Do you know that driving without insurance is illegal in Canada?
Being a responsible driver, you cannot afford to miss out on the renewal date. On first conviction for driving with a lapsed insurance policy, you might face fines and penalties ranging between $5,000 and $25,000. You can even face imprisonment for subsequent violations. Depending on the situation, the law enforcement department reserves the right to suspend your license or impound your vehicle.
Why risk your finances when renewing your car insurance policy is easy? You can review your existing policy each year by consulting reputed insurance brokers like Surex. The advisors would recommend you the best offers from reputed insurers to ensure proper coverage. Visit this site, talk to the professionals, and renew your policy before it’s late.
Well, you might wonder, ‘What should I do if my car insurance has expired?’.
In this article, we have put together a list of the recommended steps that you should take if your auto insurance has recently expired.
My car insurance has expired in Canada — What should I do?
As a car owner, you mustn’t take lapsed insurance policies leniently. The implications lie far beyond the legal hassles we mentioned early in this article.
So, what is the purpose of having your car insurance?
First, you would like to protect yourself financially if the car lands in an accident. If your car insurance expired a while back, it exposes your car to the same risk that you would have carried had you not buying insurance.
So, if there’s a theft, accident, fire, or any other damage to your car, rendering it useless, you would be at a loss. Uninsured drivers need to bear the repair and replacement costs out of their pockets. This would lead to financial drainage, and no owner would like to bear the loss.
Whether you accidentally missed the renewal date or deliberately skipped the renewal, your risk profile remains the same. Check out the potential fallouts of a lapsed auto insurance policy.
1. Zero coverage on the claim
In case you missed renewing your auto insurance policy, you won’t get any claim following an incident. In a nutshell, uninsured drivers don’t have the scope to raise claims. So, whether the peril happens to be a flood, riot, accident, or natural calamity, you would bear the loss out of your pocket. This can financially jeopardize you, robbing you of your resources.
2. Legal hassles
Would you like to shell out a few hundred dollars as your annual premium or at least $5,000 as a penalty? Monetary penalties can be high, and repeat offenses can lead to imprisonment. These risks are not worth taking when you have more affordable alternatives and security in the form of insurance policies.
3. Longer process while renewing
In case you miss out on renewing your policy for several days, the insurer will take longer to get it renewed. This is because they would inspect your car for possible damages during the uninsured period. Adding to this, they would carry out paperwork. Eventually, the renewal process would take longer than usual. A missed renewal can also lead to higher premiums as you have already portrayed yourself as financially irresponsible.
4. Loss of no-claim bonus
Even if you delay the policy renewal process by a day, you may end up losing your no-claim bonus privileges. The monetary loss can be huge if your policy is old and you haven’t claimed anything for years. Missing the renewal date implies that the overall no-claim bonus gets reset to nil. So, if you had refrained from claiming all these years for minor damages just to accumulate this bonus, all your efforts would go futile.
What can you do if you fail to renew your policy?
First, you shouldn’t fail to renew your car insurance policy. However, if the inevitable occurs due to illness or any other condition beyond your control, here’s what you must do.
1. Refrain from driving until your policy has been renewed
Remember, you are exposed to a greater risk in case of accidents while driving without insurance coverage. Try not to hit the street when you don’t have proper coverage. In case of an accident, you would have to shell out the costs of repair, medical expenses, and legal costs out of your pocket.
2. Contact your broker
Don’t delay contacting your auto insurance broker to inform them that your car insurance expired a few days (or weeks) ago. Professionals have adequate experience in dealing with such troubles.
Once you seek their support, they will guide you in the renewal process. The process mostly takes place online. So, you need not bear the troubles of physically visiting your insurer. With an expired policy, the premium would be higher. Reputed insurance brokers can help you remain on the affordable end.
3. Choose the policy
Car insurance brokers can also help you narrow down your options while choosing the policy. If you find that the premium for a lapsed policy would be too high with your existing insurer, you can switch policies. Professional brokers can help you understand the revised terms and conditions and update you with premium amounts with different insurers.
4. Arrange your documents
Your insurance company or broker will inform you about the required documents. Once you have selected the policy, arrange these required documents. It’s advisable to keep a copy of your registration certificate and previous policy handy. They might also ask for additional details like the age and model of the car, location of its registration, date of first-time registration, and brand.
My car insurance has expired: What to do now — Endnote
No driver would voluntarily like to overlook the car insurance renewal date. However, some situations can make this inevitable at times.
Make sure not to drive your car in the first place, which can help you avoid legal hassles and accidents. Contact a reputed insurance broker like Surex to choose the best policy. The advisors would help you cushion the financial shock arising from the spike in premiums.