Women24 expert Robyn Farrell is the Executive Head of 1st for Women Insurance. Here are her top things to remember when it comes to car insurance and especially when it comes to the fine print:

So many of us buy items and services, including insurance, and sign on the dotted line without really taking the time to read the fine print in order to truly understand what we are buying.

Insurance policies can be complicated so it’s not surprising that many people find themselves in a predicament where they thought they were covered when they weren’t.
Some people get caught despite reading the fine print, simply because they don’t understand what it means. It is important for consumers to know the ins and outs of their short-term insurance policies and understand the implications.

This is not only to avoid an unpleasant situation where they find they can’t claim when they thought they could, but also to ensure that they get the most value out of their insurance policy. There are thousands of people forking out money from their own pockets to pay for unexpected expenses which could have been covered by their insurance.

All insurance companies have their own rules and conditions with which policyholders must comply in order to be covered and have their claims paid. For instance, insurance companies have procedures and deadlines for submitting claims; some might oblige policyholders to submit their claims within 60 days of an incident while others might prescribe a longer timeframe. Claims submitted after the prescribed timeframe might not be paid.
Consumers must therefore be aware of their insurance company’s rules and regulations so as to avoid non-compliance which could put them at risk of having their claims rejected.
All insurance policies also have certain exclusions. For instance, if a vehicle-owner causes an accident and the tread on their car’s tyres don’t meet South African road regulations, their insurer could refuse to pay their claim. Likewise, if a policyholder’s house or car is broken into but it is found that a window of the car or house was left open or unlocked, there’s a probability that the claim won’t be paid.

It’s also worth noting that no insurance company will pay claims for losses or damages to your car if you happen to be in an accident while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Furthermore, if you tell your insurer that your car is equipped with anti-theft devices and is locked up in a secure garage at night but it’s not the case and you are caught out, your policy could become null and void and you won’t be covered at all.

Have more insurance related questions? Ask Robyn!