Background Information to Car & Vehicle Insurance
Motor vehicle insurance has been described as a necessary evil – even if you pay cash for a motor vehicle and you are the most cautious of motorists, you are at great financial risk if you drive an uninsured vehicle.
Having a good insurance policy puts your mind at ease as you drive and this in itself is one of the biggest vehicle insurance benefits – peace of mind that should you be in an accident or have your car stolen, you are covered!
Motor vehicle insurance has become an important business and people are getting more curious about how to safe guard their cars and other vehicles against vehicle accidents, damage and theft.
Basics of Vehicle & Car Insurance
Motor vehicle insurance is essentially a contract in which an insurance company assumes financial responsibility for any loss the insured may incur through damage or theft to his/her vehicle. The bottom line is that you must read your policy and the schedule and make sure that you clearly understand the terminology, terms and conditions, and any exclusion clauses.
Golden rules of car insurance are:
- Know the promise you’re buying: When you buy car insurance you buy a promise. For years or even decades you may pay your insurer to say: “In certain circumstances that may never arrive, I will give you certain things.” You need to be sure of what these circumstance are and what you will gain from the cover.
- Keep the promise you are making: When you buy your insurance you give your insurer much personal information such as your habits and the ways you will use the items you are insuring. If the information is wrong, sometimes even a little bit wrong, the insurer’s promise won’t hold up.
- It is the insurer’s job to pay you what you are due and not more.
Why do I need Car/ Vehicle Insurance?
The South African vehicle hijackings and road crash statistics provide more than enough evidence to the importance of vehicle insurance. Over the last couple of years the cost of repairs has increased dramatically and there has been a significant increase in the average cost of a claim. An increase in vehicle theft, accidents and rising repair costs force insurance companies to recalculate the risk and cost of insuring our vehicles.
If you are an uninsured driver, you alone are responsible for covering the costs of repairing your car or even buying a new one if it is seriously damaged. You will also bear the legal costs of trying to claim damages from another uninsured driver without the assistance of an insurer.
I need Car Insurance – what do I need to know?
The Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance in his annual report emphasized the need to educate the public on insurance matters. The Ombudsman for Short-term Insurance in South Africa recovered a record amount of R83.9 million from insurance companies on behalf of complainants in 2007.
A staggering 67 percent of the complaints received in 2007 related to motor vehicles. A large number of complaints arose from a lack of understanding of insurance or a failure to understand the significance of the information given to an insurer when applying for insurance.
There are many insurance companies out there and it can be quite tough deciding which to opt for. Before getting vehicle insurance, it is necessary for you to get a detailed view of different insurance quotes from more than one insurance company. The car insurance quotes may be different for different companies, so it is your responsibility to carefully look into the insurance quotes and then decide which one is suitable for you and your vehicle.