There are just over 11 million registered vehicles in South Africa – excluding caravans and trailers.
Statistics show that the majority of these vehicles – around 60 to 70% – are uninsured. The Automobile Association says this means that to keep you on the road, insurance is not a luxury, but a necessity.
Statistics from the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) indicate that there are more than 800 000 crashes in South Africa annually. Based on the insurance statistics, this equates to around 520 000 cars involved in crashes and which are uninsured.
And those motorists who are opting to have insurance are often choosing insurance based on the lowest available premiums, rather than understanding the benefits and disadvantages of the insurance they are considering buying.
Too often, low premiums sound good but fall short when claims are made, the AA warns.
A good example is the excess fee which may be payable when a claim is made. An excess is a fee you pay towards a claim for loss or damage to your car, regardless of who is to blame. A company offering a low monthly premium, for instance, may require a substantial excess in the case of loss or damage.
The Association says motorists who want to insure their vehicles must understand the terminology of their contracts and ask for clarification of any unclear clauses before committing to a specific insurance policy.
Critical questions to ask when considering vehicle insurance are: