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Renew lapsed policy faster through self-inspection

Priya Nair/Mumbai 28 Nov 16 | 11:32 PM

Though renewing a motor insurance policy is easy and can be done online too, about 20% of car insurance policies and 40% of two-wheeler policies lapse in India. Now, however, private general insurers are offering the facility of self-inspection that can speed up renewal of lapsed policies.

Renewing a lapsed motor insurance can take two-three days or more as inspection of the vehicle is mandatory in such cases. "The insurer needs to know the state of the asset being renewed. So the customer has to wait for the surveyor's report before the policy is renewed,'' says Sanjay Datta-head, health and motor, underwriting and claims, ICICI Lombard General Insurance.

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The surveyor checks the vehicle for existing damages. Based on his findings, the policy could be approved or rejected. "If you make a claim in the future, the report will help the insurer differentiate between existing and fresh damages, and pay only for the latter," says Naval Goel, chief executive officer, The vehicle is not inspected if you renew your policy before it lapses.

ICICI Lombard General Insurance recently launched a feature in its app called 'Mobile Self Inspection'. In the case of a lapsed policy, a vehicle owner can use this app to shoot a video of the vehicle and submit it to the company. The insurer can renew your insurance within a couple of hours of receiving the video.

A few conditions apply. The video must be shot at one go. No editing is allowed to prevent fraud. In case the shooting gets disrupted, you have to start all over again. The video should be shot in daylight and in a particular sequence, which should include the vehicle's engine and chassis number. This ensures that all parts of the vehicle are covered and existing damages too. The camera should have a resolution of 3MP or more. If the video is blurred, you need to reshoot. You will get a confirmation from the company if the video's quality is found acceptable. The video can be shot only through the app.

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance too offers a similar facility wherein the customer or intermediary can upload a video of the vehicle through the company's app for verification.

"Once we get the information through the app the data is stored in a repository. We compare the data at the time of claim before approving or rejecting it,'' says Vijay Kumar, president motor, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.

Customers should ensure that their motor policy gets renewed without a break to ensure the continuation of the No Claim Bonus (NCB), which is the discount on the premium in case there are no claims. NCB can be transferred if you sell your vehicle. If you renew your policy within 90 days you can get the NCB, subject to inspection. But if you renew it after 90 days, you lose this benefit. In case there is a gap in renewing the policy and your vehicle meets with an accident, you will have to pay for its repair out of your own pocket. The bigger risk arises if you have to pay for third party damages, which could amount to a humongous sum.

Both ICICI Lombard and Bajaj Allianz offer self-inspection only for four wheelers currently. Bajaj Allianz allows renewal of two-wheelers without inspection, provided it is done online.

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