South Africa’s Automobile Association reports between 65 and 70% of 11.4 million registered cars in South Africa are not insured.
It’s a situation the majority of motorists need to take heed of, and address urgently says the AA.
The association said a surprising number of motorists underestimate the negative consequences of being uninsured, assuming that accidents will never happen to them.
The AA said: “Paying for repairs and recovering costs after a crash can be a slow, painful, and expensive process. This will potentially leave you without transport, or reliant on public transport where it is available, meaning your crash, and the result of you being uninsured, will impact on your life in significant ways.”
A further problem, the AA said, was that up to 800 000 vehicles in South Africa are either unregistered or classified as unroadworthy, meaning the possibility of being involved in a crash with an uninsured car is even higher.
The AA said: “It is unlikely that these 800 000 cars are insured given that their owners are not even registering or looking after them. These cars potentially pose a bigger threat to you as they are unsafe because they are unroadworthy.
“What would happen if you are involved in a crash with one of these vehicles and your car suffers substantial damages? Who is going to foot the bill if you aren’t covered? This is a double blow because you may end up having to pay the installments on a vehicle you no longer use, while at the same time find ways to fund another mode of transport. In today’s tough economic climate, this may be financially crippling.
“Some people may argue that the costs of insurance are simply too high. Our view is that the costs of non-insurance are higher, and that failing to properly insure your vehicle places you at a greater financial risk. We understand that times are tough, but we also know that motorists need to cover themselves adequately.”
What your insurance covers
To avoid nasty surprises when claiming for vehicle insurance it’s critical you re-read your policy.
Read the vehicle section on your policy and ask the following:
- Does your policy include hail damage?
- Is the driving of your vehicle restricted to a “named” driver?
- Is cover for theft or hijacking subject to the installation of an immobiliser or tracking device?
- Are business use extensions included in car and household insurance?
- What territorial limits are applicable?
- Are penalties imposed for young drivers?
- What excesses apply in the event of loss or damage?
- Are you covered for loss/damage from mining operations, landslip or subsidence?
- Is there provision for car hire?
- What other value-added benefits are there?