When you buy insurance for a car, you pay a premium amount for the tenure of the policy. The car insurance policy offers coverage until the last date of the policy tenure. You are expected to renew the policy or buy a new one on or before the last date of the policy. Failing to do so can lead to the expiry of the policy. Most car insurance companies send regular reminders to people for car policy renewal. However, with our busy schedules, there can be times when we miss renewing it in time. Here are some steps that you must follow if your car insurance has expired.
Step 1: Contact the insurer or your agent
If your car insurance policy has expired, the first thing you need to do is contact the insurance company or agent (if you have bought through one). Most companies allow a small window to reinstate policies even after the last date without any penalty. Insurers like Tata AIG offer a Grace Period of up to 90 days after insurance expiry to renew the policy without losing the benefits. If that window has closed, then you will have to buy a new policy. This can be purchased from the same or a different insurer. Research online and compare the car insurance price to find the most cost-efficient insurance for your car. You can use the car insurance calculator offered by insurance companies on their websites.
Step 2: Organize your documents
Gather all documents related to your car and the insurance policy like the RTO registration documents, claim-related papers, the car’s documents (make, model, etc.). These documents will help you get a new policy within no time. Also, ensure that your No Claim Bonus benefits are transferred to your new policy.
Step 03: Get your car surveyed
Even if you approach the same insurance company to buy a new policy after the expiry of your previous one, the insurer will treat it as a fresh purchase. Hence, you will need to get your car surveyed by the insurer’s representative. The surveyor will check the condition of your car and determine if the company can insure it. He will also determine a fixed deductible based on the condition of your car. Overall, this will determine the premium rate on your new car insurance policy.
Step 4: Purchase the new policy
You can approach different insurers to get a quote for car insurance based on your needs. Choose between third-party and comprehensive cover, choose from the list of available add-ons, and select the insurer carefully. Once you have chosen the policy, visit the insurer’s website and purchase the new policy. Buying a car insurance policy online is a quick and hassle-free option.
Step 5: Keep your car parked safely until you have an active policy
Since it is mandatory to have a car insurance policy in India, if your policy has expired, you must ensure that you don’t drive it until you have an active policy. Further, if you meet with an accident or mishap during the period when your policy is expired, then you will have to manage all costs yourself. Hence, it is prudent to keep your car parked safely until you buy a new policy.
Risks of an expired car insurance policy
Here are some risks that you are exposed to if your car insurance policy expires:
- If you fail to renew your car insurance policy within the grace period specified by the insurer, then you will have to buy a new policy. This could mean a higher premium or rejection of the policy altogether.
- Driving an uninsured car could attract fines and strict legal action.
- If your uninsured car gets into an accident or mishap, then all costs associated with any third-party liability or own damage will have to be borne by you.
Q1. What happens when your car insurance expires?
If your car insurance policy expires, you have no cover available. Since car insurance is mandatory in India, you will not be able to drive your car. Or if you drive a car without active car insurance, you will be fined up to ₹4000 or 3 months imprisonment.
Q2. What happens if I renew my car insurance after it expires?
Once the car insurance has expired, you will have to buy a new policy and might have to get the car inspected again.
Q3. When should I get my car insurance renewal?
You must ensure that your car insurance renewal is done on or before the last date of your existing policy. Most insurers offer a grace period to allow policyholders to renew their policies without any hassle.
Q4. How long do you have after your insurance expires?
Most insurance companies specify a grace period of around 30 days from the last date of the car insurance policy. Some insurers like TATA AIG car insurance renewal offer a grace period of 90 days.