Third Party Claims in South Africa
If you are involved in an accident in South Africa, there are three types of third party claims you can put in for:
Comprehensive – the most expensive. As the name implies, this covers damage to your car, physical harm, hijacking, and theft. It also acts as insurance for the third party, their vehicle, and damage to their car or property.
Third Party, Fire, and Theft – this is less expensive as it only covers very specific damage to your car, but does cover the third party comprehensively.
Third Party – this insurance won’t cover the costs of repair to your property, vehicle, or injury to yourself. It only compensates the third person (the other party in the accident) for injury, death and damages to their car or property.
Third Party Claims – Who is the Third Party?
Third party Insurance is you and your insurer (who takes over your responsibility here), providing compensation to a third party, for damage caused to them, their vehicle or their property.
- When you take out an insurance policy, you enter into a contract with the insurer.
- You and the insurance company are the first and second parties.
- The other party involved in the accident, and claiming against you, becomes the third party.
- On the other hand, if you are in an accident where it is not your fault, and you become the victim, you may claim compensation for damages from the other person. You will then become the third party in the story.
Third Party Claims – Will You Claim?
- Claiming as the third party in an accident is not easy.
- This difficulty is possibly why so few people do so, rather just claiming from their comprehensive insurance.
- You have to prove that the damages to yourself or your property, is as a direct result of the accident.
- You must also prove that the other person was negligent or reckless to have caused the accident.
Third Party Claims – Claiming as a Third Party
If you are in an accident, and if it is not your fault, you want to put in an application, requesting compensation for the damages or injuries sustained, from the responsible party.
Here are some tips –
- Don’t drive away from the accident scene.
- If someone is injured, call the police to the place of the crash. It could be the person failed to stop at a stop sign, skipped a red robot, was on their cell phone or driving over the speed limit.
- Do not claim fault, and do not sign your name to anything at the scene.
- If the police do not come to the scene, you will need to go to the police station within 24 hours to report the accident.
- If possible, take photographs of the vehicles, all damage, and the scene of the crash.
- Advise your insurance company.
Third Party Claims – Administrative information you will need
- Date and time of the accident.
- Location and street name.
- Road- and weather conditions.
- Speed limit.
- Full names, addresses, and telephone numbers of witnesses and passengers.
- The driver’s name, licence, number plate, and ID.
- If the owner is not driving, make sure you get the owner’s details, or the company details if it is a company car, wherever you can.
If the person responsible for the accident does not have insurance at all, then you will have to take your claim to the Road Accident Fund.
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