If you are a driver or if you own a fleet of vehicles with drivers, you have the right to claim for the fair, reasonable and necessary costs that will be needed for repairs if the vehicle has been damaged in an accident.
Although this type of insurance is not compulsory in South Africa, this is the minimum level of insurance that one can obtain.
Insurance is essentially designed to provide a form of compensation to a third party, in the event that you cause damage to their person, vehicle or property. The “3rd party” can be defined as a group or person apart from two others, who are primarily involved in a legal transaction, such as an individual and his/her insurer.
How do insurance 3rd party claims work?
The third party may only claim against the responsible party and not directly against the insurer. What this means is that the insurer is only obligated to settle the claim to the extent that the policyholder is legally responsible.
To facilitate a smooth claims process it’s important that the policyholder co-operates fully with the insurer.
What to do in the event of a third party claim:
- If you are involved in an accident, stop and do not drive away
- Call the police is someone is hurt
- Remain calm and avoid arguing with others
- Do not claim any fault for the accident and don’t sign any documents regarding fault
- Do not claim fault or liability. Make sure that you tell the investigating police officer at the scene and your insurance company your version of what you believe happened.
- Call emergency services (such as an ambulance) if there are people injured as well as the police. Make sure that you monitor yourself for 48 hours afterwards, as some injuries take longer to manifest.
- Don’t move any injured parties unless that person’s life is in severe danger.
- Ensure that you write down all the details concerning the accident. If at all possible, take pictures.