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Old Mutual offers relief to drivers under license renewal pressure

Old Mutual offers relief to drivers under license renewal pressure
11-03-22 / Staff Writer

Old Mutual offers relief to drivers under license renewal pressure

Johannesburg - Old Mutual Insure will honour claims from policyholders involving expired licenses until 31 September 2022, it announced today. 

The is in light of a current backlog of over 500 000 driving licenses that are in the system for renewal, as reported by the Department of Transport, as well as a pending deadline for drivers to renew their licenses by 31 March 2022. Despite the looming deadline, it looks unlikely that government will grant another extension to drivers. 

“We are extending the grace period to help our policyholders breathe a sigh of relief,” says Hennie Nortje, chief executive of claims, Sales and Service at Old Mutual Insure. 

This signifies a further three months grace period that extends beyond the company’s initial grace period, which was until the end of June 2022. The company will also review the revised decision as new information becomes available. 

“This move will alleviate any concerns about the insurance implications should policyholders be involved in an accident or insured incident while driving with an expired driver's licence, especially in light of the upcoming first-term school holidays, which is likely to see an increase in road traffic from March.”

He adds that the company decided it would grant the amnesty to beyond the grace period announced by government, given the “difficult financial circumstances that many motorists find themselves in.”

According to reports, there is a total backlog of 2.1 million driving licences nationwide that will have expired by March 31 that have yet to be renewed, with the reasons for this varied. 

“There have been many challenges facing motorists, and while every effort must be made to keep licenses valid and legal, we understand that there have been many obstacles to overcome,” says Nortje. 

He adds that motorists have been dealt a heavy blow with the shock fuel price increases recently, with many surmising that the Ukraine-Russia crisis could drive the price up to R40 per litre within a few months. 

“Drivers who are otherwise law-abiding citizens should be granted some form of relief on the matter of the licenses as a way to cope with the collective pressure facing motorists today,” says Nortje. 

But he says policyholders must not get complacent about applying for renewal. 

“In the event of registering a claim, policyholders will need to prove that they had a valid license previously, and that they have applied for license renewal,” says Nortje.  

He says that since insurers are under no legal obligation to waive the otherwise very strict and necessary requirement for a valid driving licence, all South African motorists are urged to check what their insurer’s stance is on the matter. 

“Under normal circumstances, driving without a valid licence usually result in the instant dismissal of any motor insurance claims,” concludes Nortje.

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