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Driving after curfew? Will your insurance pay out if you have an accident?

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What happens if you have an accident during the lockdown Level 2 curfew period between 10pm and 4am? Technically you’re breaking the law by being on the road at that time without the necessary permit, but will that be sufficient reason for an insurer to reject your claim?

Arm yourself with information about your insurer’s policy regarding claims for accidents that happen during curfew.

JOHANNESBURG – As some vehicle owners have found out the hard way, just because you’re paying a monthly insurance premium doesn’t mean you are automatically covered under every circumstance.

Keeping your insurance intact also means following all the Ts and Cs in your contract. Have an accident while you’re drunk, for instance, and your insurer will certainly reject your claim.

But what happens if you have an accident during the lockdown Level 2 curfew period between 10pm and 4am? Technically you’re breaking the law by being on the road at that time without the necessary permit, but will that be sufficient reason for an insurer to reject your claim?

We spoke to a few insurance companies and the general gist is that driving after the curfew cut-off is unlikely to affect your insurance coverage.

A spokesperson from Telesure Investment Holdings, which incorporates the Auto & General, 1st for Women, Dialdirect and Budget insurance companies said that each case would be assessed on its own merit, but that driving after curfew would not in itself be a reason to reject a claim.

King Price Insurance customer experience head Wynand van Vuuren expressed similar sentiments:

“If your insurance policy doesn’t specially exclude any cover for damages caused by an accident after curfew, insurers can’t reject your claim.

“While you are not allowed to drive after lockdown hours without a permit, that in itself is no reason for an insurer to reject your claim, as it doesn’t materially affect their risk,” Van Vuuren added.

We also received some insights from driver training company Master Drive, which said that its insurer, Mont Blanc Financial Services, would not reject a claim “on those grounds alone”.

However, MasterDrive managing director Eugene Herbert advises motorists to double-check with their insurer whether coverage is provided after curfew as this could vary between insurers.

“Every driver should know what the stance of their insurer is with regard to post-curfew driving. This is especially so for those driving home from a late shift and drivers who are legitimately allowed on the road at that time.

“Speak to your insurer now about what they expect and your unique circumstances rather than argue it after the fact,” Herbert added.

Herbert also warned that drivers could face fines for driving after curfew without the correct documentation.