Motor insurance tips

2018-07-18 06:01

MANY people find the insurance aspect of securing their vehicle against theft, loss or damage overwhelming as there are so many variations of cover and costs available.

“Without the financial experience of what insurance is all about, a DIY approach is challenging when trying to figure out why the quotes you receive vary so radically in premium price, what’s covered and more crucially what is not covered, what the terms and conditions of the cover are, if any exclusions exist and why, and how much your excess will be — the cash sum you are liable for upfront if and when you need to claim,” explains Mandy Barrett an insurance broker in South Africa.

It’s one of the reasons why getting independent and impartial advice from a professional broker is the very best financial decision you can make to ensure that your car and any extras are properly insured, and that you won’t face any nasty surprises should you need to claim.

“The true value of broker really comes to bear when you have a complex claim or a dispute with an insurer,” said Barrett. “A professional broker will intervene on your behalf to handle the claims negotiations and ensure you get a fair settlement.”

Barrett provides some tips that will help you when assessing your motor insurance:


This may affect your choice of vehicle in the end when one looks at things like affordability, service costs, parts availability, required security measures and crime stats. There are so many aspects that affect your motor insurance, ranging from the make and model of the vehicle, through to the cost of parts and availability, whether you need car hire in the event of an accident, what the vehicle is utilised for, your driver profile and age and even your credit rating.

Be aware of the type of security precautions you will need, such as a tracking device, as you need to factor the ongoing subscription cost into your monthly expenses. With all this to consider, it can be a minefield trying to navigate the terms of your motor insurance agreement without the insights of an experienced eye.


Besides the obvious cover for accident damage and theft, your motor insurance also provides you with personal liability protection which is embedded in your policy. Personal liability is like having an umbrella on a cloudy day. You might not need it, but in a sudden heavy downpour, you’ll be grateful you have it. This cover protects you against a third party suing you in your personal capacity for financial loss, physical injury or death.

In the event of an accident, a passenger or any other party affected by the accident could sue you for negligence or intent, and here the legal defence costs and settlement could run into millions of rands.

Although the Road Accident Fund (RAF) exists for people injured in a road accident and is the typical route many people will take, the fund has certain limitations. There is nothing stopping a third party from coming after you for compensation, especially where they can prove trauma or emotional shock (not covered under the RAF) as a result of witnessing an accident where someone was killed or severely injured, and you were party to it.


Certain events are not always automatically covered on a standard motor vehicle insurance agreement to bring down costs, and such covers may need to be purchased at an additional premium — typically items such as scratch and dent cover, tyre cover, hail damage cover and so on. Finding out that hail cover was excluded on your policy after a Gauteng hailstorm has done a swiss-cheese number on your car can prove financially devastating. Likewise, remember to specify any add-ons to your vehicle that are not standard features on the vehicle such as alloy mag wheels or a specific sound system, nudge bars and side steps, a GPS navigator and additional lights.

These all add additional value to the vehicle and need to be accounted for in your sum insured. If they are not specified, they won’t be covered.

“You really want to know and understand the details of what you are covered for before claims time. This is why when it comes to shopping for insurance, there’s really no beating the help and guidance of a professional insurance broker by your side to protect your best interests, point out all the important aspects of your cover, ring-fence any exclusions or conditions and highlight what the general market trends are. It’s unlikely to be the most riveting thing you’ve done, but getting a handle on your risks and how your insurance cover will respond in a claims scenario is likely to be one of the most financially important exercises you’ll do this year,” concludes Barrett. - Supplied


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Enter the examination number or search by province or school (NSC Students) to view results.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.