With the original 21-day lockdown now extended till May 3, the Ministry of Finance has announced that the auto insurance renewal deadline too has been extended until May 15. The original renewal deadline was April 21.
The new renewal deadline is applicable to those whose auto insurance was set to expire during between March 25 and May 3, the duration of the lockdown. The same benefits are also extended to health insurance policies.
In the notification dated April 16, 2020 the Ministry said, “policyholders whose health or motor vehicle third-party insurance policies fall due for renewal during the period on and from the 25th March, 2020 up to 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 further extension in renewal date for third-party auto insurance should help alleviate any chance of punitive penalisation once the lockdown is lifted. Presently, driving without a valid insurance ican attract penalties of Rs 1,000-2,000, and/or punishment of up to three months for the first offence and Rs 4,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 3 months for the second offence.