March 31, 2018
Many South Africans may have grown up to believe that car insurance and insurance of all types may be useful as part of everyday life. South Africa's roads are not accident-free. So, you would think that everyone would be insured because accidents can be financially catastrophic. But why is it that not all car owners have car insurance?
Third party car insurance, which is the cheapest type of car insurance, insures the other driver’s car, but not yours. Third party insurance is compulsory in most parts of the world, but not so in South Africa. The result is that only 30 -35% of the 12 027 860 registered cars (February 2017) on our roads are insured.
The remaining 65 – 70% uninsured cars place great strain on the rest of the insured drivers as well as car insurance companies, who are forced to carry the costs of repairing their vehicles from accidents caused by non-insured cars.
Then why is it that not all car owners have car insurance? Let us look at some of the reasons.
People living in poverty in South Africa amounts to 55.5% of the total population. Priorities for survival include food, shelter and water. Last on the list would be a transport and insurance. You can still get to work with your car even though it is not insured. So, unless third party insurance is compulsory, most drivers will not consider third party car insurance.
Some people are under the impression that they will not be involved in an accident like other unfortunate individuals. This psychological phenomenon occurs worldwide and can be so strong that the thought of getting insurance is the last thing people think about.
Some car owners rationale is that they do not have to insure their cars because they only travel infrequently and short distances from home. Yet, in a US survey conducted in 2002, 52% of accidents occurred within a radius of 8 km from home.
To lose a car can be financially devastating. Most people don’t realise the astronomical costs involved when vehicles are damaged in an accident. Spare parts are becoming increasingly expensive. Self-repair done on uninsured cars is often woefully inadequate due to lack of funding, while transport continues to be a crucial issue in most people’s lives. This scenario reflects the general lack of roadworthiness of cars seen on South African roads, and these cars continue to pose a great risk to everyone. Depending on the severity of an accident, it doesn’t take much to write off a car.
A driver who has just one serious accident could face total financial ruin, from which he may not recover for a really long time. Why take the risk of having to face lawsuits, medical expenses, and all those car repairs on your own?
The importance of insurance or at least third party insurance are often underestimated by South African motorists. It will be advisable for motorists to investigate current market options currently available to them to ensure they are adequately covered in case of an unforeseen motor vehicle accident.
The importance of insurance or at least third party car insurance are often underestimated by South African motorists. It will be advisable for motorists to investigate current market options currently available to them to ensure they are adequately covered in case of an unforeseen motor vehicle accident. Explore more about affordable car insurance.