car insurance in south africa

When you pay for your car insurance in South Africa, you are getting the assurance that if something unfortunate happens to your vehicle, you will be reimbursed for damages. However, not all car insurance claims are paid out. In fact, some of them are rejected by the insurance company even when they should be approved. Here are some of the most common reasons why car insurance claims get rejected:

Policy not active

If your car is damaged, but you don’t have an active policy on it, the insurance company will not pay for the repairs. If you were to make a claim for damages, it would be rejected.

The reason behind this is simple: if you don’t pay premiums for your policy, there’s no way that the company can provide coverage for anything.

So what happens if you do have an active policy on your car and it was damaged? In some cases—but not all—you might be covered anyway.

Excluded driver

If you’re not driving your own car, it’s important to know that your insurance company won’t cover you if an excluded driver (someone who does not have a valid driver’s license, or who is not authorised to drive your car) is driving it. This is because they are considered responsible for their actions while operating a vehicle.

You can be held liable for injuries caused by an excluded driver even if they were only in control of the vehicle briefly and did something wrong after taking control. For example, if someone borrows your car and crashes into another vehicle while drunk and without insurance cover, you could be held responsible for damages as well as medical bills incurred by those involved in the accident.

No license to drive the car

Not having a driver’s license is a common reason for insurance claims to be declined. If you don’t have the legal right to drive the car, then you can’t claim for damage to it.

The same applies if your car license is expired. If you have an expired license and unpaid fines, your claim will most likely be rejected.

Your car is unroadworthy

The car must be in a roadworthy condition (before any accidents):

  • The vehicle must pass an inspection by a licensed mechanic and be deemed safe to drive.
  • All safety features are functional and meet manufacturer specifications.
  • It’s insured to legally drive on public roads.

car insurance claims

Policy has lapsed

If your car insurance policy has lapsed, you may not be covered in the event of a claim. If this is the case, you could be liable for the full cost of any damage that occurs to your vehicle or someone else’s.

To ensure that you are protected, you must make sure that:

  • You have renewed your car insurance policy on time. Most insurers require drivers to inform them of their intention to renew their policy by a certain date before their current cover ends (this can vary between companies). Failure to do so will result in cancellation of cover and an increase in premiums when a new policy is taken out later on down the line – so keep an eye on those dates!

Driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs

If you are found guilty of driving under the influence (DUI), your license may be suspended or revoked. Your car insurance company can also cancel your policy. You will have to pay higher premiums in future if you want to get a new policy.

Negligence (driving recklessly)

If a claim is rejected because of negligence, it means that the insurance company believes you were at fault for your accident or injury. Negligence is a legal term and is defined as the failure to act with the degree of care that a responsible person would have exercised in the same circumstances. A common example of this would be if you caused an accident while driving recklessly or speeding. If you’re found to be negligent, your claim will likely be denied.

Vehicle not parked securely

  • If you park your vehicle in a safe place, it’s likely that a claim will not be denied due to this reason. Make sure you park in a well-lit area and if possible, park near other cars or buildings that can provide additional protection against theft.
  • Make sure the doors are locked and valuables have been removed from the vehicle before leaving it unattended. If you have a remote starter on your car, make sure it’s turned off by pressing the start/stop button before locking up and walking away from the vehicle. If the start/stop button cannot be reached from inside of the car (such as with many minivans), then simply lock all doors manually before exiting and use direct access keys when pressing this button instead.

Participation in a race or a speed test

  • If you’re testing your car’s speed, it’s not covered by your insurance policy.
  • Racing with another person or vehicle on public roads. Racing is illegal in most states; if convicted of racing, drivers can face fines and jail time (in addition to having their licenses suspended). Drivers involved in an accident caused by racing may also have their vehicles impounded and/or seized by police—and again: they’ll be responsible for paying all associated costs incurred as a result of their actions!

car insurance policy

Lack of vehicle security and/or maintenance

Crime and theft in South Africa are not something to be taken lightly. To prevent your claim from being rejected, it’s important to take the following steps:

  • Ensure that your car is secure. If you have a garage, make sure all of its doors are locked and that the gate is closed and locked properly. Also, make sure that any external doors are secured with a lockable deadbolt or padlock as well as an internal bolt.
  • If you don’t have either of these options available to you, park in a public place where there are CCTV cameras monitoring the area. In some cases, it might be necessary for your car to be fitted with a vehicle tracking device which can help locate it in case it has been stolen by criminals who are trying to scam insurance companies by filing false claims for expensive parts such as engines or transmissions—or even entire vehicles!

An accident caused by an unlicensed person

If an accident is caused by a person who was not licensed to drive the car, your claim may be rejected. This includes:

  • The driver of the vehicle was not authorized to operate it. For example, if an employee drives company cars but is not allowed to take customers home after business events, and then gets involved in an accident with one of these customers while driving home from a function (even if they’re both drunk), you can’t claim on this insurance policy.
  • The person who caused the accident was not allowed to use the car or didn’t have permission from its owner to use it at all (for example, if someone steals a rental car).



The best way to avoid car insurance claims rejection is to be careful and avoid accidents. This doesn’t mean that you have to stop driving, but it does mean that it is important for you to know how these things work so you can make the right choices.

When you make a car insurance claim, you’ll need to be sure that your policy is in good standing, and that you’re not driving an unroadworthy vehicle. Your insurer will want proof of your car’s condition before they pay out any money.

If the accident was your fault, or if it occurred while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the claim may be rejected by your insurer. Their decision is final—and there’s not much point fighting them on it. Take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road.

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