The Importance of Car Insurance
Over 10,000 fatal crashes were recorded in South Africa in 2009, an average of around 27 accidents each and every day.
Add to these horrifying figures the material costs of road accidents, around R35 billion annually and the costs of health care for the victims and you will begin to get a clearer picture why car insurance is so important.
While insurance cannot guarantee that you will not be involved in a road accident, it can provide some comfort and security for you, your family and fellow motorists.
Equally important as taking out insurance is getting the right insurance to suit your own needs. If you use your car primarily to get to and from work, shopping, holidays or other personal uses, then private use insurance is the way to go.
But remember that if you utilize your car at work, taking clients out or transporting goods, for example, you should take out business use cover.
Insurance is not cheap, so you need to shop around to get the best quote. Make sure that you understand exactly what is and is not covered under any quote you get, so you can compare like with like.
You may be tempted to leave out some details when requesting an insurance quote in an attempt to get cheaper insurance. Don’t! If you don’t specify everything that may affect your insurance, you could be in trouble if you need to make a claim. Make sure you specify all special non standard accessories fitted to your car. These may include special wheels, tow bars, audio systems; even metallic paint could affect your insurance cover.
Contrary to popular belief, car insurance companies are not out to punish younger drivers or those with high-powered vehicles. Rather, they calculate insurance premiums based on statistical data obtained over many years. So don’t state that the regular driver is aged 45, when in fact the vehicle is more often driven by a 20 year old. You may pay less in premiums, but you could have your claim denied.
However, there are methods of reducing your premiums, talk to your insurance company about possible discounts for alarm systems, tracking systems or anti-hijack systems. You could make considerable savings this way.
Finally, if the worst should happen and you are involved in an accident, make sure that you get the insurance details of any other drivers involved and make sure that the accident is reported to the police within 24 hours, otherwise you will have trouble lodging a valid claim.