Most of us stay well clear of vehicles with a red “L” at the back. Even though such an indication that a Learner Driver might be behind the wheel is no longer a requirement – many decide that it is still a safe option to alert other road users to this potential danger. The red “L” usually tells me that the driver is an inexperienced driver who might act unpredictable and it is best to allow such a driver some space and time to operate the vehicle.
Car Insurance Companies and cover for the Learner Driver
We approached a few car insurers to enquire whether they will insure the learner driver. It appears that most South African insurers will cover insured vehicles even if a Learner Driver is driving. The most important requirement remains that the driver must be legally entitled to drive [In possession of a valid Learners’ License with a licensed driver next to him in the passenger seat.]
The Insurance company will provide cover if the driver has the consent of the vehicle owner to drive. The Learner driver does not need to be specified as regular driver.
It is important to note that most insurance companies have specific stipulations in the terms and conditions with reference to additional excesses for claims pertaining to younger drivers. These amounts payable for excess differ in monetary value and in terms of the age groups of drivers. Most insurers will stipulate the amount of excess payable where the drivers are younger than 24 or 25 years.
Summary on Car Insurance Terms for Learner Drivers
The Learner Driver will be covered if he/she is
– in possession of legally acquired Learner License
– has a licensed driver sitting next to him/her
– is driving with the consent of vehicle owner
Additional Factors to consider
– Car Insurance policies will most likely stipulate payment without additional excess if the driver is younger than 24 or 25
– Also important is that the vehicle needs to be used in private capacity to assist someone in learning to drive. The insurance might not cover those cases where ‘n person receives remuneration to teach someone to drive [i.e. a parent who teaches friends of his daughter to drive at R50 per lesson]
Also important to remember that all the usual considerations still apply:
– Vehicle must be roadworthy
– Driver may not be under the influence etc
Conclusion and Advice
It is always best to communicate with your car insurance company if there is any factor that might be perceived to increase or reduce the risk of vehicle accidents – and having a Learner driver drive the insured vehicle is such a factor. Enquire from your car insurer whether there are specific stipulations or excesses that you might be aware of. This will not only put your mind at ease – but reduce the chances of any nasty surprises and financial setbacks!