31 Aug Dos and Don’ts for Motor Vehicle Insurance Claims in Kenya
Buying motor vehicle insurance should be a very straight forward matter. However, some elements in the process of buying motor insurance in Kenya can be the source of much pain should you need to make a claim.
Your car accident insurance claim can be denied on the basis of avoidable technicalities. In this article, insureafrika provides you with information regarding some of the “do’s” and “don’ts” of Motor Vehicle Insurance Claims in Kenya.
Motor Vehicle Insurance – Dos
Here are the things you should do in regards to your motor insurance.
Do Buy Car Insurance
It almost sounds obvious when we state that you should always buy insurance. You may be surprised by the number of vehicle owners who intentionally avoid buying insurance for their cars especially if they mainly use their cars within the city.
They reason that it is highly unlikely for them to be flagged down by a traffic policeman in inner city roads and in backstreets. No matter how tempting this option may be, don’t take it. Make sure your car always has a valid insurance policy. The fine for failing to insure your car is set at Kshs 10,000 or a two year jail term, or both, by the insurance Act (CAP 405). Why risk it?
Do Compare Insurance Quotes
The emergence of insurance aggregators such as insureafrika has given you control over the process of buying insurance. It is not smart anymore to buy insurance without at least checking which company is likely to give you the best deal. Don’t just hit “auto renew” each year when you need a new policy for your car.
You might find that there are better deals out there for you. At the very least, you will be empowered to bargain with you agent or your car insurance company. Read here..How To Compare Car Insurance Quotes in Kenya?
Do Keep a Copy of the Policy Document
When you buy insurance, be sure to get and keep a copy of the policy document. This is not just us saying, the Insurance Regulatory Authority strongly advices you to do it. Your policy document is the contract that spells out your roles and responsibilities as well as those of your insurer. Your agent is not your underwriter, and should not keep the policy on your behalf. This disempowers you should you need to make a claim. The policy document is yours and as such, DO get and keep your copy safely.
Do Keep your Driver’s, License Current
When you are involved in an accident, the two main documents that your insurer will ask for is a police report and a copy of your driver’s license. For insurance purposes, your policy is considered valid only if your driver’s license is also valid at the time of the accident.
If you have hired a driver, then his/her license should be valid. In the event of an accident, the possession of an invalid license can invalidate the insurance on the car. In this regard, DO keep your driver’s license current not just to obey the law, but also to ensure your insurance is not invalidated.
DO Maintain a Good Relationship with your Agent
Many car owners literally flee insurance sales people to avoid being subject to marketing activities. While this offers some peace of mind, it is important to note that the one person who has a stake in your policy outside of your insurance company is your agent.
Insurance agents and company direct sales agents are usually knowledgeable on insurance matters and will walk you through your insurance claim process for car accidents before should you make a claim. It therefore helps to maintain a personal relationship with your agent to ensure you have their support should you need it. Our advice here is DO keep a good relationship with your insurance agent.
Do Keep yourself Appraised of Changes in the Industry
As a consumer of insurance, you need to keep yourself appraised in regards to the changes taking place in the insurance sector. Did you know that the IRA no longer has the power to set percentages that insurance companies charge for motor insurance in kenya?
This development means that more innovative products will hit the market in the near future and is likely to enable companies reward low risk customers with discounts on their policies.
One easy way of keeping yourself informed about what is going on in the sector is subscribing to a good car insurance blog .
Motor Vehicle Insurance – Don’ts
Now that you know some of the things you need to do in regards to your motor insurance, you also need to be aware of the things you need to avoid.
Here are the things you shouldn’t do
Don’t Lie on the Proposal Form
The temptation to lie on the proposal form can arise from a desire to influence the final value of the car, and hence the amount of premiums you should pay. Those who want to reduce their premiums are tempted to under-declare the value of their car, while those who want a higher valuation are tempted to over-declare the value of their car.
Lying on the proposal form can also include failure to declare material modifications on the car such as changes on the car’s suspension. Other elements of the Motor Insurance Proposal Form where one can be tempted to lie is declaration of one’s age, and years of driving experience since these elements affect the excesses that apply in the event of a claim.
If you are caught lying on the proposal form, then your policy may be declared void. Don’t lie.
Don’t Drive Without Car Insurance
This is a rather serious offence that many drivers tend to trivialize. Driving without insurance is illegal and attracts a fine of Kshs 10,000 or two years in prison, or both. This is just the legal side. You as the car owner is also exposed to heavy losses should you lose your car to theft, fire, or via an accident.
The loss would be total and you would not have any recourse. In the same way, if there are any third party claims against you, you will be required to meet the claims using your personal resources. This can leave you in a financial mess. Before you leave your parking without valid insurance, think about these consequences. Our advice-don’t drive a car that is not insured.
Don’t Accept Liability after an Accident
This is cliché advice you receive from any car insurance company in kenya. To some people, this seems dishonest and is often interpreted to mean that the insurance firms are not ready to pay the claim. Actually, there is a very good reason why the insurance company asks you not to accept liability for an accident.
When you buy an insurance policy, you pay the insurance company to accept and pay out any liabilities that arise from your driving or from your car. In this sense, you are not in a position to accept liability because you have transferred it.
You should always call your insurance company and explain the situation so that they can advise you on what to do. The second reason is that you may not actually be the one on the wrong. For instance, if you hit someone from behind who enters a roundabout out of turn, you may think it is your fault’ In reality the other driver could be the one guilty of obstruction. When in accident, do not accept liability, rather, call your insurance agent.
Don’t Leave an Accident Scene without getting the Details of the other Driver
Should you be involved in an accident, never leave the accident scene without collection the details of the other driver. The details you need are a copy (or details) of the driver’s license including expiry date, a copy (or details) of their national ID, their insurer and the policy number on the insurance certificate (sticker on the windshield).
Also remember to record the number plate of the car and to collect the other driver’s phone number. If you can, it helps to take photos of the accident scene. This can become very important in case there is a contest regarding the party at fault in the accident. If you are ever involved in an accident, don’t leave the scene without these details.
Don’t Drink and Drive
Finally, you should never drink and then drive. If you are arrested driving while drunk, you will be charged with reckless endangerment and as such, you can lose your driving license. Apart from this, you can cause serious harm to other road users if you drive while incapacitated.
Many people die on Kenyan road struck by drunk drivers, or are involved in accidents caused by drunk drivers. You do not want to become one of these drivers who maim and kill on our roads. The consequences are not easy on the conscience, to say nothing of the risk of prison time from murder charges.
Understanding the do’s and don’ts of car insurance Kenya will empower you to become a better driver, and will also ensure your interests as a policy holder are safe. Keep these things in mind.
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