Car insurance excess – what you need to know
It’s just another ordinary Saturday morning. You’re in your car, on the way home from the shops. The car in front of you indicates that it wants to turn right, so you come to a complete stop behind it. You decide to wait until it’s safe to go. A few seconds later you hear an ear-splitting crash accompanied by the sound of breaking glass. Your car judders forward uncontrollably. It’s unbelievable but true. You’ve just been in a car accident. Once you’ve recovered from the shock and made sure no one has been injured, a single thought runs through your mind: thank goodness you have car insurance.
Luckily, since you’ve taken out car insurance with iWYZE, you know you’ll be assured of a stress-free claims process. Once your valid claim is approved, you’ll be appointed an affiliated repairer to have your vehicle fixed. Thereafter you will be advised of the necessary car insurance excess that will have be paid. It’s at this point you may have questions though. What exactly is car insurance excess, and why should you have to pay it even if the accident wasn’t your fault?
Understanding car insurance excess
In its simplest terms, an excess is the first amount that needs to be paid when making a car insurance claim. It represents the uninsured part of your loss. This means that whenever you claim against your car insurance, you will always have to pay an excess amount. This is the norm regardless of whether or not the incident was your fault.
Why does car insurance excess need to be paid?
So far so good. By far the question asked most often by policyholders when making car insurance claims is, “Why should I have to pay an excess if the incident wasn’t my fault?” It’s a fair question, and one that becomes easier to answer when you understand the ultimate purpose of a car insurance excess.
With a car insurance excess in place, an amount that has to be paid in the event of a claim regardless of who is at fault, all drivers on the road are encouraged to be more responsible, more alert, and more cautious. As a result, drivers are less likely to make frivolous or fraudulent claims. This action helps to keep premiums down in the long term. It is for this reason that car insurance excess exists. This also explains why no matter who is to blame for any type of vehicle incident, if you are making a claim against your car insurance policy, you will need to pay an excess amount accordingly.
Can car insurance excess be claimed back?
At Old Mutual iWYZE, we understand how frustrating paying an excess can be. Particularly if the incident in question was the fault of a third party. As such, should another party be liable for any car insurance claims you make, our legal recoveries team will do their utmost to recoup your excess costs. Keep in mind that this cannot always be guaranteed, and may take a long time. Should the guilty party is uninsured, the process can be prolonged even further.
Circumstances in which recovery of the excess may not be possible include:
- A lack of personal details provided by the guilty party.
- If the guilty party has no income or assets to attach.
- The legal costs outweigh the recovery costs (excess amount).
- In the case where the guilty party cannot be traced.
- If the merits of the claim do not justify the recovery of the excess.
Excess expenses aside however, there is one important point to remember above all else. If you have an excess payment to make, it also means you have a quality car insurance policy. This means that the majority of your costs are being looked after. This includes costs both to your vehicle, and to you, should you be injured in any way. Having an up-to-date car insurance policy is by far the best way to stay safe when travelling on South African roads. If your vehicle is currently uninsured call us for a car insurance quote on 0860 63 33 39. Submit your details above for a call back, or buy car insurance online and take peace of mind with you, wherever you go.