At a time when COVID-19 has disrupted lives and made it challenging for several people to meet basic needs, car insurance might not be a priority.
Humans have always been perceived as social beings. However, the novel coronavirus has forced humanity to alter this social behaviour by relying more on social distancing. While the world’s scientific community is working towards finding a cure, the common population is evaluating what is ‘essential’ for daily living and maintaining a safe distance from each other.
At a time when COVID-19 has disrupted lives and made it challenging for several people to meet basic needs, car insurance might not be a priority. But if your car’s comprehensive insurance policy is about to expire, consider renewing it at the earliest. Here are five car insurance renewal tips during the ongoing social distancing period
Car Insurance Renewal Tips
Renewing car insurance is crucial mainly because of two reasons: one, it is mandatory, and two, it helps mitigate financial losses. A third-party cover is compulsory while a comprehensive cover ensures that you follow the law as well as avail coverage against ‘own damage’. The following tips are for a comprehensive car insurance cover.
- Stay covered
You might wonder, what’s the purpose of renewing car insurance when you are not going to drive your car while adhering to social distancing norms? The answer is your car can get damaged even when it is in a parking lot. For example, natural calamity, vandalism and theft. An expired policy will not cover such losses.
- Don't miss the NCB
No Claim Bonus (NCB) is a renewal discount offered to policyholders for a claim-free year. The discount can be incremental to an extent. However, you will miss out on NCB if you do not renew your policy on time. As per the regulations, you have a window of 90 days after the policy expires to renew it (if not renewed earlier) and benefit from the NCB.
- Avoid Premium Hike
A long gap between policy expiry and renewal can trigger a premium hike. Especially if you have missed out on the NCB. For example, in case of a month-long gap, insurance companies might conduct a car inspection before renewing the policy thereby increasing the chances of a rise in insurance premium.
Renewing the policy before the expiry date can result in ‘instant renewal’ otherwise car inspection can increase the time taken to complete the policy renewal process.
- Review Cover & Insurer
If social distancing has resulted in free time, maybe you can spend some of it to review your car’s insurance policy and the insurer. Ask yourself if you need the same cover and the add-ons? If there was a claim, was it handled well? Is there a new insurer offering a better cover at a lower cost? If you are going for long-term car insurance, the above questions can help you save a lot of money.
- Renew online
You do not have to flout social distancing rules to renew your car’s insurance policy. There is no need to visit an insurer, an agent, or your car dealer for policy renewal. You can do it from your home.
You can ensure insurance continuity by renewing your policy through your smartphone – it can be done under five minutes. Visit your insurance company’s website or switch to a digital insurer to renew your car’s insurance policy online. If you are considering switching to a new company, make sure to look at the policy’s coverage and the services offered, along with the cost.
Stay home, stay safe, stay insured
If you have questions related to car insurance renewal, reach out to your insurer via call or email to get them clarified. If your car is, unfortunately, damaged during the lockdown or the social distancing period, contact your insurer to know the next steps. You will find the contact details in your policy document.The author is Head of Product Strategy - ACKO General Insurance