All road users in South Africa are faced with the risky situation of being injured by motorists who are uninsured. Equally worse is the threat these same motorists pose on the property of others; damages of which can easily run into the hundreds of thousands of rands. Not everyone has that kind of money lying around to overcome the negligence of other people. Third party car insurance has been herald as one way to solve this.
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South African law does not mandate that any car owner have any type of car insurance. Most drivers in South Africa do not have car insurance, and this is even more prevalent among used car owners. Lobbyists in the insurance industry through bodies such as the South African Insurance Association have been working with legislators to draft proposals that would make third party car insurance mandatory in South Africa the same way it is in the Unites States for example.
What is third party insurance?
Third party insurance is a limited car insurance type, but it would suffice in this case where there need is more for the protection of the aggrieved party than the person who has caused the accident. The insurance would cover the victim’s loses depending on the extent of the loss like any other insurance policy. This would also benefit the driver at fault because he would be alleviated of the burden of bills as a result of the accident.
Another very important aspect of this the impact it would have on South Africans as a whole. Currently, the Road Accident Fund is a public fund that compensates the victims of road accidents when the person who caused the accident is uninsured. It’s basically a subsidy for those who do not want to pay for insurance! This doesn’t seem right, thus, the SAIA’s efforts to get government to enforce third party insurance to every car owner.
A major problem with enforcing mandatory 3rd party insurance would be for new car owners who finance their cars through banks. They are usually required to take up comprehensive cover, ie. full insurance coverage. Would they need to take up additional third part only insurance even though they already have comprehensive insurance? This could easily leave owners overinsured, which is a major problem for the policyholder.
You can go on with life pretty okay without insuring your car, but the benefits of having it insured are way higher than the costs of not getting cover. South Africa’s top car insurance companies offer substantially low premiums for third party only insurance than comprehensive cover for example. For a fraction of the monthly premiums on comprehensive insurance, you can buy third party insurance.