Coronavirus impact: Renewal of health, auto insurance can be deferred

The Union government on Thursday allowed health and motor policyholders to defer their renewal, if it falls between March 25 and April 14 — the lockdown period.

The payments can be made till April 21 and the relaxation is only for third-party motor insurance, apart from health, the government said, bringing relief to those unable to renew their policies because of the lockdown.

“In the case of renewal of motor vehicle third-party insurance policies falling during the period of lockdown due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the risk may be assumed subject to the condition that the premium shall be paid within such time as the central government may, by notification, specify in this behalf,” said a Union government notification.

The government issued the same direction for health policies.

“The insurer will consider the policy renewed (during the lockdown period) and assume the risk or take the risk into consideration,” said Sajja Praveen Chowdary, Motor Business Head, Policybazaar. com.

Any kind of a claim on the third-party side will be admissible then.

However, this relaxation is not applicable for the vehicles whose policies had expired prior to the lockdown period and also on vehicles which have comprehensive policies — motor third party and motor own damage.

Most commercial vehicles run on third-party policies.

“The regular private car user has comprehensive policy and this relaxation is not applicable to them. They should renew their policies on time because if they don’t and the policy expires, then at the time of renewal, they have to get an inspection done and the premium may change. And, beyond a certain point of time, the no-claim bonus also goes away,” Chowdary added.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has asked life insurers to extend the grace period for payment of renewal premiums by an additional 30 days if the policyholders want.

It has asked health insurance companies that they can excuse a delay in renewal by up to 30 days without deeming it as a break in policy.

Earlier, state insurance behemoth Life Insurance Corporation gave relaxations to policyholders in payment of premiums due till April 15. This is aimed at helping policyholders who have not been able to pay the premiums on time because of the virus outbreak, LIC had said.


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