You’ve done your research, talked to your broker or insurer, and finally purchased the right insurance coverage to protect your car and home. Insurance coverage, like any other contract, has certain requirements that must be met for it to remain valid. If you don’t keep your part of the agreement, your policy could be voided or a claim rejected.
Shakeel Ebrahim, head of operations at Standard Bank Insurance, has compiled a list of reasons why insurance claims are rejected, here are the top 8:
1. Driver without license
It is illegal for a person without a valid driver’s license to drive. Make sure the person driving your car has a valid driver’s license. If they only have a learner’s licence, they must be accompanied by a licensed driver.
Please also consider any moratoria and deadlines communicated by the Ministry of Transport regarding continued delays in the issuance of driver’s licenses. If you find that you are among those affected, please take steps to understand how this may affect you and ensure that you are on the correct side of the law.
2. The driver may not be the usual driver
Some insurance policies require the regular driver to be specified. If someone else is going to drive your car and your policy requires the person to be specified, make sure they are. Adding additional specified drivers to your policy may affect your premium.
3. Driving under the influence
In South Africa the legal limit is a breath alcohol content of 0.24mg per 1000ml or a blood alcohol limit of 0.05g per 100ml (at the time published) . This means that just two beers could put you over the legal limit. A claim under these conditions will not only be denied, but you could cause an accident, face a fine or jail time if caught. It is best to plan ahead if you are going out, i.e. using a ride-sharing service or having a designated driver.
4. Satellite tracking data
Some insurers may require you to install a tracking device so they can track your car in the event of theft. If this has not been done and your car is stolen, your claim will be denied. If you drive recklessly and cause an accident, your application will also be rejected.
5. Insufficient coverage
There are different types of auto insurance available, namely comprehensive coverage; third party fire and theft insurance; and third-party coverage. Some insurance policies only cover you in certain circumstances, so it’s important to understand the plan you choose.
6. Mechanical failure
Regular maintenance helps keep your car running smoothly. Skipping services will not only void the manufacturer’s warranty, but can also lead to serious mechanical issues, like your engine seizing. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintaining your car to avoid a rejected claim in the future.
7. Inspection not performed
Typically, an insurer would require your car to be inspected as soon as possible after your policy begins, to ensure that the insured asset exists and is in the condition specified. Failure to do so within the required window period could result in the rejection of a future application.
8. Using your car for business
If you use your car for business purposes, you must disclose this information to your insurer and you may need to insure your vehicle under a commercial policy. Please check with your broker or insurer.
- Be sure to read and understand the terms and conditions of your policy document.
- Be honest when answering questions asked by the insurer when you take out your policy.
- Remember to always obey the rules of the road and drive responsibly. It’s also important to keep your car in good working order.
- Make sure your car is well maintained and that you meet the maintenance intervals.
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