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Third-party car insurance cover and why it's sometimes just not worth it

16 October 2019 3:46 PM

Consumer journo Wendy Knowler explains why it can be better to claim on your own car insurance after an accident.

If you’re not to blame for the damage caused to your car by another motorist, it’s natural to expect the other party - or their insurer - to pay.

That’s only fair, right?

This week on Consumer Talk, consumer journalist Wendy Knowler explains why it can be better to claim on your own car insurance even if you were not to blame for a fender bender.

For starters, says Knowler, the other parties insurance firm owes you nothing.

Yes, you have to pay the excess and lose your no-claim bonus, but dealing with someone else’s insurance company as a third party can be the most frustrating, time-consuming exercise. For starters, you have no contractual relationship with someone else’s insurer.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

Malcolm from Durbanville was hit from behind by another motorist while stationary at a red traffic light.

Two months later, he’s still driving around in his damaged Toyota Tazz, because he doesn’t have R18,000 to fix it.

He's been liaising with the other driver's insurance company for weeks, without much luck.

I’ve completed and submitted numerous forms and sworn affidavits, together with photographs of the damage to my vehicle and quotes.

I have now been informed by the broker that because their client paid for his own damages and made no claim against the insurer and because their client stated that his ''brakes failed'', the insurer assumes that his vehicle was not roadworthy.

Malcolm, listener

Because of this, Santam says that its client has no claim against his policy and that Malcolm would now have to take the other driver to court for damages.

They provided Knowler with the following statement:

“Brolink are still in the process of considering the claim for our insured. Brolink has requested the insured to furnish it with certain information, which it is yet to receive. It should also be noted that the third-party claim has not yet been rejected or accepted, as our insured’s claim is still being validated.”

Listen to the full conversation below:


16 October 2019 3:46 PM

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