Many car owners tend to put off car insurance renewal as it seems to be an arduous task. In fact, many people end up driving without a valid insurance policy which is illegal and also financially risky. Earlier, renewing your car insurance policy meant either contacting the insurance agent or visiting the office of the insurance company, submitting the documents, and in some cases, getting the car inspected.
This used to take a long time, and most car owners avoided it unless necessary. However, in recent years, renewing your insurance for a four-wheeler has become simple and hassle-free. Here are some important things that you need to know about car insurance renewal.
Car Insurance Renewal Online
Digitisation has changed the way the world works. This includes the renewal of your car insurance policy. Today, you can log in to the website of the insurance company and renew your policy from the comfort of your home or office. You are no longer required to visit your agent or company office for the same.
- Renew with the best deal
With most insurance companies offering car insurance policies online, it is easier to compare plans and calculate car insurance premiums based on the coverage you need. In addition, insurers tend to offer discounts from time to time.
Hence, by looking at the options available and after you calculating the car insurance premium, you can choose the best car insurance policy for your vehicle. Also, don’t forget to ask for the no-claim bonus if you have not filed a claim during the previous policy tenure.
- Renew before the expiry date of the policy
It is illegal to drive a car without an active car insurance policy. If your policy expires and you are caught driving your car, then you can be punished according to the prevailing laws. Further, if you meet with an unfortunate accident, then you will have to bear the costs of damage. Hence, it is prudent to renew your policy before its expiry date.
- Utilise the grace period
Many insurers offer a grace period ranging from 3 to 30 days for car policy renewal. This means that they allow you to renew your car insurance policy within the grace period without giving up on any discounts or benefits. However, some insurers might charge a late fee for the same. So make sure that you check about the period and terms with your insurer before buying the policy.
- Renewals and premium hikes
Usually, insurers offer discounts to policyholders who do not file a claim during a policy tenure. This is called the No Claim Bonus. For every subsequent year that a claim is not filed, the discount increases and can reach up to 50% of the premium amount. On the other hand, if you have made a few claims, then the insurer might hike the premium of your policy at the time of renewal.
- Policies can lapse
Since insurers offer a grace period, many policyholders feel that they can renew their policies at any time. This is not true. Once the grace period is over, you will not be able to renew your policy. Hence, you will have to purchase a new car insurance policy and miss out on all the discounts and benefits accumulated on your previous policy.
Things You Can Do To Reduce Your Car Insurance Premium
While there are many ways to reduce the premium of your car insurance policy, two of the primary factors are:
- Claims made during a policy term: Avoid filing a claim for every small expense on your car, even if it is covered under the policy. Remember, the No Claim Bonus can bring down the premium amount and can go up to 50%. Hence, try to manage the smaller expenses yourself.
- Voluntary deductibles: Insurers allow car owners to choose a voluntary deductible percentage to reduce the premium of the policy. If you choose a voluntary deductible of 10%, then you need to bear 10% of the claim amount raised by you while the insurer bears 90%. However, choose the voluntary deductible carefully. A higher voluntary deductible will reduce the premium to a great extent but also reduce the coverage you receive on the policy.
Remember, you cannot and should not drive your car without a valid car insurance policy. Always make a note of the expiry date and ensure that you renew it before the last date. With most insurers offering online policy renewals, this process barely takes a few minutes.