Understanding exactly what your motor insurance covers is a crucial part of owning a vehicle. Before taking onto the wheel, be sure that you appreciate what will or will not be covered by your insurance policy. An exclusion is a policy provision that eliminates cover on some types of risk. Insurers are not trying to mislead you, but sometimes there is small print on your policy that you need to be aware of. The last thing you want to happen is to find out that your policy will not cover your loss when you need it the most.
Below are 10 things that your insurer will not cover:
- Your motor policy covers your car, not what’s in it. The motor policy will cover theft of accessories of the car, but will not cover items such as laptops; cellphones and hand-bags. So do not leave things in your car, especially those that are easy to sell, such as cell phones, laptops and cameras. These are especially insured under a home-contents policy.
- If your vehicle has a part that could be deemed un-roadworthy, even if it did not directly cause the accident, your car insurer may have the right to deny cover under an exclusion clause for un-roadworthy vehicles.
- When you take out an insurance policy, you will be asked to state the nature of use of the vehicle. If you state that your vehicle will be used for social, domestic and pleasure purposes, but after an accident, it is discovered that your vehicle was being used as a taxi, the insurer will refuse to settle any claims citing violation of the statement of the purpose to which the insured vehicle is to be used.
- The motor insurance policy states that it will “indemnify the insured against accidental loss or damage”. The key word to note is accidental, as any loss arising from maintenance issues will not be covered. It is imperative to have your vehicle serviced regularly to ensure that any faults on your vehicle are promptly corrected.
- According to the law of the land, it is a criminal offence to drive without a valid driver’s licence. All insurance companies are guided by this law. Accordingly insurers will not settle any claims caused by an unlicensed driver.
- As above, it is an offence to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Insurers will also not settle any claims caused by a drunk driver.
- If you are involved in an accident whilst there are more passengers in the car than seats and seatbelts allow, your insurer may evoke an exclusion relating to this. Cars are only designed to safely carry a certain number of passengers, so if there is more, the insurer may validly say the vehicle was not capable of being controlled properly.
- The motor policy will not cover loss or damage to a vehicle that was participating in a drag-race. A drag race is a contest which usually involves two cars to determine which can accelerate faster from standstill. These races are usually considered very risky from an insurance stand-point.
- The motor policy will not cover damage to tyres caused by potholes or unevenness of the road surface. It is therefore prudent to drive carefully in bad roads as it could prove costly in terms of replacing the damaged tyres.
- The motor policy states that all drivers with a learner’s license must be accompanied by a fully licensed driver. If, after the accident, it is discovered that the learner driver was driving alone, the claim will not be paid. The vehicle must also have “L” plates displayed at both the front and back of the vehicle.
Understanding what your motor insurance does not include can save you time and money. Have patience and read through your policy wording so that you do not accidentally violate the terms of your policy. Remember that different insurers might have different exclusions, and the list above may not include them all. If you are unsure whether or not your vehicle will be covered, speak to your insurance broker and get the answers you need.
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