A car is among the most significant investments made by everyday South Africans yet, on an annual basis, thousands are left severely out of pocket when their claims are either only partially paid or completely rejected.
Here are five reasons why your claim could be refuted:
- Your policy has exclusions (best to cover it up…)
It is vital that you understand exactly what it is you are covered for. Don’t just assume that your household contents policy also includes vehicle insurance. Triple check what your policy actually covers (do you have car hire in the event of an accident?) and thoroughly review your policy wording. Ask your broker as many questions as you need to; that’s why he/she is there.
- You told some white lies (in this case don’t cover it up)
As the policyholder, the onus is on you to provide your insurer with all the necessary personal and risk information – truthfully. For example, if you bought a car for use by your teenager or student but it is registered and insured in your name, insurers are well within their rights to reject any claims should an incident occur. Full disclosure of information enables insurers to correctly assess potential risks and tailor the most suitable insurance cover for you.
- You lost track of your tracker (and other security features)
It is essential that you are – and continue to be – compliant with any security measures required as part of your insurance policy. If your policy validity is dependent on you having an active tracking device but you decide to cancel the service, should your vehicle be stolen, your claim can be rejected immediately on the basis of breach of contract.
- You want to claim for your tyres (another pot hole?)
A common belief is that motor insurance pertains to anything vehicle-related, however, it is important to note that most insurance policies do not cover issues related to maintenance (unless you’ve obtained an appropriate maintenance plan). A claim for the replacement of your vehicle’s worn out brake pads, tyres, battery, etc. will not be considered, but if you did hit a pothole or curb which caused damage to the chassis, it is another story.
- You indulged in after-work drinks
If it is established that drugs or alcohol were the cause of an accident, any related claim will automatically be rejected. Don’t drink and drive – ever!
It is always best to seek the advice of your insurance broker – he/she is ideally placed to assess your needs, risk profile and financial position and could advise on the best form of cover for you. They are also able to take you through all the insurance jargon and clarify policy inclusions and exclusions. In the event of a claim, they can also manage the whole process on your behalf.