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If you are involved in a road accident in South Africa, the probability that the other vehicle will be uninsured is extremely high.
A recent study found that South Africa has among the most dangerous roads in the world and that, of the approximately 12million cars on our roads, only about a third are insured. The problem with this is that, if your vehicle is insured, the financial burden is being passed to you through higher premiums. This is because insured drivers are being forced to subsidise those who are not covered.
The other inconvenient truth is that having to claim from your insurance company due to someone else’s negligence will have a negative influence on your claim record. Insurance providers have warned that it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep vehicle insurance affordable because the burden is not being shared equally between road users.
It is standard practice around the globe that obtaining insurance is a mandatory part of every vehicle purchase. This is, however, not the case in South Africa. The argument could well be made that if someone cannot afford to pay for vehicle insurance, they should not be allowed to drive, as it means that other road users are being subjected to an increased risk of financial loss.
Third-party insurance, which covers physical injury and damage to motor vehicles in the case of an accident, was compulsory in South Africa from 1942 up until 1997, when it was replaced by the Road Accident Fund (RAF). While the RAF compensates road users for injuries sustained in an accident, it does not cover damage to the vehicles involved. Until such time as compulsory third-party vehicle insurance is re-instated in South Africa, insurance providers must initiate recovery on behalf of policyholders.
If you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being involved in a motor vehicle accident, follow the following guidelines:
Other important tips to remember in case of a vehicle accident are the following:
Being involved in a vehicle accident is never a pleasant experience. Remember to take a moment to collect yourself and to take a few deep breaths to calm yourself before taking any action that you may regret later. Contact your insurance broker as soon as possible after the accident so that he/she can assist you with the insurance claim process.
The information contained in this article is of a general nature and intended for information purposes only. It is neither to be construed as financial advice nor to be regarded as a definitive analysis of any financial, legal or other issue. Individuals must not rely on this information to make a financial or investment decision. Before making any decision, we recommend you consult your financial planner/adviser to take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation and individual needs.