Why you need car insurance to protect your car on South Africa’s roads
Having up to date and comprehensive car insurance is an essential element of being a responsible automobile owner in South Africa. With so many cars on the road in and around major cities such as Capetown, Johannesburg, and Pretoria, just to name a few it’s likely that you or someone you know will be involved in a car accident, or that you will find yourself having to deal with the aftermath of an automobile theft or break-in.
Statistics show that only roughly a third of South African drivers and their cars are adequately covered by an insurance policy. This figure is low enough that is should be a concern to all drivers who take to the roads in our cities. In order to ensure that you’re not caught out in the event of an accident or other untimely event, it’s essential to make sure that you’re adequately covered by a car insurance policy.
Third party accident coverage
In South Africa, a small part of the fees charged for petrol and gasoline goes towards the Road Accident Fund, a fund that is used to pay for any legal liabilities incurred as a result of death or injury caused to a third party if you are involved in a car accident. However, note that this fund won’t cover injuries to your own person, and nor will it cover vehicular damage. For this reason it’s essential to seek a more comprehensive auto insurance policy.
Vehicular damage or damage to property
While the Road Accident Fund can help offset hospital and other medical costs associated with car accidents, it doesn’t cover damage to property or other vehicles. As a responsible driver, you should endeavour to take out an auto insurance policy that at the very minimum will cover any costs incurred should you cause damage to another car, or to the property of another, such as a home or its surrounds. The Short Term Insurance Ombudsman fields a great number of complaints in relation to third party insurance every year, so it’s a good idea to ensure that you’re at the very least covered by third party vehicular and property insurance.
Damage to your own car or person
While the Road Accident Fund will help cover costs incurred if you are a no-fault participant in a collision or accident, this fund is necessarily limited in the types of cover that it provides. To ensure that you’re covered against a wide range of other potential outcomes, you should take out a comprehensive auto insurance policy. These car insurance policies will help protect you against the substantial costs that can be incurred through theft of or damage to your car or your car’s contents, accidental damage of your own car, and any accidents caused when other authorised drivers are driving your car. Comprehensive car insurance can also help cover essential medical costs, and will help cover you against claims if you have an accident while driving your car with a trailer or caravan attached.