It pays to be on time for your car insurance bill

It pays to be on time for your car insurance bill
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Have you missed a payment on your car insurnace? If you have, and you're in an accident, the chances are you'll be in for a lot more than just your annual fee.

Its not worth the risk

Technically if you don't pay your bill you aren't covered, so if you make a claim during this time, it is up to your insurance provider as to whether they accept or reject your claim. And before you start weighing up this risk, be aware there is more chance of it being denied rather than accepted.

For instance, NRMA states that if any instalment remains unpaid for 14 days or more after it is due, they will refuse a claim. Also if any instalment remains unpaid for one month after its due date they will automatically cancel your policy without notifying you.

AAMI says that if a scheduled debit attempt is unsuccessful, they will send you one or more notices. After the first attempt they will try to debit your account again during the four weeks. But they won't accept any claims after an instalment payment has remained unpaid for a period of 14 days or more from the original due date. Also AAMI may cancel your policy without informing you, if you haven't paid for one month or more from the original due date.

How to be safe and not sorry

At the end of the day it is your responsibility to ensure your payments are up-to-date and paid on time. Here are some tips on what you can do so you are never behind and you are covered when you need it most.

  • If you have approved your insurer to withdraw funds from your bank account, ensure that you have enough money in there, otherwise you could be in trouble. Find out from your insurer when your payments are scheduled so you are prepared.
  • Call your insurance provider to notify them if you missed or can't meet your instalment. Depending on your circumstances they may be able to organise alternative arrangements or to pay double next time. But it is better to be safe than sorry.
  • If you are struggling to meet your instalments each month perhaps you are paying too much. You should shop around to see if there is another policy for less.

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