Car insurance has been mandated by law, where it is illegal to drive around without a valid insurance policy. There could however, be instances where the policy has lapsed because it wasn’t renewed before its expiration date, or because the policyholder forgot the date altogether.
The biggest disadvantage of your policy expiring is that you could lose out on all your accrued No Claim Bonus (NCB). A no claim bonus is given to the policyholder for every claim-free year in the form of discounts on their next year’s premiums. These discounts start at a lower rate and increase with every passing claim-free year.
Furthermore, driving a car without valid insurance could not only lead to financial losses, but also result in heavy fines being levied on the offender. This is why you should always ensure that your car insurance is up to date and if not, here’s what you ought to do if your policy has expired:
Contact your insurance agent
You should contact your agent at the earliest. An agent would have expertise in the matter, and might be able to reinstate your policy or even prevent such a situation from taking place where you have to pay a penalty.
The longer you wait, the harder it would be for you to find an insurance company willing to insure your car, especially if you have an old car. Worse still, you might have to pay higher premiums due to the unnecessary delay.
Avoid driving till you get a new policy
If you drive your car with an expired policy, you would be putting yourself at further risk. You can never anticipate when you might be in an accident – major or minor, and in such an event, you would have to foot the bill for not only your own car but for that of any third party involved as well.
Decide on the policy
Since it’s illegal to not have car insurance, renewing your policy online might be a good idea since you might be able to have your policy renewed within a couple of hours. If you’d like to opt for a new insurance plan, now’s a good time to conduct research and evaluate different plans before settling on a policy. Use an online comparison tool if need be.
Keep your documents ready
Once you have decided on the policy, you should contact the insurer to find out the documentation needed. You should keep your previous year’s policy handy, as well as a copy of the Registration Certificate.
You would also need to keep your vehicle details handy. These could include the city where your car is registered, the first registration date, the RTO’s address and the car company’s name and model number.
Set up appointment for vehicle survey
Since your insurance has expired, the insurance company will send across a representative to review any pre-existing damages of your car before approving your eligibility for motor insurance. You ought to ensure that you have set up an appointment at the earliest so as to avoid further delay and increasing costs as this inspection is chargeable.
The surveyor will decide whether you qualify for insurance based on the condition of your car. If the pre-existing damage is significant, you might not even get insurance. If damages are minor, that area might not be included in the coverage of the policy.
Furthermore, the surveyor might set a predetermined fixed deductible based on the extent of the damage. This deductible would either be deducted or charged if you make a claim in the future.
Purchase the policy immediately
The inspection is generally not valid for more than 24 hours, which is why you should purchase the policy as soon as the inspection is completed. Purchasing the policy online would thus be the best resort.
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