June 28, 2018

The importance of car insurance

 

Most South-Africans are completely dependent on their vehicles to get to and from work. In some instances the vehicle may even be required for the execution of their work. Imagine being a sales representative who drives to various potential clients to pitch and sell a product and becoming a victim of a road accident on your way to work. As a law-abiding citizen, you get out of your vehicle and exchange information from the other party to the accident and find out that neither of you have insurance, and both cars require extensive repairs before they can be driven again. Suddenly, you find yourself in lack of the very thing that enables you to earn a salary.

The lack of insured drivers has an impact on every single road-user. In the case of a write-off, if your car was not insured, you would end up in a situation where you would need to continue to pay for the written-off vehicle as well as find a way to purchase another vehicle to get around. In this regard, I find it commendable that any financed vehicle is required to be insured. This not only protects the owner’s financial stability but protects any other vehicle owner, should the two be involved in an accident.

Perhaps South Africa should look into effecting a law that requires every registered vehicle to be insured. I have no doubt that the majority of road users, especially students and interns, are not likely to be able to afford comprehensive car insurance, but it could prove beneficial if all road users had third-party liability insurance, thereby, at the very least, protecting the person who caused the accident from being indebted to the victim of the accident and protecting the victim from being unable to recover his or her cost of repair.

In my opinion, all road-users should ensure that they have some form of insurance on their vehicles to protect their own financial wellbeing, to protect other road-users and to ensure that, should an accident occur, it can be dealt with quickly and easily. Even in the instance of lower income road-users, third-party liability and total loss insurance would be worthwhile investment as an alternative to paying off the damage to another person’s vehicle, probably inclusive of interest, should the unfortunate event of an accident occur.

Most people only start having an appreciation for car insurance once they find themselves involved in a car accident and the bills start piling up. There is no way to prevent an accident from occurring, the only way to prepare for possibility that you might be involved in an accident is to ensure that you are financially protected. A worthwhile consideration this upcoming National Insurance Awareness Day.

 

Challen Engelbrecht
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