What did you disclose about the security measures you use to protect your vehicle? Do you use an alarm system, immobilizer or a gear lock?
If you did disclose some of these measures – be sure to use them! Failure to do so may have devastating consequences! We would like to refer to an actual factual scenario and decision by the Ombud for Short Term Insurance:
A lady who was a Safety Officer at Secunda, had called upon another lady’s house on a Wednesday night to get the other lady to sign a contract. The Insured returned home at approximately 21 h05 and stopped in front of her house. She locked the doors of the car (but did not engage the gear lock) and went inside her house to give her husband the car keys so that he could open the garage doors and lock the car in the garage. Her husband was however busy packing the caravan, as they were going camping for the weekend. She met her husband at the front door and spoke for about four to five minutes. Her son went out of the gate to unlock the garage so that his father could park it in the garage. He then said “Dad, Mom is pulling your leg. She has already locked the car away”. As he said this, he passed the garage window, looked in and shouted “Oh hell, they have stolen the car, phone the Police”.
The Insurer rejected the claim on the basis that the Insured did not activate the gear lock at the time of the theft.
It was a requirement of the Policy that the vehicle be fitted with a VESA Level 3 or 4 or SAIA approved Immobiliser, or VESA or SAIA approved lockable gear lock. Although the Insured did have a gear lock, she on her own admission did not activate the gear lock at the time of the theft. The Insurer was accordingly entitled to maintain its rejection.
Source: Ombudsman Newsletter: 02/03
We would like to urge all vehicle owners to be alert to the requirements stipulated in the policy document.