Can My Insurers Reject My Claim if My Car Tracker is Broken?

Are you worried about your car tracker malfunctioning and it affecting your insurance claim if your car gets stolen or is in an accident? This concern is completely valid, as many insurance companies in today’s world require the installation of a car tracker as part of their terms and conditions to facilitate a more efficient and transparent claim process. But the answer may not be straightforward.

Being aware of the facts can empower you to make informed decisions, stay protected, and maintain peace of mind. Having a broken car tracker might seem like a minor technical glitch. But it’s possible that this small issue could affect the outcome of your insurance claim. Ultimately, your safety and coverage are very important, and the knowledge you gain today might be exactly what you need to secure your tomorrow. So, let’s learn how it works and if a broken car tracker can indeed lead to insurers rejecting your claim.


What’s the Purpose of a Tracker in a Vehicle?

It uses satellite positioning signals to determine the vehicle’s exact location. These devices have proven to be indispensable in fleet management, theft cases, and ensuring real-time safety alerts. The GPS technology has revolutionised the way we navigate our world and interact with our vehicles. This has led insurers to take into account GPS data in their claims process.

What is the Role of a GPS Tracker in Vehicle Insurance?

1. Premium Reduction

Whether you own a fleet of vehicles or only your own private vehicle, a car GPS tracker could be a requirement in your insurance policy. Known also as a ‘tracker device’ or ‘tracking unit’, a GPS or Global Positioning System performs varied roles in the realm of vehicle insurance claims. Many South African insurance companies reward their policyholders for installing trackers by lowering their monthly premiums.


2. Vehicle Recovery

Since knowing the real-time location of your vehicle can be instrumental in its recovery if it gets stolen, it becomes very useful for insurers. They will often need to pay for a replacement vehicle at the value of your stolen car if it can’t be recovered. And in South Africa, recovery rates can be as low as 6%. But when you have an effective tracker installed with vehicle recovery services included, that percentage can go extremely high, up to 93%! Getting the vehicle back means insurers will only need to pay for repairs, which is a big saving for them.


3. Driver Behaviour

A second big expense insurers want to avoid is the cost of damage due to an accident caused by the insured driver. Trackers also become instrumental in reducing accidents by logging driver behaviour and other telematics. Some insurance companies use this information to reward responsible drivers. Many users can also view this data on a dashboard, which is a great help for fleet managers who want to improve productivity in their fleet and reduce accidents.


Why is a Functioning GPS Tracking Device Important for Insurance Claims?

A functional vehicle tracker is vital to the process of resolving insurance claims. It provides the exact position of your vehicle in real-time, along with historical data. This information aids in establishing the legitimacy of a claim, empowering insurers and the car’s owner with substantial, irrefutable evidence in case of any disputes. In other words, it can help prove you did not cause the accident.

Secondly, it can help you recover your car if it gets stolen., ensuring you get your car back, and confirming to insurers that you did not attempt to commit insurance fraud, but the car is really stolen. Of course, if the device isn’t working like it should, then you won’t have this information to back up your claim. In fact, it could look really bad if you have informed your insurer that you installed a tracker and they gave you premium discounts.

How a Broken GPS Tracker Can Affect Your Claim

A ‘broken’ or ‘offline’ device can hinder an insurance claim. Without the crucial data from the device, it becomes challenging to validate incidents such as theft or collisions, potentially resulting in a rejected claim.


How to Tell if Your GPS Tracker Device is Offline or Broken?

Identifying problems with your device early ensures that it is always ready to assist should an unfortunate incident occur. Here’s how to undertake a thorough check to determine whether your device may be offline or broken.


1. Troubleshooting common GPS tracking device problems

Common issues with tracking devices could range from signal issues, battery problems, or a malfunctioning antenna. Simple troubleshooting, such as ensuring that the GPS receiver is affixed properly or checking the device’s wires and connectors for any damage, could rectify the issues and get your tracking system back online. Often, the device manufacturer provides a guide for troubleshooting any problems.


2. Signal issues: Is your GPS tracker in a signal blind zone?

GPS signals are transmitted via satellite and can be impeded by obstacles like tall buildings or dense forests, creating what is referred to as a ‘signal blind zone’. You can test for this by changing the location of the car and checking if it resumes real-time tracking.


3. Assessing SIM card or battery problems in your tracker

Battery and SIM card issues can also affect the functioning of a tracking device. While a low car battery could halt the GPS tracker, the absence of a SIM card could disrupt signal reception, rendering the GPS tracker offline. It’s essential to check the condition of the car’s battery and SIM card regularly to ensure optimal functionality of the unit.

Can an Insurer Reject Your Claim Because of a Broken GPS Tracking Device?

If you’re stuck with a broken tracking device, you may be dealing with more than mere frustration. This malfunction could potentially impact your insurance claim. Let’s proceed to unpack the possibilities.


  • Insurance Policy Stipulations Concerning Tracking Systems

Several insurance policies require a functioning tracking unit for smooth processing of claims. It’s crucial to read and fully comprehend your vehicle’s policy, ensuring that all requisite stipulations concerning the tracking systems are met and maintained. Whether your claim can get rejected due to a malfunctioning device can depend on the wording in your policy.



  • Can Insurers Legally Reject a Claim due to a Faulty Tracking Device?

While the legal landscape differs from region to region, insurers typically can reject an insurance claim if your unit is proven to be faulty during an incident. This makes it imperative for owners to ensure that the GPS tracker device is working optimally at all times. Again, it also depends on your policy wording, so it is important for you to check whether it is a requirement that you have a functioning tracker in your policy documents.



  • How a Broken Tracker Can Make it Difficult to Prove a Claim

A non-functional tracker can impede the availability of telemetry and geographical data necessary to authenticate a claim. This lack of evidence makes it challenging to approve claims, potentially leading to a rejection. This means that even if your policy wording does not explicitly state the need for a tracker, having a broken one could still possibly lead to a rejected claim due to a lack of evidence.



How to Minimize the Risk of a Broken GPS Tracker Affecting Your Claim?

Avoiding the risk of having your insurance claim rejected due to a non-functional GPS tracker is in your hands, and we will help you understand how.


1. Maintain and examine your vehicle’s GPS tracking device regularly.

Regular maintenance of your device, including checking the wires, sensor, and battery, can ensure its optimum functionality. Detection of any irregularities can facilitate prompt actions such as repair or replacement, thereby safeguarding your potential claim. If you are not an electrical expert, you can contact the tracking company or the company that installed the device for regular checks.


2. Ensure your tracker is easy to use and operates accurately.

You can also select a tracking solution that is user-friendly and provides accurate data. A well-tuned device can provide real-time positions, alerts and more, proving crucial to an insurance claim. For this, it’s important to choose a reputable tracking company with the technical support you need and a reputation for devices that are always working properly. Unsure of who that might be? Fill in the form on this page, and we will match you with a reliable tracking company that suites your needs.


3. Contact professionals for help if you suspect tracker problems

If you’re unsure of the tracker’s performance or suspect a problem, don’t hesitate to contact your tracker support team or a qualified technician that is approved by the tracking company. Whether your concerns involve signal issues, battery replacement, or simply questions regarding the tracker’s warranty, a professional can assist you. It is important not to DIY this or to use technicians that are not officially approved to avoid tamper alerts and other potential problems.

What to Do if Your Vehicle Tracking Device Expires or is Damaged?

In instances where your tracking device is damaged, here are some steps that can help ease the resolution of your insurance claim.


1. Report the Broken Tracking Unit to Your Insurer.

If you discover that your GPS tracker device is damaged or non-functional, prompt action can prevent any potential issues with your claim. Inform your insurer at the earliest possible time about the broken device, providing them with specific details of the problem to expedite further proceedings. Insurers often appreciate honest and upfront communication. Sometimes, they can even help solve the problem by facilitating the replacement or repair of the device if it is covered.


2. Can You Replace or Repair Your Own GPS Tracker?

If repair is not an option, replacing your broken or expired device with a new GPS tracker is advisable. Your tracker’s manufacturer, supplier, or service centre are typically the best points of contact for this process. Like we mentioned before, it is a bad idea to try to fix it yourself. It’s best to rather contact the supplier or approved technician.


3. Does Insurance Cover a Broken or Expired Vehicle Tracker?

Finally, you may wonder whether your insurance policy covers a broken or expired tracker. This would depend on the stipulations of your specific insurance policy. It’s best to review your policy documents in detail or consult with your insurance provider to confirm your coverage.

While South African vehicle owners don’t usually cause damage to their tracking devices, the fact of the matter is that it can still result in big problems if it is broken. To maintain the best security and ensure your claim isn’t rejected, a working GPS tracker is essential. Are you looking for an affordable monthly subscription to a reliable tracker plan that can cover your insurance requirements and give you many other benefits, too? Simply fill in the form on this page to get started.