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As per the New Motor Vehicles Act, 2019, it is mandatory for all vehicle owners to have at least third-party insurance if they wish to drive on Indian roads. In case your car insurance plan is near expiry, you need to ensure that you get it renewed before the last date. However, sometimes there may be situations where you are unable to renew your insurance plan on time due to any reason such as being sick, travelling abroad, etc.
Fortunately, insurance companies provide a grace period for situations like these, where you can renew your car plan even a few days after expiry. Generally, the grace period in insurance is 90 days from the date of expiration of your old policy, but some insurance companies may only give you a grace period of 15 or 30 days. The period between the date of expiry of the policy and the date of car insurance renewal is the actual break-in period. Here’s a closer look at the break-in period in car insurance.
There are a few misconceptions that car owners have regarding the break-in period in car insurance. Let’s try and clear some of them:
Some people are under the misconception that once their policy expires, they cannot renew their car plan and that they will have to buy a brand new policy. However, in reality, car owners can renew their expired insurance plan if the grace period is still active.
Some people believe that they can drive their cars without insurance during the grace period. This is actually false and can land you in legal trouble. Driving without insurance is punishable with fines and even imprisonment. Do not drive your car if your insurance has expired and you haven’t renewed it yet.
Many also believe that they will lose their accumulated No Claim Bonus and other benefits if they fail to renew the car insurance policy before expiry. However, most insurance companies allow policyholders to continue enjoying their existing insurance benefits as long as the insurance plan is renewed under the break-in period.
Some car owners also believe that they cannot make any changes to their car insurance plan after expiry and during renewal. However, the truth is that car insurance companies allow policyholders to make changes to their insurance plans or upgrade them, even if they are renewing during the break-in period.
Not renewing your car insurance before expiry and waiting for the break-in period to come into effect also comes with a few disadvantages. They are:
As mentioned above, if you are caught driving with an expired car insurance plan that hasn’t been renewed, you may be fined heavily. You may also end up facing a 3-month long prison sentence.
In the unfortunate event that you get into an accident while driving your car on an expired insurance policy, you will be solely liable to provide coverage for the medical expenses and vehicle repair costs of the third party. You will also have to take care of your own medical and vehicle repair costs. These combined costs can easily wipe out your savings or even put you in debt.
Looking at the above points it’s clear that you should not wait till the break-in period begins and renew it well before the expiry to avoid legal and financial problems.
Renewing your car insurance plan on time is important if you wish to stay financially protected against accidental damages, third-party liabilities, theft, etc. While insurance companies do provide a break-in or grace period for policyholders, you should make sure to renew your plan before it expires so that you don’t drive your car without insurance in place. If your old car insurance plan has expired beyond its grace period or if you are looking to purchase a brand new car policy, you can check out the car insurance plans available on Bajaj Markets.
The break-in period in car insurance refers to the period of time (anywhere between 15-90 days) after the expiry of the old plan when the policyholder can renew their policy without losing out on any benefits.
The grace period refers to the extra 90 days that insurance offers to policyholders when they can renew their plan after the expiry of the original plan. The break-in period refers to the number of days between the date of expiry and the date of renewal of the plan.
The maximum break-in period allowed in car insurance is 90 days, after which you will have to buy a brand new policy.
It is generally recommended that you should renew your plan before the expiry date so you can continue to get the financial coverage for your own damages as well as third-party liability.
The average tenure of a car insurance policy is one year.