Car in­sur­ance a must in SA

BRIAN BAS­SETT inks the sound ad­vice aired on his ‘ In­qola’ show on Cap­i­tal 104 FM ra­dio

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

VET­ERAN mo­tor­ing in­sur­ance claims ad­juster Keith Samp­son warns con­ges­tion on roads and in park­ing lots means there is no es­cap­ing dam­age to your car any­more, and ad­vises what to do af­ter a crash. He was in­ter­viewed by Brian Bas­sett on the com­mu­nity broad­caster in Msun­duzi, Cap­i­tal 104 FM.

Brian Bas­sett: The car in­sur­ance mar­ket is very com­pet­i­tive and ad­ver­tis­ing for in­sur­ance is ev­ery­where. What cri­te­ria would you use when se­lect­ing an in­surer?

Keith Samp­son: Car in­sur­ance is one of the most im­por­tant forms of in­sur­ance you can buy and you should not ven­ture out onto the roads with­out it.

An ac­ci­dent could eas­ily cost you R100 000 plus and wipe you out fi­nan­cially if you are not prop­erly cov­ered.

I would ad­vise those look­ing for car in­sur­ance to go to a prop­erly reg­is­tered short- term in­sur­ance bro­ker. The bro­ker will se­lect a com­pany with ex­pe­ri­ence in the field, as well as a good rep­u­ta­tion and track record.

He will also as­sist you with mak­ing sense of the ex­ten­sive doc­u­men­ta­tion which you will re­ceive once com­mit­ted to a pol­icy, as well as leav­ing you with a real un­der­stand­ing of what is cov­ered and what is not.

BB: Car in­sur­ance ad­ver­tis­ing seems to fo­cus on low pre­mi­ums. Should car own­ers be con­cerned with that?

KS: Dif­fi­cult as it is, you should not fo­cus on pre­mi­ums. Re­mem­ber your in­ten­tion in buy­ing in­sur­ance is to ob­tain cover, which will pro­tect you and your fam­ily in an ac­ci­dent.

Rather pay a lit­tle more on your bro­ker’s ad­vice, than buy­ing a cheaper pol­icy which may not cover all your needs.

It is sad that many peo­ple re­sent pay­ing mo­tor in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums, be­cause they be­lieve that they will never have an ac­ci­dent, and that in a coun­try which, af­ter In­dia and China, has one of the high­est ac­ci­dent rates in the world.

BB: What is an ex­cess?

KS: An ex­cess is an amount of money you agree to pay your in­sur­ance com­pany in re­spect of each and ev­ery claim you make. Th­ese days it varies be­tween about R3 500 to R5 000.

Your ex­cess is of­ten taken into ac­count when your pre­mium is cal­cu­lated and it in­di­cates to your in­surer that you will only claim for ma­jor dam­age and fix smaller scratches and bumps your­self.

Th­ese days you can in­sure your ex­cess for a small monthly pay­ment and so you can pay noth­ing, what­ever the size of your claim.

BB: What is a no- claim bonus?

KS: It is a pre­mium dis­count given on a mo­tor pol­icy by an in­sur­ance com­pany as a re­ward for not claim­ing.

Th­ese days, with in­creas­ing num­bers of cars on the road and dam­age oc­cur­ring reg­u­larly in places like shop­ping cen­tre park­ing lots, it is very dif­fi­cult not to claim on your pol­icy for sev­eral years.

For­tu­nately, as with your ex­cess it is pos­si­ble to in­sure your no- claim bonus for a small monthly amount and so pro­tect your­self from los­ing it should you claim.

BB: If some­one col­lides with me, what in­for­ma­tion should I col­lect on site and what else should I do be­fore con­tact­ing my in­sur­ance bro­ker?

KS: Col­lect as much in­for­ma­tion as pos­si­ble. Pho­to­graph the crash scene with you cell­phone cam­era. Also pho­to­graph the other driver and any­one else in­volved. If you can get a copy of his or her driv­ing li­cence — do so, as well as his or her ID doc­u­ment. You also need his or her name, ad­dress, li­cence num­ber and photo of his or her li­cence disk. In­ter­view by­standers and take names and ad­dresses of those who saw the ac­ci­dent.

It is worth­while to carry a small plas­tic wal­let in your cub­by­hole con­tain­ing record­ing in­stru­ments like pen and pa­per and a piece of chalk so that you can mark the ac­ci­dent scene on the road and pho­to­graph it once the ve­hi­cles have been re­moved. Then you need to re­port the ac­ci­dent to the near­est po­lice sta­tion, if po­lice of­fi­cers are not on site al­ready, and ob­tain a case num­ber.

Once you have done th­ese things, con­tact your bro­ker, who will help you with your in­sur­ance claim or your in­surer, if you do not have a bro­ker.

BB: Tell us about write- offs.

KS: Your in­sur­ance com­pany will value your car af­ter an ac­ci­dent and if the cost of re­pair is higher than a cer­tain per­cent­age of the value of the car, they will write it off and of­fer you a pro­por­tion of the as­sessed value as a pay­out.

As hap­pened with many ve­hi­cle own­ers af­ter the hail­storm in 2015, they bought their cars back from their in­sur­ers and may also have re­ceived a small per­cent­age of the value cal­cu­lated as a pay­out. Th­ese ve­hi­cles largely had cos­metic and not me­chan­i­cal dam­age.

BB: Can you in­sure for re­place­ment value?

KS: Most in­sur­ers will not do it be­cause of the com­plex­ity of cal­cu­lat­ing the ex­act value of a ve­hi­cle at any one time and the cost of such in­sur­ance.

BB: What is bal­ance of third party?

KS: It is a much cheaper form of mo­tor in­sur­ance which cov­ers only other ve­hi­cles in­volved in an ac­ci­dent and not your own.

It is bet­ter than noth­ing, par­tic­u­larly if you have a chance meet­ing with a R2 mil­lion Mercedes, but if you can pos­si­bly af­ford com­pre­hen­sive cover you should go for it.

BB: Is there any­thing else you would like to say to mo­torists?

KS: In Europe, Eng­land and some coun­tries in the Middle and Far East driv­ing with­out com­pre­hen­sive in­sur­ance is an of­fence car­ry­ing a large fine.

In South Africa, only 30% of driv­ers are prop­erly in­sured. We need to in­crease dra­mat­i­cally the num­ber of driv­ers who are in­sured and con­sider ap­pro­pri­ate leg­is­la­tion to en­sure this.

PHOTO: ER24

It is not al­ways the taxi driver to blame. In this crash last year in Ruim­sig, Gaut­eng, the driver of the BMW ran away af­ter crash­ing head- on into the taxi at high speed, leav­ing one per­son dead and crit­i­cally in­jur­ing two oth­ers.

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