According to Tom Tom South Africa, many South African road-users experience the frustration of spending extra time stuck in traffic. More time in daily traffic puts you at a higher risk of being involved in an accident. Luckily the cost of repairs is aleviated for those with vehicle insurance. Or is it? Have you or anyone you know experienced loss where the insurer did not pay out?

Recognising the importance of insurance cover is the first step. The next step is to take your time in understanding your cover to ensure that you will be compensated in the event of loss or damage.

Derek Wilson, Head of the insurance comparison website, says, “Insurers may not cover loss or damage to your vehicle in certain instances. Whilst you are insured for perils such as flooding, accidental damage, hail damage and theft, certain factors may result in a repudiation of your claim. This is mainly due to certain clauses in the terms and conditions of your cover that you may not be aware off.”

Some of these instances are:

1.    Moving to a new address without notifying your insurer

Changing your risk address to an area or premises that is considered more dangerous affects your risk profile. Should there be less security at the new risk address where your vehicle is parked at night your insurer may only pay out a portion of the claim, if you failed to contact them to change your address.

2.    Being involved in an accident on a weekend night without having done a breathalyser test

Whilst you may be a safe driver at all times, some drivers put others at risk when driving whilst under the influence of alcohol on a weekend night. For this reason insurers require that a breathalyser (DUI) test be done with authorities at the scene of the accident or at the nearest police station. If no DUI test was done, your insurer may repudiate your claim.

3.    Mechanical failure or un-roadworthy vehicle

The onus is on the policyholder to ensure their vehicle is roadworthy at all times. Should you be involved in an accident where it is found that mechanical failure or wear and tear (such as worn brakes and tyres, engine failure due to wear and tear of parts) was the cause, your insurer may repudiate your claim.

4.    Incorrect regular driver

Households with multiple vehicles may have a change in the regular driver (e.g. if your child becomes the regular driver once they get their license, or husband and wife decide to swop cars)

5.    Security device not fitted

Some vehicle models have a higher theft risk than other, and for this reason the insurer will advise you to install a security device such as an alarm or tracker. Your insurance cover is dependent on this device being fitted. In the event of theft, you will need proof that the device was installed and in proper working order at the time of the incident, otherwise your clam may be repudiated.

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