Most of us don’t know that if our tyres are too worn or we missed a premium payment for longer than 15 days and we are in an accident, our car insurance provider doesn’t have to pay our claims and they most likely won’t. According to the annual ombudsman’s report, the Ombud resolved 9,474 complaints out of 9,779 formal complaints lodged in the review period, recovering a total of R87.2 million for consumers!
Even if you aren’t claiming or planning on claiming from your insurance provider any time soon it’s important to know why they could reject one of your claims in order to stop it. It’s never nice paying your monthly premium but when last did you check if you could be paying less for car insurance. Try this instant online car insurance comparison, giving you over 9 quotes to compare to:
1. Car Insurance Premiums Not Paid on Time:
One of the most prominent reasons that insurance providers reject their client’s insurance claims is due to unpaid premiums. There is good news for consumers though… by law insurance companies have to have a clause in the policy document that states consumers have at least a 15-day grace period for outstanding payments to be made(may be more so check your policy document). The best way to avoid this problem is to make sure your payments are on time every month.
2. Lying to Get a Lower Premium:
Even though at the time you are getting a quote it may seem like a good idea to lie to the insurance provider to lower your monthly car insurance premium trust me it IS NOT! This is the worst thing that you can do because if your insurance provider finds out you have lied about things like previous claims record, break in insurance cover, prior rejected claims, credit record judgments, where the car is parked etc. your insurance claim can and will be rejected.
3. Not Licensed Driver or Unspecified Driver:
There are many policies that only cover the one regular driver but most of the time you can add another driver to the policy document(this person must be named in the document), make sure you do this if someone is borrowing your car especially for an extended period of time. If the car is being driven by an unlicensed driver your car insurance claim will be rejected immediately.
4. Reckless Driving or Driving Under the Influence:
There is a clause in every insurance policy namely the “Failure to Take Care” clause. Essentially this means that if you are driving recklessly your insurance provider could reject your claim just on that basis. This would be proven by witnesses and other people in the accident (if there was any).
There is also a “Breach of Road Traffic Regulations clause” which simply means that if you are in an accident while breaking the rules of the road your insurance provider doesn’t have to pay out. For example if you are caught speeding on a camera and you are in an accident your claim will be rejected. And I don’t think we need to go into detail on the topic of drunk driving, if you are caught over the limit and you are in an accident your insurance provider will guaranteed not pay out.
5. Car Inspection Not Done:
I don’t know many insurance companies in South Africa that will insure your car without an inspection done by one of their approved companies. Even if you have signed with a car insurance provider and have been paying your premiums your car will not technically be fully covered until your inspection is done and your insurance company won’t pay out your insurance claim. If you aren’t 100% happy with your car insurance provider whether it’s service or premium, you can compare your insurance to over 9 free quotes with this quick quote:
6. Security or Tracking Devices Not Fitted:
If your insurance provider has stated in the policy document that your car insurance cover is conditionally based on the fact that you have a tracking device fitted and this is not done your provider can reject your claim if you are in an accident.
7. Vehicle is Unroadworthy:
If for some reason your car is deemed unroadworthy at any time that it is insured because of bad maintenance or the car was in an accident your insurance claim will be rejected! According to the Ombudsman for Short-term Insurance, neglected tyres and brakes are most often to blame for claims being rejected.
The National Road Traffic Act of 1996 stated the following must be maintained in a specific manner to meet the minimum road safety requirements:
-Engine and VIN numbers must match reg documents.
-No rust or damage on the chassis or body of the car, ie doors must be easily opened and hinges attached firmly.
-All lights and indicators in working order, speedometer, odometer and seatbelts must be working.
-No clear damage to the windscreen or windscreen wipers must be working in good order, windows must be able to open and close.
-Wheels and tyres must be the right size as well as the depth of the tyre must be at least 1.6mm. Breaks and hydraulic system and shock absorbers in good working order.
-Wheel alignment lines up and steering works fully.
-No leaks or damage in the engine compartment.
-Battery secured and no excessive smoke or noise from the exhaust.
8. Where Your Car is Parked!
This is massive for insurance provider: where your car is parked at night. It is imperative that you make sure the agent heard you correctly and the policy documents state clearly where your car will be parked. If your insurance provider finds that your car is parked outside regularly and your policy states it gets parked underground your claim will be rejected.
9. Write-off cover not included
This simply means that if there is no write-off cover included in your policy document, which happens more often than you think, and your car is written off in an accident your insurance provider will reject your insurance claim.
You don’t want to be paying car insurance monthly for nothing guys and it will be for nothing even if the truth isn’t fully told to your insurer because they won’t pay you out when you really need it.
The most important advice that I could give you is to check your insurance policy that is sent to you after you have checked it…check it again and then check it one more time. More often than not insurance companies can catch you out with clauses in the policy documents ie, such as exclusion clauses and incorrect information. Even if your information was captured incorrectly by the insurance company and you signed the insurance policy that they sent you, they can reject your claim. So be careful and READ THE FINE PRINT.
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