changing car ownership effortlessly, membership in the association also enables you to get a lower premium on your car insurance.
- Install anti-theft devices - You can get a premium discount of up to 5% if your vehicle is equipped with an approved anti-theft device.
- Renew policy on time - As explained above, this is crucial in ensuring that there is no hike in your renewal premium.
What is Lapsed Car Insurance?
A car insurance policy lapses when the insured does not renew the policy within the stipulated due date or renewal deadline. Generally it is required by policyholders to renew their existing car insurance policies on or before the given due date to enjoy continuity of coverage. Once the car insurance policy crosses the renewal date, any type of claim made will be deemed inapplicable, since the insured does not hold a valid insurance policy.
All car insurance policies are annual contracts that have to be renewed on a particular date mentioned in the policy document. Most policies mention the date and time the cover comes into effect and also its termination date. If an individual misses a due date and does not renew a car insurance policy, then there will be a break in the policy. What this means is that instead of just continuing with your existing policy, you will have to buy a completely new policy. Individuals might also lose all the benefits of their old policies and might even end up paying higher premiums to get new policies. The safer option would be to renew your existing policy on time without bearing the burden of extra premiums.
How Do You Renew an Expired Car Insurance Policy?
As soon as a policyholder crosses the renewal deadline, he should contact the insurer to check about the options available to renew the policy. Some insurers might not allow online renewals in this case and might require the insured to actually apply for a new policy.
Policyholders need to act fast when they realise that they have not renewed their existing policies on time. Some insurers might easily allow renewals like an existing policy if the time gap is not huge. But mostly, insurers will request policyholders to apply for a new policy and have them go through the entire rigmarole again. Also for the lapsed period, insurers will not provide any kind of coverage or financial assistance and will not process any claim settlements.
Third party coverage is generally not impacted by lapses as this is mandatory by law. Most insurers renew this aspect of car insurance very easily. Insurers might charge additional rates for providing coverage for own damages, following the policy lapse. Since they would be considering this as an entirely new policy, they may not pay for pre-existing damages and any claims made during the lapse period will also not be considered.
If a car insurance policy is renewed on time, policyholders are generally entitled to No Claim Bonus amounts, provided they have not made any claims the previous year. However if a policy lapses, then insurers have the authority to either reduce the NCB amount or completely cancel it. This could mean that policyholders will have to pay higher premiums when they eventually renew their car insurance policies. Letting a car insurance policy lapse also gives an insurer the leeway to further refuse coverage or even a new policy, if the vehicle is too old or damaged.
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Car Insurance Renewal FAQs:
- How can car insurance renewal help me?
- What if the insurance policy is not renewed within the term? What are the options?
- What if I get my car fitted with new accessories? Do I have to wait for the policy renewal or can I get them insured right away?
- What is an add-on cover?
- What are the details required for car insurance policy renewal?
Car insurance protects you from theft, burglary, accidents, third party legal liabilities or any other natural calamity. Car insurance policy renewal ensures that you continue to enjoy these benefits and makes your life hassle free.
An individual may obtain a new policy for the expired one. However, the company representatives would be inspecting the car prior to issuing a new policy. It is advisable that one keeps track of the car insurance renewal date and get it renewed on time.
You can avail insurance for the new accessories during the current term. You need to send a written request to the customer care department and they will take it forward from there.
The add-on cover adds some extra features to your general insurance policy. Some of them are No Claim Bonus Retention Cover, Engine Protect Cover, and Nil Depreciation Cover.
- Your name (as on official documents)
- Your contact number and e-mail id
- Your vehicle registration number
- The existing policy number of the car
The cost of your car insurance at the time of renewal depends on the insurance company, the history of the car, and the vehicle’s previous insurance. Insurers may increase the premium at renewal based on the type of claims that were raised under the policy. Also if the previous insurance policy had lapsed for a considerable amount of time, leaving a gap in insurance, there will be a negative impact on the renewal premium.
You can cancel your car insurance at any time. The time at which you cancel it determines whether you will have to pay a penalty to the insurer or not. Every insurance company has a unique cancellation policy that it adheres to.
When you buy a policy from an insurance company, you get a 14-day cooling off period during which you can return the policy and get it cancelled. This is done free of any additional charges. If you are requesting for policy cancellation after the cooling off period, you may have to pay penalties.
You should look at the policy documentation to understand the clauses pertaining to policy cancellation, and whether a charge will be levied.
The car insurance renewal quote depends upon several factors:
- If the insurance was renewed after the due date, the insurer checks whether it was renewed within the grace period. If the renewal was done within this timeframe, you may not see a hike in premium. If the renewal was done after the due date, you will be required to pay a higher premium.
- When you are renewing your car insurance after an accidental claim, you may have to bear a higher premium, depending on whether you were responsible for the accident.
- In case you are renewing auto insurance following any other claim that you had raised under the policy, the insurer will look at the claim payout to determine the renewal premium.
- If there is an outstanding claim under the policy that you are renewing, the insurer may increase the renewal premium. Later on, there will be more clarity on the circumstances under which the event resulting in the claim occurred. If at that time, it was found that you were not responsible for the event, you can request for a refund of the additional amount that you paid as premium.
As your car gets older, its IDV decreases. This implies that the premium you pay for its insurance will come down with each renewal. However, several car owners have witnessed a premium hike at renewal. There could be several reasons for this:
- The insurer may be posting an increase that will be effective across-the-board to cover the rising costs. If this is the case, the hike in premium will be a minimal value, as the insurer will be spreading the increase throughout its customer base.
- A change in your credit score may result in a higher rate for your car insurance. However, not all insurance companies use credit scores to determine the premiums.
- Some companies marginally increase the rate of car insurance each year. This results in a significantly higher premium value than what you started with. In this case, you can compare insurance policies online and even buy insurance from an alternate car insurance provider at a more reasonable cost.
You should talk to your insurance provider/agent and understand if you stand to qualify for any discounts. You may be offered a discount in premium based on customer loyalty or for buying multiple policies from the insurer.
You can find the due date for your auto insurance renewal in the policy documentation. Alternatively, you can call up the insurance company and request for the same.
You can renew third-party liability car insurance through the websites of most insurance companies. In case this facility is not offered by your insurance company, you can go to the insurer’s branch office and request for a policy renewal.
There are two broad categories of reasons for the refusal of car insurance renewal - your personal details and the car itself. Your personal details may vary from your address to age, the amount of excess you are willing to bear and your driving experience. Your vehicle is also assigned a risk category based on its value, probability of it being involved in a claim, and the speed that it produces.
Listed below are some of the main reasons for the rejection of your auto insurance renewal:
- Your car is an imported model.
- You are just learning to drive.
- The area you reside in is associated with thefts and fraudulent claims.
- A combination of your personal details and the risks associated with the car puts you in the high-risk category for insurers.
- You have made modifications to the vehicle.
- You have been associated with motoring and non-motoring offences in the past.
GST Update: GST of 18% is applicable on car insurance effective from the 1st of July, 2017