Insurance Support & Security
100% Insurance explained. What does this mean and how does it work?
Insurance is a minefield of legal terms and exclusions. In line with 4×4 South Africa’s policies we are determined to simplify insurance for our clients. With insurance you must always remember the big print give and the small print takes away. You never get a true 100% insurance. 100% insurance in my experience promotes the idea with clients that they can do and drive as they wish as they are covered regardless of what they do and happens. This is not always the case.
So how does it work ? What we tried to stay away from is when the vehicle has been in an accident or is stolen that you as a client, besides a traumatic experience, also have to pay the excess on the insurance of anything in the region of R 15 000 to R 45 000 depending on the value of the vehicle. This is the hold most 4×4 rental companies will place on your credit card or ask you to pay in cash as a deposit when concluding a 4×4 rental with them. With South Africa 4×4 there is no excess due by the client.
We do require our clients to do the following to ensure that we abide by the terms of our insurance policy. If any of these rules are disregarded you will be held liable for the payment of the vehicle and its content.
No driving under the influence of liquor or drugs. Apply the rule that you do not drive if you had any alcohol to drink. Get to camp and enjoy your glass of wine or a few cold beers! Traffic Police across southern Africa have very strict policies regarding this and you will be taken for a breathalyzer if you are involved in an accident.
Only the persons who have been included on the rental agreement are allowed to drive. We have a no extra fees for extra drivers policy as I want to make it as easy for you as possible to ensure all drivers are declared. What we do behind the scene is we forward your passport details and driver’s license to your embassy in South Africa to verify that you are who you state you are and that you have a clean drivers license back in your home country. If we find anything that was not declared at the time of negotiating the rental we withdraw from the rental agreement.
No driving for excessive long periods. We offer unlimited kilometers / mileage and we offer this to our clients as we know that to get to the main tourist sights in southern Africa you will be required to drive long distances from time to time. I do not want to burden my clients with having to sit and calculate distances covered in order to avoid paying for excess kilometers. On the other hand to drive 22 hours in a 24 hour period without stopping is risky as this leads to driver fatigue and increases the risk of accidents. Ensure you stop for 10 minutes after every two hours of driving and try not exceeding 450km average per day.
No passengers or hitchhikers to be picked up. If you are in an accident and the unauthorized passenger is hurt you could be held personally accountable for this incident. It is advisable to NEVER pick up hitchhikers.
Do not use of the vehicle for illegal activities. You will be surprised to see what people get up to. Drug smuggling, animal rustling, smuggling of gems (very popular in Zambia and the diamond mining areas of South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe). If you get caught the vehicle will be impounded and confiscated as it was used to generate proceeds from criminal activities. The vehicle is as good as stolen and the insurance will not pay out. You will be kept liable. Also take note not to accept packages or bags from strangers to take across borders and deliver to a town or city where you are going. The package may contain drugs and the sniffer dogs at the border crossings will pick it up
No under 25 years of age drivers. We can assist but need to know in advance in order to clear arrangements with our insurance company.
NO full off road use. Do not drive through the Okavango swamps and get stuck. Recovery will take a week and costs will be for your own pocket. I had clients that thought they will try the 4×4 capabilities by doing a river crossing at night after having too many beers at the campsite. The vehicle got washed away and they had to pay for the replacement. Our vehicles are permitted to go off road with our consent. It is important that we are aware of it and give permission upfront.
What about the small things?
4×4 rental is an expensive operation from a company point of view. The equipment supplied is an additional 120k per vehicle. Most of the time it is the equipment that disappears. I expect my clients to look after the vehicle and the equipment as if it is their own. I am aware that a cup and blanket will disappear from time to time. I know how it goes while you are out on your adventure. There is a sighting of lions just outside your camp while you are having breakfast. You pack up in a hurry and forget the pot that you left in the kitchen last night. It happens ! These small items we replace at our own cost. If the vehicle is returned and we notice at the hand back inspection that there is a substantial amount of items missing ( more than R 1500 worth of items ) we will keep you liable for replacement. The larger items such as the roof top tents are covered by insurance if they were not abused ( see operating manual of equipment for correct use).
Windscreen and Tyres
You will be driving on gravel roads and there is a good chance that a rock will take out or crack your windscreen. If it is small chip you leave as it is. If there is a crack that hampers you from driving the vehicle safely then you take it at the first large town to a repairer ( PG Auto Glass or similar ) and the insurance will pay. I pay the excess.
Tyres are not covered by insurance. I ensure that you have 40% thread left on your tyres when you pick up the vehicle. Normal puncture repair you do on the road ( yourself or at a service station such as Speedy, Tiger Wheel and Tyre, Kwik Fit, Super Quick ). For burst or torn tyres you are responsible for replacement costs.
What happens if I hit a pedestrian or hit an animal ? The country you are traveling in provides 3rd party insurance ( see border crossing info sheet ). This insurance covers these type of incidents. Also take note that I am also held liable as the rental company on your behalf. So drive safely and take note that people and animals move at the last minute.
Support. South Africa 4×4 Rentals provide a 24 hour back up support. You have to realise that there are constraints with this service. On your pick up of the 4×4 rental you will be given a folder with all your documents. In this folder will be a 24 hour number you can call in emergencies. Some emergencies will only require a call from me to direct you to a place to repair your tyre or to call a company to come and tow you in ( trust we will not need this option ). If the vehicle requires repairs that will take less than 24 hours it will be done without replacing your 4×4. This will delay your travel plans. Should the vehicle take longer than 24 hours to repair we will replace your 4×4 with a similar vehicle. Be realistic in that it can take up to two days for my crew to drive out and meet you ( especially if you are out in Botswana or Zambia ), the more remote the longer it will take. Always leave some space in your tour program for delays. The vehicles are kitted to overcome most of the basic breakdowns ( flat tyres, run down battery ect ). If you get stuck in a remote place rely on the fellowship of other 4×4 adventurers. They will be more than willing to assist with towing you out of the mud or to the nearest town. Do not feel afraid to ask.
Security. With a fully equipped 4×4 you will attract attention. From admirers who would love to join you in your adventures to traffic officers who are curios to thieves who relish the fact that you have a jackpot of items they can acquire. The 4x4s are packed in such a way that all loose items are inside the vehicle. Only your two tents on the roof will be on the outside. Please keep the order of how your vehicle was packed.
Be especially alert when driving through towns. Two of the most popular scams being run are that rocks are placed across the road to force you to stop. Do not. Drive slowly around and if you must over the rocks. You have good ground clearance that will allow you to do so. The second scam is prevalent in towns at traffic lights. A person will point out to you that you have a flat tyre or something is loose on your vehicle. You pull over to inspect and while you are on the one side of the vehicle they steal something on the other side. Do not stop. Drive to a garage / filling station or Police station and check there.
On a personal note. Two very simple rules. Do not leave items in the open in your vehicle (especially not cameras, binoculars, passports or any item of value). Place them under the seats and in the packing spaces provided. Keep your passport and travel documents on you in person in a pouch (plastic or canvas, around your neck and tucked inside your shirt). Do not use a moon bag ( around your waist with a clip ) as it is easy to remove when you walk down the street and then all your important documents are gone !
This section is not to scare you off your holiday but to make you aware of potential threats. Use any basic security actions as you would when traveling to any other part of the world ! Crime while on holiday does happen from time to time and the only precaution is to be aware and act in accordance.
Satellite Monitoring. Two of the main risks associated with renting out of 4x4s is that the clients abuse the vehicle and that rental companies are targeted by criminals to “rent“ a vehicle and take it cross border to be never seen again.
In order to monitor these activities your vehicle is fitted with a satellite monitoring devise. Even when there is no cell phone signal I receive reports as the devise is not reliant on cell phone signal, but works directly through a satellite phone network. Each 4×4 has also been fitted with a tamper proof system. Should any person try to remove the unit, stop it from functioning or cut any wires on the vehicle the vehicle will shut down completely and can only be activate by me in person or remotely.
Vehicle use reports are sent to me on an hourly basis. Any speeding, harsh breaking or accelerating is reported. If any abusive driving is picked up I will make contact the client and discuss the matter. If the abuse of the 4×4 continues I remotely deactivate the vehicle and you will not be able to continue your journey. At this stage I collect my vehicle and you are on your own.
The system also allows me to program no go areas. All South African borders with neighboring countries have been locked on the tracking devise. When you make your booking you state which countries you will be taking the vehicle to. These borders are opened before you pick up the vehicle. I am realistic as to that a last minute change can occur in so far as which border you will use to cross. Thus if you are on your way to Botswana all borders will be opened. Should you approach a border that you are no authorized to cross I will be notified when you are within 50km of the border. At this stage I will attempt to make contact with you. If I fail to make contact, I see it is an attempt to take the vehicle illegally out of the country and I dispatch a helicopter to intercept the vehicle.
This is a drastic way of protecting our most valuable assets, our 4x4s. This way we have managed to reduce repair costs and theft of our vehicle dramatically and this saving is passed on to you in a good daily rate. Assist us to keep this win-win situation going!