Waitangi weekend travellers: check your car and take care

2 February 2017

“Driving carefully is the most important thing over Waitangi weekend,” says Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Karen Stevens. “But we also recommend taking the following steps to ensure you’re insured, if anything does go wrong.”

“Unfortunately, some of the most common insurance complaints we deal with could be avoided. We urge people to take these steps to avoid having insurance claims declined.”

1. Read your insurance policy
Understand what you are covered for. Take note of the policy exclusions and limitations.

2. Check your car before you travel
Make sure your car has a warrant, and check its “road-worthiness”, including the tyres. Claims can be declined because the car is unsafe or un-roadworthy – even if it had a warrant. Tyres with a low tread, for example, can contribute to accidents.

3. "Lock it or lose it" on your road trip
If you fail to take reasonable care by leaving your car unlocked, windows down, or your handbag or valuables visible, insurers can decline a claim.

4. Comply with your driver licence conditions
Driving “in breach” of your licence is grounds to decline a claim. “Parents often end up paying for the damage, not only to their own car, but to another car, if they allow their son or daughter to drive outside their learner or restricted licence conditions and an accident occurs,” says Karen.

5. Take note of alcohol driving limits
There are insurance, as well as legal, consequences for driving over the limit. “Be aware of the new alcohol limits,” says Karen. “If you’re over the limit and an accident happens, you won’t be covered.”

Take care and enjoy your break!

The IFSO Scheme resolves complaints about insurance & financial services.