Every year, thousands of people move to South Africa in search of a better life - but for asylum seekers, living a normal, everyday life can be a serious challenge.

If you have refugee status, but, not SA permanent residency, you may be wondering whether you qualify to apply for car insurance. Here is a brief guide on the rights of undocumented immigrants that will answer some of your questions.

Are undocumented immigrants entitled to insurance?

This is a question we receive quite often from insurance policy applicants and the answer is – it depends on the exact status of your asylum application.

An undocumented immigrant who is living in South Africa without having applied for refugee status or permanent residency is effectively living in the country illegally – and applying for any kind of bank account or insurance product would be impossible for them.

However, if you are one of the many undocumented immigrants who are in the process of becoming asylum seekers and integrating into South African society, you can certainly apply for car insurance. There are just a few extra steps you’ll need to take when you submit your application.

How can asylum seekers show proof of identity and residence?

Every client who applies for an insurance policy in South Africa has to provide their insurer with certain personal information, including:

  • Their full name, address and proof of residence
  • Proof of income and employment (or other earnings)
  • A valid form of identification (usually a passport or barcoded SA ID book)

The last item on this list is usually a challenge for undocumented immigrants who don’t have an SA ID book – this is a FICA requirement that insurers simply can’t avoid. The good news is, since 2010 it’s possible to use an Asylum Seeker’s Permit as a proof of identification, along with your passport issued by your country of origin.

When it comes to proof of residence, the usual FICA documents – including a municipal account, Telkom or cellphone bill, or official bank statement, should be sufficient. If your insurer requires any further documentation, they will let you know once you submit your application.

Insurance provides security for all residents of SA

No matter what country you’re from originally, you’ll face the same everyday challenges and risks of life as all South Africans do. Insurance – especially car insurance – is an essential form of security that all vehicle owners should be able to enjoy, and asylum seekers are no exception.

Once you’ve applied successfully for car insurance, you’ll need to make sure that you pay your monthly premium on time and keep your insurer up to date with your most recent contact information. That way, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your vehicle is fully insured and covered against accidents, theft, and other unexpected events.

If you need any extra information or assistance in applying for car insurance as an undocumented immigrant, feel free to contact us today. Our team is on hand to answer your questions and assist you in any way they can.