The Union government on Thursday allowed health and motor third party policyholders to defer their renewal, if it falls between March 25 and May 3— the lockdown period.
Now, the policyholders can pay for the renewal of their policies till May 15. Earlier, the government had deferred the renewal payment till April 21 but since the lockdown was extended, more time has been given to pay for the renewal and even the period under consideration has been increased.
The payments can be made till May 15 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.
The policyholders whose motor vehicle third party insurance policies fall due for renewal during the period on and from the 25th March 2020 up to the 3rd May 2020 and who are unable to make payment of their renewal premium on time in view of the prevailing situation in the country as a result of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), are allowed to make such payment for renewal of policies to their insurers on or before the 15th May 2020 to ensure continuity of the statutory motor vehicle third party insurance cover from the date on which the policy falls due for renewal so that any valid claim triggered during the grace period can be paid , the government notification read.
The insurance companies will have to consider that the policy has been renewed and assume the risk or take the risk into consideration in the period under consideration and if any claims arise during the period, it will be admissible and has to be paid by the insurer.
A similar notification has been issued for health policies as well.
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The insurance regulator said directed all the non-life insurance companies including the standalone health insurers that any claim triggered during the grace period has to be paid.
However, this relaxation is not applicable for those vehicles whose policies have already expired prior to the lockdown period and also on vehicles which have comprehensive policies – motor third party and motor own damage. Most of the commercial vehicles run on third party policies and don’t take the comprehensive policies and it will be beneficial for them.
The regular private car users have comprehensive policies and this relaxation is not applicable to them and they should renew their policies on time because if they don’t renew on time, post expiry when they come up for renewal then they have to get the inspection done and the premium may also change. And, beyond a certain point of time, the no claim bonus also goes away.
In the motor insurance segment, the motor third-party is mandated by law. The third party motor premiums are revised annually, however, this year’s hike has been put on hold given the ongoing situation. Experts feel this will hurt the non-life insurers.
The premiums for own damage segment is not regulated. Due to competition, insurers generally resort to heavy discounting to gain customers. Due to regulated third-party premiums and discounting in own damage segment, the loss ratio remains high in the segment.