- The South African Insurance Association (SAIA) is urging car insurance holders to check what is and is not covered on their policy.
- The SAIA says the rise of insurtech companies means people are less sure of what their policies actually entail.
- The SAIA advises checking the particulars of your policy at least twice a year.
Car insurance is often viewed as a grudge purchase, but given that vehicle financing often cannot be secured without some sort of insurance policy being in place, it is an inevitability for those who own or wish to own a car in South Africa.
With that in mind, the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) is currently urging motorists to take a close look at their current policies, and in particular make sure of what is and is not covered in terms of car insurance.
The reason for this push is the result of many players entering the insurtech market, explains Pamela Ramagaga, GM of Insurance Risks at SAIA.
“The emergence of new ‘InsureTech’ players over the past few years has driven considerable innovation in the nature of insurance products, how they are provided digitally and, most importantly, in what is covered,” she highlighted.
“Insurance, particularly for motor vehicles, is now increasingly available and affordable to a wider group of car owners. Drivers are more able to shape their cover to match their individual circumstances and needs. For example, premiums have been adapted for people who work from home or who cover comparatively short distances over a month,” the GM added.
This is one of the reason why Ramagaga believes that every person with a car insurance policy should look at least twice a year at their policy documents to check what they specifically are covered for, as well as the general terms and conditions being applied.
In her experience, “the majority of complaints after a claim relate to what the consumer thought was covered and what the policy document actually sets out.”
Ramagaga also warns that insurers have far better memories than people do, owing to the fact that most, if not all, telephonic conversations with customers are recorded for potential reference down the line.
“When you are first taking out the policy, that is the time to be clear, concise and honest about what kind of cover you want and the premium you can pay. These recordings are often the first point of reference when there is a difference in interpretation of the policy,” she noted.
On this front, the SAIA strongly recommends that consumers check that their policy indeed covers what they think it covers.
“Doing this check enables you to seek clarification from the insurer and to make changes. It is mostly too late to dispute what is covered by the policy only after you submit a claim,” emphasised the GM.
“SAIA believes that this Transport Month of October is a good time to find your policy document and have a look at what’s in there. Changes are certainly much easier to make now than the day before going on holiday in December,” she concluded.