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Car insurance – What should you do after your motor insurance policy expires?

After a motor insurance policy expires, the first and foremost thing the policyholder should do is to inform the insurance company. Experts say informing the insurer should be done on a priority basis, as soon as the policyholder gets an update about the motor insurance policy's expiry.

In India, it is mandatory to at least have third-party vehicle insurance as per the Motor Vehicle Act. Similar to other insurance plans, with car insurance policies, policyholders get coverage up to a specific time limit, which expires as the policy term ends. Then the insurer is needed to renew the plan to continue getting cover for any damages or expenses of the car.

Experts say individuals, if found driving on the roads without a valid motor insurance policy, might have to face financial and legal problems. Hence, a policyholder is left uninsured against different risks, if the policy is not renewed on time.

After a motor insurance policy expires, the first and foremost thing the policyholder should do is to inform the insurance company. Experts say informing the insurer should be done on a priority basis, as soon as the policyholder gets an update about the motor insurance policy’s expiry.

Generally, after the insurance company is informed, an appointment is made for the survey of the insured vehicle. The surveyor sent by the insurance company inspects the vehicle and sees if there are any pre-existing damages, before approving for renewal. Industry experts say in case of any damages there are chances that the insurer would set a fixed deductible on the damage and the policyholder would be charged during further claims.

Additionally, the policyholder can also opt for a new car insurance policy, post the inspection process. The renewal period is the time when one can switch to another insurer if the policyholder is not happy with the current insurer. Keep in mind that the inspection is not valid for a longer duration, hence, you will have to purchase the new car insurance policy as soon as the inspection is completed. Experts say if one actually plans on switching between insurers, they should look for insurers that offer better services and enhanced coverage on the vehicle. Policyholders can also opt for additional benefits or features in their motor insurance plan during the renewal process.

Note that if the renewal is not done before the due date, insurers lapse insurance plans. Also, if there are any accident or damage that takes place after the due date, and the policyholder has not renewed the policy, the insurer is not liable to bear the expenses.

Industry experts say, renewing the policy on time benefits the policyholder with features such as No Claim Bonus (NCB) and other benefits as per the plan. If a policy stays lapsed for 90 days (3 months) the policyholder might lose the benefits of NCB.

Hence, it is always suggested by experts to consider renewing the motor insurance policy on time to be on the safer side and to avoid any financial and legal issues.

Source Financial Express | 23/02/2021