With the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have had their driving license expired and were unable to renew due to lockdown restrictions. In this scenario, there were different theories about what would happen if you had an incident with your car and your license was expired. Would the insurance cover you?
With the COVID-19 pandemic, many South Africans did not renew their driving license and once lockdown restrictions were lifted, there were delays in DLTCs. For this reason, The Road Traffic Management Corporation warned motorist to renew their driving license in order not to risk being left without coverage from their car insurers.
The reason behind this warning lies in that the RTMC states that if you had an incident with your car and required assistance by the insurer, you might not get it if you had your driving license expired. However, there are some car insurance companies that claim this is not entirely truth, since in South Africa it is not your license that expires, but your driving license card. Meaning, that even if the driving license card was out of date, you should be covered anyway.
According to certain car insurers, the important issue at stake when claiming coverage under your car insurance policy is that the car was in good conditions when the incident occurred. For instance, say you have an accident because your brakes did not work; then the insurance might not cover you.
Notwithstanding the fact that your car insurer might cover you even though your driving license expired, it is always a good idea to renew it. In this way, you would avoid any inconvenience with car insurers who do not want to assist you because of your expired card.
On a different note, Christelle Colman, founder and manager of Ami Sure advises people with expired driving license to contact their insurance agents and have them confirm in writing that they will still coverage even with an expired driving license. Along the same lines, Colman urges people to go and start their renewal as soon as possible to have proof that the renewal is taking place.
What Colman is saying is that there might be some insurers who may consider your lack of a valid driving license card as a cause to deny your coverage claim.
There are high percentages of uninsured and unlicensed people in South Africa. This could mean that if you were involved in a car incident in which you have no responsibility, the other driver might not have insurance to cover you. This is one of the reason it is so important to have a good car insurance. You could check different car insurance quotes and ponder the pros and cons of each one in order to choose the one that fits you the best.
Another factor adding to this problem is the poor conditions of the roads in South Africa, making it even more important to have appropriate car insurance coverage. Most insurers offer different ranges of insurance, from third-party liability to more comprehensive plans. The more coverage you pay for, the less you might end up paying off out-of-pocket if you had an incident with your car. Conversely, the greater the coverage, the highest you would have to pay for your car insurance premium. But again, a higher premium might help you save money in the long run. You should review your options and choose the plan that best fits your needs and budget.
According to certain car insurance agents, having your driving license expired should not leave you without coverage. However, there are other voices that warn us that this might not be entirely true. In the end, it will depend on the car insurance you bought. It might be a good idea to renew your driving license to stay in the clear.