motor car insurance data

Keeping track of your financial paperwork is both a need and a good personal practice. Private and financial records should be stored where they are easily accessible, whether they are digital or physical documents. 

Even your car insurance policy should be kept in a secure location where you can access it at any time, especially if authorities want it.

It is simple to obtain and retrieve the policy paperwork if you have purchased auto insurance from an insurer (such as MGS). But, how long should you preserve your auto insurance records? Continue reading to find out.

The length of time you should retain your automobile insurance records is determined by how frequently you switch insurance companies or renew your policy. When you switch to a new insurer or renew your coverage, you can get rid of your old auto insurance policy. 

However, keeping the insurance document until a pending claim is resolved is critical. When a competent authority requests it, you can produce the insurance policy or the digital format of the insurance certificate thanks to the advancement of digital technology.

A soft or hard copy of the insurance certificate is provided by traditional or digital-first insurers (such as Insurance agencies). The document can be accessed at any time via the website or mobile app. You can also locate it in your registered email address’s inbox. 

When you purchase or renew an insurance, you will receive an email with the policy copy attached.

What records should you maintain, and how long should you keep them?

Previously, you had to maintain the physical policy document in a file or even keep it in your car. With the introduction of electronic documents, this has changed. The website and mobile app allow you to access your policy paperwork from any internet-enabled smartphone.

The government has given its approval for the safekeeping of your digital papers via the DigiLocker mobile app, which allows you to access them practically anywhere.

When it comes to car insurance, the insurance policy is the most important document to retain. Any documents relating to an automobile insurance claim, on the other hand, must be kept until the claim is resolved or your policy has been renewed.

Because you can access all auto insurance-related papers online, retain official correspondence from your insurer, such as claims, renewal notifications, and approvals.

Here’s a rundown of auto insurance documents and how long you should keep them.

Car insurance policy certificateFrom the policy inception date to expiry date (For claims related purposes, you may retain the expired policy document)
Claims related emailsUntil the claim is settled and you are paid as per the terms and conditions of the policy. You may retain claim-related paperwork for a few years just in case.
Payment receipt notificationsFor future reference
Renewal email notificationsAs per need
Communication emails from insurerAs per need

What is the purpose of having a copy of your vehicle insurance policy?

An automobile insurance policy is a contract between you and the company that insures you. From the time the policy is issued until the policy expires, the insurer provides financial support against third-party liabilities or damages to your vehicle for the premium you pay. 

The coverage specifics, limitations, and terms and conditions are all outlined in the automobile insurance contract.

When you file a claim, your insurer will review your policy and its terms and conditions before settling your claim. Knowing the specifics of your coverage can assist you in determining the type of claim you should file.

Policy clauses are also included in the policy document, which you can refer to during claim settlements. As a result, it is critical to maintain or save a car insurance coverage to assist you throughout claims.

When should you preserve expired insurance coverage and for how long?

  • While an expired or lapsed insurance coverage is deemed null and invalid, you should keep your expired auto insurance policy only if you have a pending claim.
  • The auto insurance policy document should only be kept for as long as it is required.
  • If you have an active or pending claim, you may be required to keep the coverage until the issue is resolved.
  • It is not necessary to manage outdated insurance coverage.

You must keep the expiring auto insurance policy until claims for damages to your vehicle or third-party liabilities are accounted for and addressed. You may want to save your expired claim as a digital document in your email or other storage devices once all claim-related concerns have been handled.

What factors do auto insurance providers consider while evaluating your policy?

During claim settlement, car insurance providers check for facts such as claim history and terms and conditions (inclusions and exclusions). Insurers will also look at the summary of your vehicle report to figure out how much to charge for auto insurance coverage.

When you apply for a new insurance policy with a new insurer, they will evaluate your risk by evaluating your prior claims in order to decide the premium amount. Insurers assess your profile before giving you an estimate for insurance coverage since they safeguard you against financial losses.

When you transfer vehicle insurance companies, what happens to your existing policies?

You may want to switch to a new insurer for better coverage at a lesser cost and better service. 

However, now that your car is covered by a new insurance carrier, you may choose to cancel your old coverage. However, there are a few circumstances in which you should save the policy paper.

  • You may be eligible for a refund if you cancel your vehicle insurance before it expires (if applicable). As a result, you might want to keep the old policy in place until the refund is completed.
  • You might wish to know exactly what your old vehicle insurance policy covered.
  • You may be asked to give certain information in order to acquire a new insurance policy (No Claim Bonus discount rate).
  • If you have a pending claim, you should keep the document until the claim is resolved.
  • You may want to save the old auto insurance plan for future reference if another driver has a potential claim against you.

To put it succinctly,

You don’t have to keep outdated, null, void, or expired insurance policy documents unless you have a legitimate need for them in the future. While it is unrealistic to keep all of your vehicle insurance-related paperwork in your records, you may need to withhold some of them depending on the situation. 

In most circumstances, car insurance documentation can be thrown away quickly after the coverage has expired.