CAR insurance companies and the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) are aware of rumours circulating about insurance companies not paying out claims if car crashes take place during the national lockdown curfew.
The rumours have been circulating on social media, warning people that crashes during the curfew would not be covered by insurance companies because it was an act of breaking the law.
Earlier this month, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the revised curfew was between 11pm and 4am. Except for emergencies and essential workers permitted to work during those times, no person should be outside their home between those times.
The contravention of regulations can result in a fine, imprisonment for up to not more than six months or both.
On Monday, a Facebook user encouraged people to take note of the law which stated that if a person was involved in a car crash between the hours of the curfew, insurance companies would not pay because people were not supposed to be on the road during those times, basically they were breaking the law, unless they had a permit allowing them to be on the road.
SAIA insurance technical advisor Susan Walls said some people were permitted to travel, which meant they were legally able to drive during the curfew.
“At all times, not only during lockdown, each claim is settled on its own merits; all circumstances are considered. Where there are extenuating circumstances, these are taken into consideration. Normal claim procedures must be followed as advised by your insurer should you be involved in an accident,” said Walls.
She said it was advisable for customers to contact their insurer or broker immediately if they were aware there was a claim. Should policyholders be uncertain about the process to be followed, they should consult their policy document or contact their insurer or broker.
“SAIA encourages all, not just policyholders, to adhere to all lockdown regulations and stay safe,” said Walls.
Car insurance companies, Auto & General, Budget Insurance, Dialdirect and 1st for Women fall under the Telesure Investment Holdings (TIH) Short-Term Insurance.
TIH CEO Robyn Farrell said: “Driving during curfew would not in itself be a reason to reject a claim. As such, all valid claims will be paid.”
Farrell said the above applied to all their insurance brands.
Meanwhile, Momentum Head of Claims and Customer Experience Vickey Swanevelder said: “Momentum Short-term Insurance’s claim process remained unchanged; when a claim is lodged the merits are individually assessed based on the nature of the cover purchased by the insured. Following this, the claim is paid or repudiated accordingly. A claim would not be rejected on the basis of curfew.”