Car Insurance Policy Lapsed or Expired – What to Do Now?

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Car insurance is a mandatory in the UAE to get your own vehicle as well as to drive a rented one on the road. This simply means that it is illegal to drive a vehicle without a running and active insurance policy for it. In a situation like this, realizing that the car insurance policy expired before you could renew it will come as a very unwelcoming surprise. Although, it is not something that can be ruled out as out of the ordinary. While it is wise to keep your policy renewal dates upfront and renew it before it lapses, an oversight can happen. But even when happened by mistake, not renewing the car insurance policy would come with several harsh implications.

What Are the Consequences of an Expired Car Insurance?

If the car insurance policy lapses, it can cause you a bunch of troubles. The very first one with being legal implications for driving would insurance for your car as it is mandated by the law to have one in order to drive the vehicle. The second biggest problem you will face is losing your No Claim Bonus that you have been building up for all those years you did not file an insurance claim for. Apart from that if an accident happens to take place when the car insurance policy has expired, you won’t be able to make any claims – third-party liability or otherwise. This means that you will be paying out of your pocket for all the legal fees and settlement money if the third party happens to claim.

What to do If the Car Insurance Policy Lapses?

Needless to say, paying premiums and renewing car insurance in time is extremely important. But if a slip happens and the car insurance policy lapses, the following are the steps that you can take to avoid any additional trouble:

1. Do Not Drive

The very first thing to do when you see that the car insurance policy expired is to tuck away the car keys and avoid driving altogether. As evident, driving without a valid insurance policy will land you in a very problematic situation. UAE is very stringent with its traffic laws and that’s why it is very important that you keep your car off the road. The penalty will have you with a fine of AED 500, your license stamped with 4 black points, and your car confiscated for 7 days. So, no matter what, steer clear of driving without valid insurance in hand.

2. Call the Broker – Instantly

There is a well enough chance that the insurance provider offers a grace period on your insurance. So, if you have an insurance broker in the equation, call them and ask for a hand to get safely out of the situation as soon as you realise that the car insurance policy expired before you could renew. Waiting in a situation like this is not a good idea since you may already be playing around in the grace period and may lose it too if you wait for too long. Brokers, having expertise in the area, may able to help you out the way you desire, so make the call the instant you realise you have missed the renewal deadline.

3. Contact Customer Service

If you bought your car insurance online and do not have a particular broker to contact, simply try calling the helpline of the insurance provider. The representatives handling the communication are experts themselves and should be able to guide you through the steps that you need to take in order to renew the policy if it still has time remaining in it or to alternate actions. If not, they will connect you to a supervisor who would be able to help. The bottom line, you will get a hand to handle the lapsed policy.

4. Go Online and Pick A New Policy

So, the car insurance policy expired and it did not come with a grace period either. All you need to do in this situation is to quickly find a new policy that is ideal to fulfill all your needs and make preparation to buy it. Choose a provider first. You can also take some time out to see if there is a provider who allows a small grace period to renew policies if you like. And then when have someone in your sight, find a plan after carefully comparing the benefits and terms. You can browse through the website of the providers or you can use comparison tools available with insurance aggregators like Policy Bazaar UAE to make sure you land on a great car insurance plan for your car.

5. Keep All the Documents Ready

Make use of the time that you have on your hands as you are searching for the new ideal car insurance policy for your car and gather all the required documents so that you do not lose any more precious minutes. The following are the basic set of documents that you will need unless the insurance provider specifies otherwise:

  • Vehicle Details with the model number of the car, a copy of registration, etc.
  • A valid driving license specifying that your car is GCC specific
  • Passport and visa page for address proof
  • Emirates ID

In case you are applying online, keep a scanned copy of these documents handy to fast-track the process.

6. Set Up an Appointment for Inspection

While not a necessity, it is probable that the insurance company will ask you to schedule an appointment with a vehicle inspector to get the vehicle checked out. The probability increases in the case of people buying new insurance for old vehicles as the company would like to determine the damage that the vehicle already has incurred. The same is the case if the car insurance policy lapses. The inspection will help in setting up a price for the deducible amount and the premium to come. So, pick the nearest possible date and get down with it as soon as possible.

7. Finalise the Insurance

As soon as you have had the inspection done, get set to buy the policy and make the payment. There a set validity for inspection which is generally about 24 hours. If you happen to delay the process, you will have to get the inspection done again. So, make you are prompt, quick, and sure about the decision that comes your way after the inspection.

Bottom Line

The key is not to freak out and stay calm even if the car insurance policy expired a while back and there is no grace period to renew it before it gets cancelled. While it stings to lose benefits like No Claim Bonus, it is best to keep your cool and work towards buying a new policy as soon as you can. This way you will at least skip all the possible legal actions that can be taken against you if you drive with a vehicle with expired insurance and other difficulties that come along with it. Think ahead the next time you buy an insurance policy and try to keep a track of the renewal dates. If possible, select an insurance provider which allows a grace period. On top of everything, stay prompt as car insurance is no longer an option.

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