Fuel price hike: carpooling to deal with rising costs – check your insurance to see if you are covered

3 min read 30 November 2021

With the increase in the fuel price now breaking through R20 a litre, and with peak time traffic being a nightmare, it makes sense to try carpooling to save money. Another important benefit of carpooling is that you combat the boredom of being stuck in traffic alone in a vehicle and decrease your carbon footprint. After all, less cars on the road equals less pollution.

What’s more, with apps such as CarTrip and Ugomyway helping you to share a ride with people who are travelling the same way as you are, you can offset some of your running costs. It is however important to understand the effect this can have on your car insurance, so here’s what to know and what to watch out for.

Before you hang up your car keys, decide which carpooling setup works best for you:

Whichever carpooling scenario you choose, it’s a good idea to let your insurer know if anything changes in your regular driving set-up as this can affect insurance cover and pay outs.  For example, if the designated driver of your car is not the 'regular driver' quoted in your insurance policy documents, and is involved in an accident, your claim may be rejected.

If money changes hands, things can get more complicated too. It could be seen by an insurer as a commercial transaction, especially if the money you're receiving is more than what is necessary to cover petrol, maintenance, parking etc. You would then potentially need business insurance, or a special permit if you transport children or more than 12 people at a time.

Insurers have different definitions of what defines a ‘lift club’. In the case of Santam, where two or more people who each own their own vehicle, all travel together in one vehicle and they take it in turns to each use their own vehicle and there is no other consideration of any sort, this can be termed a lift club.

Speak to your intermediary or contact us on 0860 444 444 if you have any questions about comprehensive car insurance. Remember: if you’re an existing Santam client, you can add policies and make any changes to your cover right here on the Santam client site.