By Anja van den Berg
Third-party car insurance is the minimum level of insurance that one can obtain. This insurance is designed to provide compensation to a third party should you cause damage to their person, vehicle, or property.
https://www.claimhelp.co.za offers some practical and valuable advice to South African consumers concerning third-party insurance rights and responsibilities.
Third-party insurance does not cover the costs of repairs or treatment for your own damages; the insurance only covers the cost involved in compensating the victim.
If you have been involved in a car accident or accident involving another person’s property where you were not at fault, you may want to claim for damages from the insured party. To do this, you must attempt to prove the extent of loss you suffered because of the incident.
The onus is in you, the claimant, to prove the extent of your losses.
Also, it is essential to note that as a third party, you are not necessarily entitled to claim directly from the responsible party’s insurer. Instead, you should make a direct claim from the responsible party, who will, in turn, hand over any correspondence and legal documents to the insurer.
The insurer’s duty to the responsible party is to ensure that he or she is cleared of legal liability regarding damages to the third party. The insurer’s rights regarding the claim will be stipulated in the insurance policy with the insured party.
Essentially, the insurer’s purpose in third-party insurance is to take over the responsibility of the insured party should he or she be the cause of damage to another person or his or her property.
For what can you claim?
- Medical expenses, including hospital stays, surgery, doctors’ consultations, and any follow-up procedures with a medical professional to treat injuries
- Losses resulting from the inability to work because the damages incurred impeded your ability to work. This can be because of personal injury or damage to property resulting in the inability to earn, for example, if you work from home and your work studio has been damaged due to another person’s negligence
- Compensation for pain, loss or trauma related to the damages incurred. For example, you may suffer psychological difficulties when recovering from the incident.
- Loss of support. If the person injured or killed in a third-party accident was legally bound to support you or are the bread-winner of your family and financial support, you can claim for loss of support, which would entail proving your dependence.
To claim from the responsible party:
- You, as the claimant, must first prove that the damages suffered by you and your property are a direct result of the incident.
- You must prove negligence or recklessness on the part of the insured party, such as driving while on the phone or at unlawful speed
- You must prove that the repairs and compensation will return the vehicle to the state it would have been in if the accident had not occurred.
- You may need to repair your wall due to a drunk driver swerving into it. You can claim back from the insured after repairs have been done.
If the responsible party does not have insurance, you were the victim of an accident while on a public vehicle, such as a bus, or you would prefer to pursue your claim through the government, you should contact the Road Accident Fund (RAF).