To top

Can your insurance application be rejected because of your credit score?

A credit score is used by lenders to determine how likely it is that you will repay a loan on time. It is also a factor in interest rates and loan qualifications. But can it be used to determine the success of your insurance application?

12 January 2021 · Athenkosi Sawutana

Can your insurance application be rejected because of your credit score?

Your credit score is used by lenders to determine the likelihood that you will repay a loan on time. This in turn partly determines interest rates and loan qualifications.

But can your credit score also be used to determine the success of an insurance application? We spoke to experts to find out.

Tip: Register here to get a free credit report.

Do insurers check your credit score when you apply for insurance?

“Insurers can and do check credit scores,” says Ayanda Ndimande, head of Business Development for retail credit at Sanlam. “This allows them to assess the level of risk a client could be from a regular premium payment perspective.”

According to Christelle Colman, CEO of Ami Underwriting Managers, this information plays a role in determining charges for premiums.

“Credit-based insurance scoring models are built to predict the likely 'loss relativity' of a customer. Loss relativity measures whether the cost of the customer’s insurance claims, relative to their premiums, will be higher or lower than average,” she says. 

Which factors determine your credit-based insurance score?

Knowing the factors that influence your credit-based insurance score, says Colman, can help you work towards securing the best insurance premiums. These factors include a well-established credit history, no late payments or past-due accounts, and open accounts in good standing.

Credit-based insurance scores do not factor in the person’s job, income history, gender, or any other personal information, she says.

Can your application be rejected by insurers if your credit score is low?

According to Ndimande, a poor credit score can negatively impact the rate offered by the insurer, but it’s unlikely that the application will be denied based solely on a poor score. 

“Where a potential client has a bad credit score but meets other requirements, the insurer can proceed to offer a policy,” she says.

If the insured has a high credit-based insurance score, an excellent driving history, and zero claims on record, they'll typically qualify for the best possible premium. However, if they have an excellent insurance score but a less-than-stellar driving history, for example, they might be considered riskier to insure. As a result, they will pay a higher rate, adds Colman.

“Tracking and proactively responding to problems in your credit report can be an effective technique to secure a better premium,” Colman advises.

To access your credit report, register here.

Make good money choices - join 250,000 South Africans who get our free weekly newsletter! Join the community →
JustMoney logo  
5th Floor, 11 Adderley Street, Cape Town, 8001

© Copyright 2009 - 2024 
Terms & Conditions  ·  Privacy Policy

Quick links

Your credit score is ready!

View your total debt balance and accounts, get a free debt assessment, apply for a personal loan, and receive unlimited access to a coach – all for FREE with JustMoney.

Show me!