February 28, 2018
You have been driving for some time now in your uninsured car, thinking that accidents only apply to other reckless drivers, until the day that a brand-new Mercedes sports car in front of you slammed on the brakes and you rear ended it. You nearly fainted when the dollar signs started running through your mind.
The repercussions of having an accident in an uninsured car can be horrendous to contemplate, and could ruin you financially for a long time. Apart from facing the ever-increasing costs of repairing your own car, you may still have to pay off car instalments even if you are without a car because of an accident. This doesn’t even start to contemplate the amount of time you may be without a car. A car in the life of an average South African plays an indispensable role as many South Africans cannot rely on public transport in order to get themselves to work everyday.
Let us examine in more detail the cost of not having car insurance.
Before going any further, it is important to realize how many cars are insured on our South African roads. Only 3.6 million – 4.2 million vehicles (February, 2017) on our roads are insured. This represents 30 – 35% of a total of 12 027 860 registered cars.
The remaining 65 - 70% or 7.8 million – 8.4 million uninsured cars travel on our roads, potentially every day. If put in another way, when you are driving around in your insured car, 6 or 7 out of every 10 vehicles you meet on the road, are not insured.
The above bleak picture makes it even more compelling for us to consider insuring our cars if they are not already insured. It may not be your fault when you are involved in an accident, and then having insurance should give you some peace of mind. No one can afford to be without some type of car insurance at this time in South Africa.
According to the Automobile Association of South Africa (AASA), in 2016, about 800 000 vehicles were neither registered nor roadworthy. Who knows if this is the complete story? A car that is not roadworthy owing to its ineffective brakes or smooth tyres poses a great risk to a driver as well as to other motorists. This increased risk adds to the list of reasons why motorists cannot afford to not have insurance over their cars.
The great benefit of car insurance is that you should not have any nasty surprises, provided you have made sure you are covered for most negative scenarios you could encounter on the road. It is important to know and understand what your policy covers your for. A motorist might want to ask himself or herself whether he or she can afford to be without car insurance regarding the following scenarios:
This can be substantial, depending on the severity of the storm. Repair expenses could be horrendous. Make sure you know how your insurer deals with hail damage claims and whether your policy covers it.
We need to remind ourselves that a theft or a hi-jacking could occur at any stage. What happens if your car just disappears in a flash of a second, and is never to be seen again? Would you be able to afford to replace the car with another car? If not, how would you cope being without your own transport? For many, having transport means having a job. So how would you get to work if you did not have your own transport for a long time? If you are a sales representative, travelling the length and breadth of Gauteng to conduct business, what would happen if your car was stolen? These are all things that you should consider.
Your car has been severely damaged and may be at a panel beater for quite a while in order for it to get repaired. Many motorists don’t have immediate access to an alternate vehicle – so how will you get to work? Would having access to car hire as part of your car insurance package save the day? You might want to consider whether your policy has this or if you want to select it as an optional extra.
Particularly in this day and age with all the violent crimes happening, you do not wish to get stranded out on any lonely road while daylight is fading. Would being able to immediately call for roadside assistance as part of your car insurance package be something that you want? Would it be a relief for you to see a tow vehicle coming to the rescue? Check your policy details and make sure you know if your policy covers this.
It is clear that the South African motorist cannot afford to not have car insurance. Why not inquire with a couple of reputable insurance companies on what they offer and find out what kind of car insurance suits you? You may be pleasantly surprised at what you discover is available. Explore affordable car insurance plans with PMD if you are looking for affordable cover.