With South Africa’s (only) driver’s license card printing machine in for repairs and hold-ups in the online booking system for renewing licences, many drivers are worried that driving without a valid licence will affect their car insurance.
If you don’t have (and have never had) a driver’s licence, you are not covered if you are involved in a car accident. However, insurers are more lenient with policyholders whose licence has expired.
The South African Insurance Association says an accident claim will not be automatically rejected because of an expired driving licence. This is because insurers recognise that there are backlogs and delays in renewing licences at testing centres across the country.
Ricardo Coetzee, head of Auto & General Insurance, explains further: “If you do not have a valid driver’s licence at the time of the loss, but this was as a result of a purely administrative process that is beyond your control, as now experienced by many members of the public, then the expired licence will not impact a claim. We do, however, urge customers to continue in their efforts to renew these licences as soon as possible, as legally they are still unlicensed to be on the roads. We look at risk when assessing a claim, and an administrative delay does not increase or decrease your risk in operating a vehicle.”