To limit their risk of claims, insurance companies impose certain obligations on the owner of a vehicle. Failing to meet these obligations can see your claims being repudiated. Unbeknown to many an insured, the following actions on the part of the driver can wreck their insurance claims.
Don’t assume the damage is minor
Often a driver will assume that the lack of visible external damage to his or her vehicle after an accident indicates that there is little damage. Even fender benders can result in structural damage to your vehicle, which will cost your insurance company. Always get the name, ID number, license plate and contact details of the other driver, otherwise your insurance company will be unable to recover their losses and push up premiums.
Don’t say “sorry”
Never you’re sorry after being involved in an accident. Sorry is an admission of guilt. If you are the guilty party, your insurance company will be responsible for paying and it goes on your insurance record, which makes you a higher insurance risk.
Don’t assume you need towing assistance
Many insurance policies come standard with vehicle towing or roadside assistance as a value-added benefit. Every time you make use of these services, though, your insurer acknowledges it as a claim. This goes on your insurance record and makes you a higher insurance risk. It may also cost you whatever bonus your insurance company offers.
Don’t hire the tow truck circling the accident
If you do have towing assistance, then make sure you use the company specified by your insurer. Your insurance company will only cover this cost if you use their provider. Failing to do so will see you become liable for the costs of the towing which is usually around R3 500.
Don’t increase your excess
Insurance companies will allow you to choose how much you want to pay on your insurance excess. The higher the excess, the cheaper the premium. If you make the excess too high, you won’t be able to afford it and can’t get your car repaired or replace it. A high excess is a good way to wreck your insurance.