One of the things an insurance company wants to know when offering car insurance is:
“Who will be the most regular driver of the vehicle?”
Time and time again when we ask this question we get the following reply:
“No, I don’t want that! I want anyone with a licence to be able to drive my car.”
So what then is a ‘regular driver’?
Imagine for a moment you’re the proud owner of an insurance company. One day ‘Piet Pompies’ from Parys phones in asking for a quotation. Now Piet just so happens to have gone on retirement, and wants to ensure a brand-new VW golf GTI.
Gleefully you start rubbing your hands together at the thought of a low risk pensioner driving a high-performance hatch… Now why can’t you insure that type of risk every day?
Without a moment’s hesitation you place Piet on cover. A week later Piet phones in to tell you that his grandson has just written off the Golf.
What went wrong?
In your enthusiasm, you had forgotten to ask Piet who would be driving the Golf.
Piet, jumping with joy because of the low premium you quoted him, failed to mention that, while he would be the owner of the vehicle, his grandson would be using the VW to get to Potchefstroom University every day.
Talk about an expensive lesson!
Of course your average insurance company has had a 100 years or so to fine tune their underwriting questions.
In order for them to make a fair offer in exchange for the risk they’re taking, they need to base their decision on the person who most regularly drives the vehicle in question.
Now this doesn’t mean that if your grandson drives the vehicle, and happens to write the car off, that your claim will be rejected – far from it – they just don’t want to be ripped off.
If, at any point in the future, the most regular driver of your vehicle changes, then you need to notify your insurance company. Some insurance companies will even reject your claim if they discover that the most regular driver is not the regular driver they have on record (it’s in the fine print).
So what then is a ‘nominated driver’… and why should you stay away from this?
Without a doubt this is a useful option when cutting costs is crucial. In effect, when taking out this type of insurance you are saying to the insurance company that you, as the nominated driver, will be the only person driving this vehicle – absolutely no one else will drive it!
This means that nobody else – even if you’re way over the alcohol limit and need to be driven home – can drive your vehicle. That’s of course if you ever want your claim to be paid.
I’d recommend staying away from the nominated driver option. If the cost of insurance is an issue for you, rather opt for a voluntary additional excess in order to get a cheaper premium (although to be honest, this won’t make much difference in cost!).
Right now would be as good a time as any to study that insurance schedule of yours. What you need to be asking is: “Is the regular driver on record still the most regular driver?”
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Until next time.
The InsuranceFundi Team