In a recent media release, the Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance (OSTI) emphasised the importance of confirming that your clients’ vehicles are in a roadworthy condition when advising them of the appropriate insurance cover for their vehicles. Advisors must highlight to clients the requirement to maintain the roadworthiness of their vehicle. This must also be noted on the Record of Advice.
Tyres and brake systems that do not meet the minimum requirements of roadworthiness will almost always result in an insurer repudiating a claim. In a recent Ombud matter, a client was found liable to pay damages in the amount of R2 000 000, as he failed to ensure that his vehicle’s tyres were kept in a roadworthy condition. While the client, in certain circumstances, may be able to argue that the condition of the vehicle was not material to the loss suffered, when the un-roadworthy condition of the tyres and/or brakes can be shown to have caused or contributed to the accident, the client will have no defence to the insurer’s rejection.