Vero Voice

Is my policy still valid if I’m not following my licence conditions?

By David Drillien
Executive Manager, Motor Claims

1 June 2023

If you have a car accident while you’re driving outside the terms of your licence or breaching the road rules, it’s important to understand that it could have an impact on any insurance claim you need to make.

That’s because when you take out insurance, you’re agreeing to do what you can to prevent loss. In return, we’re agreeing to cover you if something happens that you couldn’t prevent.

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.

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.

Understanding policy exclusions

Policies can differ slightly, but here are some things to look out for that won’t usually be covered under your car insurance:

1 Accidents that happen when the car is being driven by someone who doesn’t have a current licence
2 Restricted licence holders who are driving after 10pm and before 5am or carrying passengers without the required supervisor.
3 Driving without corrective lenses if your licence requires it
4 Accidents if the driver is under the influence of drugs, or over the legal limit for alcohol
5 If you’ve refused to take a breath test after an accident
6 If you’re using your car for hire or carrying fare paying passengers on a private insurance policy

International licences

If you don’t hold a New Zealand licence and you have an accident, you'll still be covered if you have an international licence as long as you haven't been in New Zealand for more than 12 months. But most insurers will apply an additional excess for drivers on an international licence.

Young and new driver excesses

Most insurers include conditions around drivers under 25, or ‘new drivers’ – people who have had their licence less than a year. In most cases if a driver is under 25 they’ll still be covered in an accident but you may have a higher excess. But some policies exclude under 25s completely unless you add them, so it’s a good idea to check your cover.

It is important to remember that driving without a valid licence or outside of your licence terms doesn’t just affect your insurance. It’s also illegal, and it can be dangerous.

Making sure you stick within your licence and follow road rules can help keep us all safer on the roads.

Want more information?

For more information, see Vero's Car insurance options here. Or if you're ready for expert insurance advice, contact a broker or adviser.

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The information in this article has been compiled from various sources and is intended to be factual information only. Full details of policy terms and conditions are available from Vero Insurance New Zealand Limited or your financial adviser. For advice on product suitability, please contact your financial adviser. While we take reasonable steps to ensure that the information contained in this article is accurate and up-to-date, it is subject to change without notice. Vero Insurance New Zealand and its related companies does/do not accept any responsibility or liability in connection with your use of or reliance on this article.