Automotive insurers Outsurance and Auto and General will not reject accident claims from drivers who did not have credit card-style licences when involved in accidents.

Automotive insurers Outsurance and Auto and General will not reject accident claims from drivers who did not have credit card-style licences when involved accidents after February 28.

CARtoday.com reported on Wednesday that the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) had assured motorists claims would not be compromised if they did not have the new credit-card drivers’ licence. However, this position could change if the Department of Transport went ahead with its plans to make ID book drivers’ licences illegal on March 1, the report stated.

Outsurance spokesman Trevor Devitt told that “while insurers might well be within their legal rights to reject such claims, as the driver would technically be unlicensed, Outsurance would not reject a claim where the driver of the vehicle was not yet in possession of the new card licence”.

Another short-term insurer, Auto and General, said on Wednesday that the “format of their clients’ licences would have no effect on their insurance cover”.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that Outsurance’s net profit rose by 92 per cent in the six months to December 2002.

Outsurance, which falls under the portfolios of RMB Holdings and Firstrand, lifted gross premium income 63 per cent to R419 million in the period and net profit rose to R48,7 million.

The firm’s chief executive, Willem Roos, said the company had gained significant economies of scale by using technology to contain management expenses. Outsurance’s model of dealing directly with clients had also helped to keep costs down, he added.

The firm’s year-end assets totalled R773 million, up from R570 million the year before.