Having insurance on your vehicle will protect you from disastrous financial loss if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured vehicle.
According to the AA (Automobile Association), at any time, there are over a million uninsured drivers on the roads with legal vehicles and about 800,000 unregistered, illegal vehicles. That means about 70% of people on the road don’t have insurance. Next time you are in traffic, look around: Most of the vehicles you see are not covered with car insurance and if they damage your vehicle you would not be compensated.
Claims in South Africa are settled under “Partial Fault” rules, which means you can be responsible for a portion of your damages even if you are not fully at fault. If you are driving down the road and someone backs out in front of you, the accident could be deemed a partial fault because of your speed. In that case, you or your insurance would pay a portion of your damages to your vehicle.
Having insurance on your vehicle will protect you from disastrous financial loss if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured vehicle. While the Road Accident Fund (RAF) offers limited third-party liability for bodily injury or death, it does not protect your vehicle.
Once you file a claim with the RAF you have no further recourse, if the claim is not settled in your favor the decision cannot be reversed. If you have your own insurance, then you can file a claim with your insurance, and they will advocate for you and help you find the best settlement for your accident.
Car insurance coverage
The Bodily Injury portion pays for any injury your negligence caused another person, including a pedestrian or in some cases a passenger in your vehicle. There is no financial limit on bodily injury and death claims that can be filed under your policy.
The Property Damage portion pays for any damage your negligence causes – this may be to a vehicle, a fence, or any type of property. When you choose your limit think about the value of other vehicles on the road or property you may damage, the average is R 10,000.
Medical Payments is an optional coverage that pays small limits to occupants of your vehicle that are injured, regardless of who is at fault in the accident.
Uninsured motorist coverage, roadside assistance, and retail coverage upgrades are available as add on coverage’s.
Comprehensive Coverage covers your vehicle for certain perils – hijacking, fire, and accidental damage. These can vary from company to company, so make sure the perils important to you are covered on your policy.
Courtesy Car coverage will take care of a loaner vehicle if your car is in an accident that your insurance company pays for.
Roadside assistance can also be included in your auto insurance. This coverage will provide a tow truck or mechanic in the event of a breakdown or accident.
Types of coverage available
Third Party Only
Third Party policies do not offer any coverage for your vehicle but protect you if you cause damage to someone else’s property or injure someone else. These policies offer limited coverage to protect your financial assets if you injure someone else but does not protect your property.
If your vehicle is paid for or you can afford to repair it in an accident, Third Party Only coverage may be the best option for you. This type of coverage is the most affordable because of how limited the coverage is.
Third Party with Fire and Theft
Third Party with Theft and Fire has limited coverage for your vehicle and protects you for damage you cause to other people. Coverage for fire, theft, and hijacking is included with this policy.
This policy is excellent for people who have vehicles that are affordable to repair or who do not drive much. In most cases the rates are less than Comprehensive Coverage while still offering you protection if your vehicle is involved in a fire, stolen, or hijacked. There is no coverage if your vehicle is in an accident with another vehicle, though.
Comprehensive Coverage offers coverage for your vehicle and protects you from damaging other property. When your car is financed most banks will require Comprehensive Coverage.
This policy covers your vehicle from fire, theft, hijacking, natural disaster, or an accident with another vehicle regardless of fault. In the event of a claim you are only responsible for the excess to repair or replace your vehicle.
If you are in an accident that is partially your fault, your insurance will help you file the claim and settle your damage. There is peace of mind having your vehicle fully covered and being protected if you cause damage to another person.