Going through the change of ownership process for a car is a chore that forces many to put it on the back burner. Well, according to Act No. 7 of 2021 Finance Act, if you do not put your name on the registration book your insurance company can, by, law refuse to honour the insurance policy.
The Road Traffic Act[Chapter 13:11] is amended by the insertion of the following section after section 23— “23B Temporary validity of statutory policies of insurance in certain cases
(1)If the name of the person to whom a certificate of insurance is issued in terms of section 23(2)(b) is not recorded on the registration book of the insured vehicle or trailer as the owner thereof then, despite that fact, such person is deemed to be the owner of the vehicle or trailer for the first two terms of the policy of insurance concerned.
(2) If after the expiry of the second term of a policy the name of the person to whom a certificate of insurance is issued in terms of section 23(2)(b) is still not recorded on the registration book of the insured vehicle or trailer as the owner thereof
(a) the insurer may refuse to honour the policy of insurance;
(b) and the person in whose name the policy was issued shall be personally liable for the amount for which the insurer would have been liable to pay out under the policy, in addition to any amount that a court may find the person liable for in respect of the death or bodily injury or bodily injury to, any person caused by or arising out of the use of the motor vehicle or trailer concerned on a road.”.Act No. 7 of 2021 Finance Act, Section 46 (via Vertitas Zimbabwe)
On top of your insurance refusing to pay up in the event of an accident, the person whose name appears on the registration book will be liable for the amount for which the insurer would have been liable to a payout under the policy.
So essentially if you as the buyer doesn’t finalise the sale by changing ownership then the person who has their name on the policy has to pay up instead of the insurer in the event of an accident. This is a very unorthodox way to get people to pay the steep Excise Duty Fees for the change of car ownership…
But I imagine it will have the desired effect because the buyer now has to push to update the registration information.