Many are more concerned with acquiring info about their Visas than with finding the necessary confirmation about car insurance. Car insurance and damage to our vehicles are often the last things on our mind when preparing to visit family or going on safari to countries such as Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe or Mozambique.
There is a constant flow of traffic across the borders of South Africa and we need to ask the question whether all these vehicles are insured and whether the owners needed to notify their insurers when travelling across the border by car!
I have decided to raise this with a few of the leading insurers in South Africa and would like to share the responses received from Outsurance and MiWay.
A client who has taken out comprehensive car insurance from us will be automatically be covered for all the usual perils (accidental damage, theft, third party, etc) in countries such as Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. We also offer an OUT-in-Africa product where he/she can purchase additional cover when travelling to countries such as Angola, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
A client with comprehensive insurance cover from OUTsurance would not need to inform us prior to travelling to a country like Zimbabwe.
Just a few informational points:
- A client who is going on holiday for a period of less than six months to a country noted in the mail below does not need to inform us of that
- A client who is going to one of these countries for business purposes, would need to advise us of same as these business trips are taken into account in calculating the client’s premium
- Clients usually inform us that they are visiting countries for private use in order to obtain proof of vehicle insurance.
There is no requirement though that a client travelling for private purposes to any of the countries stated above, would need to let us know.
We cover a car in Malawi, Swaziland, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Lesotho, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. Cars are only covered for private use and we only cover damage to our clients’ car.
Before leaving client can request a “Border Letter” from us. The border letter specifies the asset, which countries are been visited and the dates.
Herewith an excerpt from the border letter:
“The Finance House's interest has been noted on this policy. Please note that SASRIA cover is automatically included. This vehicle is also covered only for own damage in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe when used solely for private purposes.”
Conclusion and Advice
It is important to recognize that the ease with which cover is provided by Outsurance and MiWay to vehicle owners when using their vehicles to travel across the borders of South Africa might not apply to all insurers.
The onus remains on the insured vehicle owner to contact his insurer and to confirm whether any additional notification is required. Request confirmation of insurance in writing and confirm whether your vehicle would be fully insured against any perils outside South Africa.