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Motor Insurance
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Showroom check

If you are looking to purchase a vehicle, whether new or pre-owned, first contact your insurer or broker to establish the cost of insurance, as well as any stipulations with regard to car alarms, immobilisers or tracking devices that may need to be installed.

Christelle Fourie, Head of Personal Lines Underwriting at Santam, says that the installation of security devices in vehicles will depend upon a range of factors and that motorists whose vehicles are not currently fitted with these devices will not necessarily be penalised in the event of a claim arising.
She was reacting to recent media reports stating that, according to the Ombudsman for short-term insurance, Brian Martin, claims were being rejected by insurers on the grounds that the vehicle did not comply with the required security measures stipulated by the policy.
“A claim will be rejected in the event that there is a clear stipulation in the policy that the vehicle should be fitted with a particular security device or devices and the insured fails to comply. However, this does not mean that all insured vehicles must be fitted with these devices.
“Much depends on the value of the vehicle, which is obviously a function of its make, model and age, as well as the specific requirements of the different insurance companies and certain personal facts such as the area where the insured lives,” she explains.
Fourie notes that while it is the duty of the insurance company or broker to advise clients of any specific requirement regarding vehicle security and that in many instances the company will insist on proof that the security device has been fitted, the onus is on the policyholder to ensure that he or she complies with the terms of the policy.
She says that the huge increase in vehicle repair and replacement costs, coupled with the ongoing level of crime in the country, has put pressure on the industry and that this has resulted in more onerous requirements with regard to security devices.
“If a motorist is in any doubt about vehicle security, he or she should speak to the insurer or broker concerned to determine the precise level of security that may be required in terms of the policy.
“For persons wishing to purchase a vehicle, either new or previously owned, it’s a good idea to speak to a broker or insurer first in order to establish the premiums that might apply, as well as any additional cost that might be incurred through the installation of an alarm, immobiliser or tracking device. This will certainly avoid any unpleasant surprises down the line,” she concludes.

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:21.9 1st October, 2008
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