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Insurance companies have been turning down accident claims when road rules or license conditions are breached by drivers – who are now being left out-of-pocket.

Drivers need to understand that they had obligations to meet if they want insurance cover, executive manager of motor claims at Vero, Michael Burke, told stuff.co.nz.

“For car insurance, that includes things like locking your car, keeping it well-maintained, and following the laws that New Zealand has in place to keep us safe on the road,” Burke said. “If you’re breaching those laws and you have an accident, you may need to prove that your collision would have happened regardless – or your claim might be declined.”

Burk said accidents were often not covered on instances such as restricted licence-holders driving after 10pm or with passengers, people driving without their glasses when their licence required them, or people carrying fare-paying passengers on their private insurance policy, the report said.

Drivers are advised to remember that driving without a valid licence or outside their licence terms doesn’t just affect their insurance, Burke said. “It’s also illegal and it can be dangerous.”

According to stuff.co.nz, in one case dealt with by the Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman last year, a man complained when his daughter was in a crash and the insurance company would not pay out. The claim was declined because she was in breach of her driver’s licence for having a passenger.

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