Since March 25, 2020, the entire country has been in a lockdown battling against the spread of the novel coronavirus. With life coming to a literal standstill, most regular activities stopped as people stayed indoors, and vehicle movement was restricted and controlled by the authorities. Despite many vehicles not being used at all, many people were concerned about not having an active car insurance policy on their vehicles since they couldn’t renew it.
The Unlock process has begun in most parts of India, with businesses and establishments opening up gradually. However, some parts are still under strict supervision and containment.
Therefore, today, we will talk about the things that you can do if your car insurance expires during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Do I need to renew my car insurance during the COVID-19 lockdown?
Many people might be inclined to think that since they are not plying their vehicles on the road, they don’t need to worry about having an active insurance policy. While not driving the car certainly reduces the possibility of an accident or a collision, there are other factors that can damage your car, and an expired policy will not cover the damages. Some such factors are:
- Natural Calamities like floods, earthquakes, landslides, etc.
- Vandalism, etc.
Hasn’t the government offered some relief?
While the government has declared an extension of the validity date of motor vehicle documents like fitness certificate, driving license, registration, etc. until September 30, 2020, there is no announcement made by the IRDAI regarding the extension of the validity of the motor insurance policies. Hence, it is prudent to ensure that you renew your policy before it expires and leaves your vehicle uninsured.
How do I renew car insurance during the lockdown?
Many people preferred the offline mode of renewing their car insurance policies, in the current situation, with most offices still functioning on marginal staffing and the risk of being exposed to the virus in a crowd has made online car insurance renewal a better option. All insurance companies offer the facility of renewing car insurance policies online via their website. Here are some simple steps to help you:
1. Choose the insurance company
Even if you have purchased your car insurance policy from one insurer, it is not mandatory to renew it with the same company. You can opt for a different insurance company while renewing your policy. Look at the features and benefits offered by your current policy and compare it with other insurance companies. With some time on hand due to the lockdown, you might find a policy with better coverage at the same premium or a similar policy with lower premium rates. Ensure that you research the car insurance policies well before renewing.
2. Provide accurate details
After finalizing the insurer, visit the website and provide details about your vehicle and yourself. If you are continuing with the same insurer, then most of the details would be already populated in the online form. Do this carefully as the insurer will use these details to determine the Insured Declared Value (IDV) of your car and the premium rate.
3. Choose the right plan
While third-party liability cover is mandatory, a comprehensive cover provides better all-round protection to your car. Hence, ensure that you assess your insurance requirements and choose the plan carefully. Further, most insurers offer a range of add-ons to help you customize the policy to meet your specific requirements. While these add-ons come at a cost, they can go a long way in ensuring that your financial losses are minimal if your car gets damaged due to reasons specified in the policy document.
4. Pay the premium online
Once you have finalized the plan and add-ons, pay the car insurance premium online using options like net banking, credit/debit card, e-wallets, etc. The payment modules will be available on the insurer’s website.
05. Check your policy document
Once you have paid the premium, the insurer will send the policy document to your registered email address. Check if everything is in order and get any discrepancies resolved immediately.
As the country is nudging itself out of the lockdown and travel is resuming, traffic authorities will follow strict checking measures to ensure car owners are not violating any norms. Hence, it is essential to ensure that your vehicle has an active car insurance policy before you take your out on the roads. Also, with an active policy, you will not have to worry about the costs of repair if your car gets damaged during the lockdown.
A lapsed car insurance policy would mean buying a new one before plying your car on the roads. This can be costlier. Hence, if your four wheeler insurance policy expires during the lockdown, ensure that you opt for the online route and renew it soon. Look for insurance companies that offer a simple and hassle-free renewal process and ensure that your car gets the protection it deserves. Good Luck!