Does car insurance have a waiting period?

By Isabelle Coetzee

In South Africa, if you take out medical aid, you may be placed on a three-month waiting period before your insurance is considered active. But does the same apply to car insurance?

We have a look at the general purpose of waiting periods, whether this is applicable to car insurance, and the hoops you will have to jump through to be insured.

Tip: Find out whether you qualify for affordable car insurance by filling out this form.

Why the waiting periods?

According to Bernard Lekoma, head of sales and operations at WealthyMe, waiting periods generally apply to long-term insurance, such as life insurance, funeral cover, and medical aid.

“Insurers impose a waiting period for specific benefits, on potentially high-risk clients, to avoid fraud and to cover all risks. It is put in place for a stipulated time period whereafter the insured party is fully covered,” he explains.

Car insurance falls under short-term insurance and has no waiting periods. Depending on your risk profile, you will be covered immediately from commencement of your policy.

In the event of a high-risk consumer, the insurer will choose to either load the premium or decline cover altogether.

READ MORE: These factors will fluctuate your car insurance excess

What could hold you back?

According to Caron Whitfield, head of marketing and distribution at Apio Group, even though there is no waiting period, insurers will request certain information before granting cover.

“Sometimes there are certain actions that a client must take before fully comprehensive cover is provided,” says Whitfield.

She suggests disclosing the following information to help speed up the process:

  • Give your broker or insurer full details of your previous insurance history, including any claims for loss or damage that occurred in the last three years. This is important as it will influence your premiums.
  • Tell them what the car will be used for.
  • Tell them who will be driving the car the most.

“If your vehicle is not brand new, you may need to get a vehicle inspection done so that the insurer can establish if there is any pre-existing damage,” says Whitfield.

Above all, she recommends paying your premiums on time.

“If you have a claim and you have not paid your premium, you will not have cover for the loss or damage and you may have to pay for repairs out of your own pocket,” says Whitfield.

Get a car insurance quote today to see whether you could save on your current premium.

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