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Must I have my car inspected when I take out vehicle cover?

SmartInsure

When you apply for vehicle cover, your insurer may request that you have your vehicle inspected prior to having your policy activated.

This allows insurers to take stock of your vehicle’s condition to prevent claims from being made on existing damage, as well as to confirm that your vehicle exists. 

When does your car need an inspection?

If you decide to take out vehicle cover for the first time, you may have to take your car in for an inspection. Besides this, if you decide to move over to a new insurer and there’s a break in your cover, you may also have to take your car in for an inspection. This allows insurers to take stock of your vehicle’s condition to prevent claims from being made on existing damage, as well as to confirm that your vehicle exists.  

However, that’s not all. If the policy is handed over to someone else, if you decide to upgrade or downgrade it, or if you decide to alter your car, you may also have to take it in for an inspection.

And beyond the requirements prior to the claims stage, you may have to have your car inspected if you are involved in an accident. This may be handled by the insurance company itself, or by an authorised surveyor.

Note that not all insurance companies require inspections for each of the above-mentioned scenarios, and that the extent of inspections depend on your insurer.


How does an inspection work?

The inspector will establish two things during an inspection: firstly, that your vehicle in fact exists, and secondly, the condition it’s in.

Your registration number will be noted, and the inspector will take pictures of your car from various angles. If there’s any damage, this will be individually photographed in order to prove its existence.

Similarly, if you have any additional accessories installed in your car, such as an anti-theft device, the inspector will also take note of this and take photographs to prove its existence.

All the pictures will be uploaded to the claims file, which takes between 30 minutes and 1 hour.


Before heading out to your inspection, make sure you bring the following along:


  • Your driver’s licence
  • Your policy number and information about your claim
  • Your vehicle registration
  • Your own pictures from the scene of an accident you were involved in
  • Your receipts of any recent changes you made to your vehicle

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