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How the death of the policy holder affects car insurance?

Published on November 18, 2020. EST READ TIME: 4 MIN 

A car is a prized possession and keeping it covered with the right car insurance policy is important for future uncertainties. While basic third-party car insurance is mandatory in India, a comprehensive plan is a better option for frequent drivers. However, in case the policyholder dies in a car accident or due to some other reason, car insurance is probably the last thing the family would think about amidst the chaos. But, it is important to inform the car insurance company about the incident. Also, the legal heir should visit the regional transport office and get the car registration certificate transferred to their name.

Here’s some information on how car insurance works after the policyholder’s demise.

Car insurance after the death of the policyholder

When a policyholder dies, the car’s ownership is transferred to the legal heir. In the same way, the car insurance policy will also be transferred to the legal heir without any hassles.

However, if there has been a huge time gap between the transfer and the policy expires, the legal heir should contact the insurance company and renew the policy in their name.

What you should do after the death of the policyholder

1. Get in touch with the insurance company: Inform the insurance company about the death of the policyholder. This is important as the insurer has to modify the policy details and other information.  If the policyholder had mentioned a nominee while buying the policy, the car insurance plan will be easily transferred to the nominee.  If there are no details about the nominee, the policy will be transferred to the policyholder’s legal heir.

2. Visit the regional transport office: Apart from getting the insurance policy transferred to their name, the legal heir should also get the car’s registration certificate (RC) transferred. This transfer is done at the Regional Transport Office (RTO) where the policyholder got the car registered. For RC transfer, the legal heir should submit the following documents at the RTO:

  • Original car RC

  • Pollution Under Control or PUC certificate

  • Valid car insurance policy

  • Car’s chassis imprint

  • Car sales certificate and other details

  • Death certificate of the car owner or policyholder

  • ID proof of the legal heir

  • Address proof

  • Succession certificate

  • RTO forms

Instances of natural succession of car insurance                 

There are times when the car insurance policy naturally goes to the successor. The most common instances are:

1. Spouse’s death: In case of death of a spouse, their partner will be the legal heir. The car insurance transfer process is a breeze if the spouse is a nominee already. However, the legal heir should submit certain documents for policy transfer.

2. Single parent’s death: When the policyholder is a single parent, his or her child who is the legal heir will be the natural successor. Hence, the child should get in touch with the insurance company and submit the required documents.

The documents for natural succession include:

  • Policyholder’s death certificate

  • RTO forms

  • Original RC

  • No objection certificate from the bank

  • Succession Certificate

  • Original car insurance policy

  • PUC Certificate

  • Aadhaar card copy, self-attested

  • Marriage Certificate copy (in case of spouse’s death)


In the event of the death of the policyholder, the legal heir should approach the car insurance company and attend to all formalities related to documentation. After verifying the documents, the insurer will quickly transfer the car insurance policy to the legal heir. This is important as the legal heir can take the car on the road with only a valid car insurance plan.

Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purpose only. For more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.

This blog has been written by

S. Gopalakrishnan | Motor Insurance Expert | 40+ years of experience in insurance industry

A veteran in insurance industry. S. Gopalakrishnan is a name to reckon with in the field of reinsurance, he has headed the Reinsurance department and has rich experience in other fields of motor insurance. He loves to share his opinion on latest topics in the insurance industry and how he can help people in safeguarding their assets using insurance products.

Mr. S.Gopalakrishnan recommends "HDFC ERGO for your vehicle insurance needs, it has always put customer’s interest at the forefront, with round the clock assistance to deal with emergency breakdown issues and hassle free claims process. You can be assured of complete and reliable guidance through the whole process."

Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purpose only. For more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.

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