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My driver’s licence has expired – Will insurance pay out?

The Department of Transport has announced that learner and drivers’ licences which have expired from 26 March 2020 to 31 December 2020 are deemed valid until 30 August 2021. But although there has been an extension, a question that has been asked by many South Africans is “will my insurance pay out if I am involved in a car crash with an expired drivers’ or even motor vehicle licence?”

According to Howard Dembovsky of Justice Project South Africa it depends on the policy wording. Some vehicle insurance policies make the specific exclusion: “a vehicle involved in an accident where at the time of the accident, the vehicle does not have a valid motor vehicle licence…” “As with every kind of agreement, motorists should thoroughly read and understand the policy wording before entering into an agreement. If the clause is included in the policy wording the insurer will be entitled to repudiate the claim, regardless of the reasons surrounding the expired licence disc,” Dembovsky explains.

But what do the insurers say? Bianca de Beer from Dialdirect says that each claim is evaluated on its individual merit. “We acknowledge that Covid-19 has placed a significant strain on licensing offices’ capacity. So, if someone can show that they have taken all necessary steps to renew their drivers’ or vehicle licence and that administrative backlog or service unavailability is the only reason that their license expired, it will not influence the decision on the claim.”

Refilwe Moloto of CapeTalk radio also recently spoke to Wynand van Vuuren, Client experience partner for King Price. Click here to listen to the interview.

Click here to read the related News24 article.

This may have a direct bearing on your clients. May we suggest that you obtain guidance from the specific insurer in writing, and share that with your clients?

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