Sharing is caring, but when it comes to a car, what does it mean for the insurer, the insured driver and the borrower? It’s always nice to help a friend or family member out, but it’s important to be rational and avoid a good heart or guilty conscience from clouding your judgement in these situations. For most of us, our cars are some of the most expensive items we own, so making sound decisions about their use and the risks involved when others take hold of the wheel should be a priority. Consider these practical tips to follow before you toss your car keys to a friend, acquaintance, or irregular driver asking to borrow your car or take over the steer for a while. It could end up costing you dearly.
Avoid insurance claim rejections with these practical tips:
Tip #1: Know your driver options
Before you allow a friend to take the wheel, make sure that you have selected the open driver option on your dotsure.co.za car insurance policy.
An open driver policy means that anybody may drive your vehicle with your permission, whilst in possession of a valid driver’s licence, and you will still be covered for loss or damage to your vehicle if you submit a valid claim*. This type of policy usually carries a higher monthly premium due to higher risk involved.
Other driver options you can select:
Nominated driver policy: This option means that only the individuals who are in possession of a valid driver’s licence, and whose names are stipulated on your policy schedule, will be allowed to drive your insured car.
Single driver policy: This means that only the person noted as the regular driver on the policy will be allowed to drive the car for the insurance cover to apply.
Tip: You can easily change your driver cover options online via your dotsure.co.za Manage Portal. You don’t even have to pick up the phone or email us to make these changes to your policy. This platform allows you to have control of your policy 24/7*. 😉
Tip #2: Get a driver with a licence to drive (not speed)
If you know that the person who wants to borrow your car has a record of irresponsible driving, is uninsured, or unlicensed, this can lead to your claim not being paid following an accident*. So, make sure that the borrower has a valid driver’s licence and a clean driving record, with no or very close to zero speeding tickets on his/her record.
“If the driver has a history of car accidents or is a first-time driver, the onus is on the owner of the car or the regular driver to inform their insurance company and to enquire about additional excesses that may apply,” says Vera Nagtegaal, the Executive Head of Hippo.co.za.
Tip #3: Get the ‘green light’ – before you GO
Don’t leave your keys hanging or lying around for just anyone to grab hold of. If someone drives your car without your permission or knowledge, your insurer won’t pay out for a claim in the event of an accident.
Tip #4: Drinking and driving is a definite NO-NO
Even if you have an open driver policy, you won’t be covered against accidents if an intoxicated buddy drives your wheels. So, make sure that only sober and responsible individuals drive your car with your permission.
Remember that even if your friend accidently crashes your car or runs someone over, you can be held liable for their actions as you are the legal owner of the vehicle.
Tip #5: Inform your insurer of changes ASAP
Nagtegaal says that if a car owner plans to travel or leave town for an extended period of time and has agreed that someone else could use his/her car during that time, the onus is on the owner of the vehicle to let their insurer know. “This includes any change to parking arrangements, what the vehicle is being used for and where it is being driven. Premiums will vary for a car that is driven at night by a student versus by an older person on Sundays, and in the event of an accident, excesses could be very different.”
“The big lesson is, to be honest with your insurer and to inform them of any changes to your policy such as the regular driver’s details for instance. Misinforming your insurer could result in either unpaid claims or higher excesses,” concludes Nagtegaal.
Be careful and choose your drivers wisely. If you are a dotsure.co.za car policyholder and you’re ready to make changes to your nominated drivers, or if you would like to enjoy the open driver cover option, please visit your Manage Portal here, where you’ll be able to take your pick from the available options.
Have a question? Live chat to a consultant via the online chat bubble at the bottom of the page on www.dotsure.co.za OR pop us a mail at email@example.com. If you prefer to call, you’re welcome to reach us at 0861 dotsure (368 7873).
*T&Cs apply and are obtainable by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Claims decisions subject to factual merits of incident.