Drivers on the road without car insurance are a big issue in South Africa. More and more vehicle owners are choosing to cancel their insurance to try and save money. When economic times are tight it might seem like a non-essential expense, however the consequences can be dire.
As reported by CARmag.co.za, in a 2016 survey the Automobile Association (AA) found that between 65–70% of the 11.4 million registered cars in the country are not insured. That’s nearly eight million uninsured, registered vehicles placing insured drivers at risk.
The AA said that a large number of motorists underestimate the negative consequences of having no insurance, and are of the opinion that something bad won’t happen to them or their vehicle. Of course, this is a frightening statistic for a number of reasons.
Scenario: What if I drive into someone else’s car?
Consequence: If you are uninsured and crash into someone else’s car, causing damage to that car, you are liable for the cost of the damage you caused. That can amount to thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of rands. Even if the driver that you crashed into is insured, his insurance company will name you as the guilty party for payment. If you are uninsured they will sue you in your personal capacity.
How to avoid this: Don’t run this risk. You can be insured against third-party claims for a minimum amount per month. With third-party-only cover you will be able to claim for any damage you cause to another party’s property. While it is the most cost-effective cover, it’s important to remember it doesn’t include theft or any damages that occur to your car.
Scenario: My car has been stolen
Consequence: The hijackings and vehicle theft statistics in South Africa are more than enough motivation to have car insurance. If you are driving without insurance and your car is stolen or broken into and damaged, you are 100% responsible for replacing your vehicle, or getting it fixed. This can cause an enormous financial setback and leave you and your family without transport for an indefinite period. If you are still paying off the car then your monthly repayments will continue, while you struggle to pay extra transport fees or repairs – it’s not worth the risk.
How to avoid this: Don’t assume that you can’t afford car insurance. There are a number of different options available to you. Each has been developed to suit a wide range of financial situations and driver profiles. For example, Budget Insurance has four types of car insurance – ranging from comprehensive car insurance for your financed vehicle, to the more cost-effective third-party only, which will cover any damage you may cause to another vehicle. These policies also include a number of Assist Benefits. Don’t be among the millions of uninsured South African drivers.
Scenario: An uninsured driver has crashed into me
Consequence: Should someone crash into you and you are both uninsured, then you will have to bear the legal costs of trying to claim damages from the driver. This could turn out to be a fruitless waste of money and energy should the driver be unwilling or unable to pay for repairs to your vehicle.
How to avoid this: Cover your vehicle with comprehensive car insurance, that will ensure you are paid out should your car be stolen or damaged. If you are covered and an uninsured driver crashes into you, get their personal and vehicle details. Your insurance company will do the rest.
While many may feel that you cannot afford the cost of car insurance, the cost of no insurance is far higher. Failing to properly insure your vehicle places you at greater financial risk.