Alcohol abuse and car insurance

What toll has alcohol abuse and drunken driving had on South African roads?

Drunk driving is a scourge. It lead to the loss of life, devastated family members and insurer refusals to pay out claims.

As many as 25 000 South Africans die from drunk driving related accidents, as per the WHO (World Health Organisation). Usually, someone driving while drunk is not thinking of any potential casualties of their actions. Instead, they are trying to get to their destinations unnoticed. They use different tactics to this end, including using back roads to avoid detection by the police.

Alcohol Abuse – Impact of drink-driving no your car insurance

Alcohol Abuse and Drunken Driving - Car InsuranceDriving drunk, make no mistake, has devastating financial ramifications, should you get into an accident. This is due to the fact most vehicle insurance policies deny any claims that are found to have been caused by a driver under the influence of either drugs or drink, or being over the legal blood alcohol limit.

Alcohol Abuse – Why is getting compensated in a drink-driving incident so hard?

Remember that insurers do not have to prove beyond any doubt that a driver was drunk to decline a claim. They only have show, on a probability balance, intoxication was the likeliest reason for a crash. And, just like that, you are out of pocket for the damages.

Further, insurance companies do not require breathalyser or blood results to prove above the legal limit alcohol levels. They mostly rely on investigators. They look at objective and circumstantial evidence to paint a scenario of the incident and the events prior to it.

Insurance provider investigations can be quite thorough, using many law enforcement facilities. They  use forensic investigators, who can call on witness interviews, CCTV footage and copies of bar bills.

Legally, your insurer has the right to conduct investigations on its own behalf to verify the truth of an insurance claim. Any inconsistencies or contradictions between you and the accident scene or series of events leading up to the incident will lead to the outcome.

All this may lead to not only the rejection of your claim, but to the out of pocket payments medical expenses for all involved in the incident, as well as damage repair or replacement to the vehicles involved.

Alcohol Abuse – Dishonest or incorrect information

Should lying be a tactic you are considering to get around a drunk driving charge, there could be serious repercussions to endure. Insurance provider investigators will investigate any claims they suspect of lying, and if found to be telling less than the truth, it could lead to a claim rejection and an assumption of all related costs on your part.

Alcohol Abuse – Broken trust

In addition to claim rejection on the basis of a suspicion of inebriation while at the wheel, you can find yourself on a blacklist, meaning you won’t get insurance in the future. As a high risk case, insurers can resist offering you cover. Additionally, suspension of your driver’s licence is a very real possibility, further hampering your movement.

Driving while drunk puts many facets of your life in danger, not to mention the peril it puts others in.

All info was correct at time of publishing January 19, 2018