Here are a few pointers on how you can live up to these responsibilities.
- Make sure that your insurance premiums are always up-to-date. One of the main reasons that insurers reject claims is because of unpaid premiums. Though, by law, insurers are obliged to have a clause in their policy which grants customers a grace period to pay outstanding premiums. This period may not be less than 15 days but may be longer, so check your policy.
- Always disclose and update important details. Each insurance premium is based on the driver’s risk profile, so any misrepresentation of the driver’s details – or these details not being kept up to date – could be grounds for your insurer to reject your claim.
- Ensure that your car is roadworthy. If you have an accident and your vehicle is not in a roadworthy condition, your claim will be rejected. The National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996 contains a list of items that must be maintained in a specified manner in order to meet the minimum standards of roadworthiness. According to the Ombudsman for Short-term Insurance, neglected tyres and braking systems are most often to blame for claims being rejected. If the state of your car played a part in your claim, your insurer can reject your claim and that of a third party.
- The extras: Do not drive recklessly or under the influence. Make sure that you fit a tracking device if your policy requires one. Disclose if your vehicle is used for business and be honest about the state of the premises at which you park your vehicle, especially at night.
Make sure that you always play your part and take responsibility for your commitment in your insurance contract. It’s always a good idea to thoroughly read through your insurance contract and familiarise yourself with the policy wording. Note anything that doesn’t make sense and contact your insurer for clarity.
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