South Africa’s largest short-term insurer, Santam, is urging motorists to carefully consider the cover provided by their insurance policies before leaving their cars in the hands of motor dealers to be sold on their behalf.
“When a vehicle owner leaves the vehicle at a dealership, the insurer has no way of telling who will be driving the car and where it will be stored and therefore, the known risk factors that are considered when constructing an insurance policy can no longer be applied. Most policies exclude cover while the vehicle is used for any purpose in connection with the motor trade, except for maintenance or repairs. This can leave vehicle owners without cover if their car is damaged or stolen while left at a dealership,” says Attie Blaauw, head of personal lines underwriting at Santam.
The media featured a number of stories around a a syndicate that targeted motor dealers which included Lexus, Mercedes Benz, Volvo and Range Rover and a number of cars were stolen from the dealership’s sales floor. The syndicates posed as sub-contractors dressed in work overalls and carried clipboards. They would then simply get into the vehicles and drive them away.
Some tips from Santam to vehicle owners who wish to sell their vehicles through a motor dealer which should provide peace of mind in knowing that his or her vehicle is covered:
- Make use of a trusted motor dealer who has the appropriate insurance cover in place. The motor dealer should have comprehensive cover in place for these vehicles.
- Read the fine print of indemnity forms you may be requested to sign by the motor dealer before handing over your vehicle
- Santam provides optional cover to the motor dealer under the Commercial policy when vehicles are left at the premises. This is referred to as consignment stock. If the dealer refuses to cover a consignment situation, explore alternate ways to selling your car.