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Benefits of renewing insurance policies on time

It is not only important that one decides to buy insurance, but it is also equally essential that one keeps renewing the same on time without breaks.  

insurance, health insurance, renewal of insurance
An insurance policy covers fortuity, and one really can’t predict when one would require the insurance to perform or make good on its promise to pay.

General insurance contracts are typically annual and should be renewed before the expiry of the policy. Individuals typically buy insurance covers like health insurance, personal accident cover, vehicle insurance, and maybe householder’s package insurance, etc.

Life insurance policies, on the other hand, are long-term contracts and have instalments that need to be paid on time.

Supriya Rathi, Wholetime Director, Anand Rathi Insurance Brokers, says, “An insurance policy covers fortuity, and one really can’t predict when one would require the insurance to perform or make good on its promise to pay.”

She adds, “An aggressive dash against one’s vehicle, a nasty fall, a sudden heart attack, a sneaky theft incident, or a freaky electrical short circuit causing a fire – any of such events can cause a loss – physical and/or financial.”

Therefore, it is not only important that one decides to buy insurance, but it is also equally essential that one keeps renewing the same on time without breaks.  

For certain insurances like Mediclaim and Motor, there are specific coverages and benefits which are lost if the policy is not renewed on time. 

Risk Coverage:

The most significant reason for timely renewal is the Coverage of risk. There are umpteen examples of individuals, who have missed the renewal and find that they have a claim situation at hand, which despite having held insurance till recently, is now lying uninsured as on the date of the incident as they forgot to renew. 

“Not only is the importance of Date, but even Time. E.g., if you miss your vehicle insurance, you may have to go through a process of inspection of the vehicle, and from the time of the inspection of the vehicle, cover may be granted when the money is received,” says Rathi. 

Note that, if an accident in between inspection and money is being sent, the insurance company is not at risk.

Continuity of Coverage:

Continuity in health insurance is critical for individuals as most of the retail policies carry waiting periods ranging from one year to four years for specific diseases as well as for pre-existing diseases. 

Rathi explains, “A break in insurance can certainly create problems here despite the grace period and the insured would have to go through the waiting periods all over again.”

Moreover, for senior citizens, if the policy is not renewed, chances of getting the same insurance plan after a break are remote, as most of the plans have an entry age barrier.

Legal Requirement:

In the case of Vehicle insurance, it is mandatory for the owner to at the least secure the Third-party Legal Liability insurance. Motor insurance carries the mandatory Third Party Legal Liability cover. Plying a vehicle (irrespective of type) without this mandatory insurance attracts a fine of Rs 2,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 3 months for even the first-time offenders. Thus, an uninsured vehicle can burn a serious hole in an individual’s pocket.

No-Claim/Cumulative Bonus Benefit:

Similarly, some insurers offer a ‘cumulative bonus’ in their policies which substantially increases the sum insured ranging from 5 per cent to 50 per cent on renewal. Break-in insurance would lead to a loss of this benefit. 

Some insurance companies offer this Bonus is given as a direct reduction in the Renewal Premium too. The insured may lose the Benefit of the Bonus if the renewal is not done timely.

Comprehensive Motor Policies also offers a ‘No-claims Bonus,’ (NCB), which entitles an insured to a hefty discount in premium at the time of renewal. 

Moreover, Rathi says, “as this No Claims Bonus, follows the fortune of the Insured, and is deemed as a reward for a good track record, it can be availed by an insured person for a new vehicle ( which carries a high IEV); and avail substantial savings in OD premium. Insurance breaks can lead to loss of NCB.” 

Avoid Administrative Costs:

Needless to mention for other policies also the fact of lapsed policies or renewals with breaks can lead to procedural and administrative hurdles. Apart from this, sometimes there is an additional cost as well; as typically, vehicles which have a break in insurance, are subject to an inspection before renewal. 

This Inspection Rathi adds, “is an additional cost over and above the premium which many a time the insured has to bear to restart their motor insurance. In some cases of medical insurance policy, the insured may have to go for some medical test and that involves both time, effort and cost.”

“Thus, one can realize that a break in insurance increases the pain points for the insured in multiple ways. And this is avoidable. It is more about the mindset and the importance one attaches to insurance,” says Rathi. Just take a little extra care and the insurance policy continues to deliver on its promise of peace of mind for its holder. 

It is suggested that no sooner you receive a renewal notice from the Insurance Company, arrange to pay the advance premium (after ensuring to make any necessary changes in the policy required) and stay secure.

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