Your excess paid is an un-insurable amount payable by you in the event of a valid claim.
The recovery of an excess is the same as any legal process. Insurers will always try to recovery and because they are doing this anyway we as brokers normally allow them to add your excess to their claim. This saves you on legal costs and time. In terms of your policy you subrogate your rights to the insurer. This puts them in the position to defend you against any legal action against you and in your favour. There is a lot of misunderstanding around the payment of an excess. You are advised of this excess upfront so that you will always know what portion of the claim you are liable for. This excess is due irrespective of was the fault. In South Africa only one in 4 vehicles are insured. This is not anyone's fault however it makes it difficult for insurers to recover losses.
This process is therefore not simple by any means. To issue summons against a third party for a small amount also not viable. One cannot spend more money on legal fees than the value of the actual claim. Legal fees are expensive and insurers therefore normally have their own legal department to deal with these matters in a more economic manner.
There is absolutely no guarantee that an excess will be recovered. One will find that there may be many reasons for people not insuring their vehicles but mostly it is because they simply cannot afford it. It is therefore very difficult to get money out of any individual if they don’t have any. (Ref – Ombudsman for short term insurance)
The insurer and innocent party both suffer as a result of so many uninsured parties.
It Is a case of the few has to pay the claims of the many. This obviously has a negative impact on the entire industry.
As anyone who has ever been in a vehicle accident will tell you, it is a shocking and stressful experience especially if you have been injured, or have injured someone else and it’s not always easy to think rationally . That’s why our insurers put together this guide that you can print out and keep it in your car’s glove compartment. This way, if you are involved in an accident, you will know what steps to follow to ensure the best possible outcome.
Make note of the details – always make sure you have a pen and paper in your glove compartment so that you can write down the details of the accident, including:
If you can, make a sketch of the scene, or, if your mobile phone has a camera, take pictures of the road layout, the position of the vehicles, skid marks, collision points and the damage caused.
If a third party is involved and/or passengers are injured:
Third Party insurance covers you against claims made by others against you. For example, if it is proven that you were the cause of an accident involving another vehicle (third party) your Third Party insurance will cover any costs you may be liable for. These include costs relating to death, injury and damage, as well as any legal costs that could be claimed from you.
If you do receive any claim from a third party, please pass the correspondence on to us immediately, so that we can deal with it on your behalf (in accordance with your policy contract and provided that the terms of your policy have been met).
Our Insurers have dedicated teams available to deal with third party claims. This team also specialises in the recovery of the cost of repairs, including your excess, should the accident have been caused by the other driver.
**NB. As mentioned above, it is important that you not accept any liability until you have reported the incident to us.
If your vehicle is a total loss/write-off:
Once we have established that your vehicle cannot be repaired, a Claims Negotiator will contact you with the details of what to do next and what documentation is required to settle your claim.
If your vehicle is stolen or hijacked:
If we are unable to recover your vehicle, our Claims Department will let you know what to do next and what documents we need in order to settle your claim as quickly as possible.
Know your rights!
If you are unlucky enough to be involved in an accident you can expect a host of tow trucks to arrive, all clamouring to be the one to tow your vehicle away! Worse still, you could find a police officer advising or insisting that you choose a particular tow operator to clear the accident scene. Here’s what you should know:
As a Ethico client visit our emergency contact number page. As comprehensive motor vehicle policyholder, you automatically have access 24 a hour towing service. If your car is not drivable, you should call the emergency number as stated on the page . Should you not have access to this please call your broker or our office on 0861 070 070.
(Note: even if your motor vehicle is only insured with us for Third Party, Fire and Theft or Third Party only, our insurers will continue to assist you. However, the towing costs will be for your own account, subject to your policy terms and conditions