Is it important to buy car insurance in India? Yes. Is it important to renew car insurance in India? Yes. A lot of people are aware of the first question and answer but the same cannot be said about the second one, which is equally important. Generally, new cars are insured from the dealer itself, thus that process happens swiftly. When it comes to renewing the plan, the car owner must put in some effort and that is when things become challenging. Renewing car insurance before its expiry date is vital to keep the policy active. But is it possible to renew expired car insurance online? Read ahead for answers.
Renew Expired Car Insurance:
Once your car insurance has expired, the insurance company’s promise to cover the car stands nullified. In short, you cannot raise a claim for an incident that occurs after the policy has expired. There are three categories concerning expired car insurance or lapsed car insurance. Here’s an overview of these three categories concerning a Comprehensive Plan.
Category 1: Immediate car insurance renewal after expiry
There might be an instance where you forgot to renew the policy despite regular reminders from the insurance company. Finally, after the policy’s expiry, you get a message from the insurer stating that the car insurance cover has expired. You panic and immediately renew the plan online. Usually, there are no severe consequences if you renew the policy immediately, do not drive the car during the short time for which the car wasn’t insured, and the car doesn’t get damaged during that period. The insurance company might not even increase the premium or inspect the vehicle in such a case before renewing the policy.
Category 2: Car insurance renewal after grace period
Insurance companies do offer a grace period when it comes to car insurance renewal. This grace period is usually for a few weeks or a month. Note that the grace period does not mean that the car shall be insured during that period. It simply means that you can insure the car without facing consequences like an increase in premium and without the need for inspection. You should not drive an uninsured car even if it is in this grace period.
Category 3: Car insurance renewal after 90 days of policy expiry
You do not want to be in this position. Not insuring your car for a period of 90 days after the policy expiry can mean a car inspection and cancellation of the accumulated No Claim Bonus if any. Both these things have the potential to drastically spike up the payable premium. You shall also be exposed to the risk of being caught by the police if you drive an uninsured vehicle. Such an act can lead to monetary fines. In an unfortunate event, if the uninsured vehicle injures a pedestrian or damages property, it can lead to legal ramifications as well. And as you will be without a Third-party Car Insurance cover, it can pose serious problems.
What Happens if Car Insurance Expires?
If your car insurance policy expires, you are without insurance coverage and vulnerable to financial risks. The insurer will no longer cover you till the time you renew the policy or buy a new one. Here are the risks of an expired car insurance policy.
1) No Cover and Claim
An expired policy = no cover. No cover = no claims. No claims = personal expenses. In such a scenario, if your car faces damages due to fire, rioting or flooding, the insurance company is not liable to compensate for the losses. Thus, it is crucial to renew your car insurance policy in time to benefit from continuous insurance coverage.
2) Legal Trouble
You can get in trouble with the law-enforcing authorities if you are found driving a car with an expired insurance policy. Such an offence can lead to monetary penalties. Repeat offence attracts severe penalties. In a worst-case scenario, you can even end up behind bars. Thus, if you know your car’s policy has expired, take action to renew it immediately and do not venture out with your four-wheeler on public roads.
3) Scope for Inspection
If the insurer feels that considerable days have passed since the car has been uninsured, it might want to inspect the vehicle before renewing the policy. Such an inspection can lead to a price hike due to two reasons. One; the inspection process costs the company, and that cost is added to the premium. Two; if it is found that the car is not in good shape and is at risk.
4) NCB Loss
As mentioned above, the NCB or the No Claim Bonus can be lost if the car insurance policy is not renewed for 90 days after the original expiry date. Such a loss can translate into a huge expense, especially if the NCB discount was 50%. The NCB discount is a renewal benefit given to those policyholders who do not raise a claim during the policy period. It keeps on accumulating for claim-free years, up to five years. It can be as high as 50% if no claims are raised for five consecutive years. Post five years, the discount freezes at 50% till the time a claim is raised. If a claim is raised, it resets to zero.
5) Longer Renewal Process
Overall, if your policy has expired for a lot of days, it might take longer for you to renew the plan. For example, if a policy has not expired, it can be renewed within minutes thanks to online (or) digital insurance. However, in the case of an expired policy where there is an inspection required, the policy cannot be renewed instantly without the inspection process. The inspection process can take time depending upon the availability of the inspectors and your timing.
How to Renew an Expired Car Insurance Online:
If car inspection is not required, you can renew the policy smoothly thanks to the online car insurance renewal facility. There are two ways to go about online car insurance renewal. You can either renew the plan from the same insurer or choose a different car insurance company to insure your four-wheeler.
The process to renew the car insurance policy from the same insurer online.
Step 1: Visit the Acko.com
Step 2: Log in to the website.
Step 3: Change plan if required.
Step 4: Make payment.
Step 5: Receive the renewed policy document.
The process to renew the car insurance policy from a different insurer online.
Step 1: Visit the insurance company’s website.
Step 2: Share the necessary details.
Step 3: Select a suitable car insurance cover.
Step 4: Make payment.
Step 5: Receive the renewed policy document.
Car Inspection Process
Note that if you are switching insurers, your accumulated No Claim Bonus will still be applicable. You can benefit from this as per your new insurer’s process. Some insurers might ask you to fill the NCB details and some might need an NCB certificate from the previous insurer to offer the discount.
If the insurance company needs to inspect your four-wheeler before insuring it, they will let you know during the policy purchase process. If you are buying via the website, you will not be able to proceed without the car inspection process. You might be directed towards a different webpage or asked to follow a different process; for example, an on-call discussion or an email. Here’s an overview.
Step 1: Express your interest to renew your car’s insurance policy via the website or on call.
Step 2: Post verification, the insurer will ask or state a time for car inspection.
Step 3: Confirm the availability for car inspection.
Step 4: Answer any questions posed by the insurance executives assigned for inspection.
Step 5: Receive a quote and insure your car.
Benefits of Buying/Renewing ACKO Car Insurance:
Here are the top benefits of choosing ACKO for online car insurance renewal.
1) Low Payable Premium
Buying or renewing car insurance directly from ACKO means skipping intermediaries. This means no commissions and more savings for you.
2) No Documentation
Do not get caught in the web of excessive form-filling and documentation. You can insure your car with ACKO without getting into filing physical forms and submitting a long list of documents.
3) Quick Buying and Lightning-fast Car Insurance Renewal
ACKO is known for its quick policy issuance. When it comes to renewing policies, the process is lightning-fast. It is a lot quicker as you simply have to log in to your account on the website and renew the plan by making the online payment.
4) Guided Purchase
You can receive expert advice from dedicated insurance executives by reaching out to the customer care team. You can also read blog posts to understand car insurance in detail.
5) Rapid Claim Settlement
With features like One-day pick-up and Three-day delivery, car insurance claim settlement with ACKO is hassle-free. The tech-based infrastructure reduces the time taken to process claims ensuring that the process is rapid.
Things to Do When Car Insurance Policy Has Expired:
Here’s a list of action-items if you find yourself in a position where your car insurance policy has expired.
1) Reach Out to The Insurer
Contact your preferred insurance company and let them know that your current policy has expired and you want to renew the plan from them. This can be done via their website, on-call, or via email. In some cases, such an interest can also be expressed by contacting the brand’s social media accounts.
2) Don’t Drive
Refrain from driving an uninsured vehicle. Ensure to park it in a safe space where it has minimal chances of damage. Take these precautions as an insurer will not cover losses for an uninsured vehicle.
3) Renew ASAP
Renew the policy as soon as possible. While not driving and avoiding legal penalties is in your control, damage to the car in the parking area cannot be controlled. In such a scenario, you will have to bear the expenses.
4) Review the Cover and the Insurer
Use the situation to your advantage and review the cover and your insurer. For example, you can switch to a different plan offered by a different insurer if it appeals to you.
5) Be Available for Inspection
If the insurer needs to inspect the vehicle, make sure to be available at the earliest. Postponing the inspection will delay the renewal process.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Listed below are some of the common policyholder queries concerning the renewal of an expired car insurance policy. If you feel your query has not been answered by the above article or this question and answers section, please contact the insurer’s customer support team for the answers.
Yes, you can renew a Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy online even if it has expired. If the car needs to be inspected, the same shall be communicated to you and arrangements shall be made.
Your car insurance plan’s policy expiry date shall be mentioned on the Policy Document. If you have purchased the plan from an online insurer and if they have the login facility, you can log in to their website and check the expiry date in the My Account section. There’s also the option to email the insurer or call the support team to know the policy date. In most cases, the insurer shall start sending renewal reminders a month before the policy expiry date.
As car insurance is compulsory, you will not be able to drive legally with an expired policy. This means the police can penalise you. The insurer will also not cover you for losses in case of accidents as the policy has expired. Also, if you fail to renew the policy before 90 days of expiry, your accumulated renewal discount in the form of No Claim Bonus will go down to zero, leading to higher premium during policy renewal.
Yes, it is possible to renew your car insurance policy in advance. How soon you can renew is decided by the insurer. You can try renewing online or contact the insurer to know more about it. The ideal way to go about it is to renew the plan as soon as you receive the renewal reminder form the insurance company.
The exact list of documents for car insurance renewal can depend upon the number of days that have elapsed after the policy’s expiry date. Also, online insurers do not need physical document submission while the offline insurers might ask for the expired policy, Driving License, and Registration Certificate.
Yes, you can be charged a monetary penalty in case you are caught driving with an expired car insurance policy. A repeat offence will warrant an additional monetary penalty. The exact payable amount might vary from one location to another.