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Are you protected from third party motor liability claims?

 

Accidents happen, and it’s up to us to prepare for them even though none of us like to think we’d be in one. The costs involved in car accidents can vary. If you are found at fault in an accident, the costs for injuries and damages to the other parties involved could become your problem. For such cases, third party insurance called motor liability insurance covers these costs.

What is Motor Liability Insurance?

Motor Liability Insurance is insurance that provides financial cover for situations where you may be found liable for the costs of damages, injuries, and fatalities in a motor vehicle accident. These may include medical charges for bodily harm, payment for repair of damages incurred, compensation for loss of income, and legal fees. Property damaged in the accident can include the other person’s car or vehicle, but it also includes other third-party property like a pole, fence, or structure that has been damaged.

When insuring company vehicles, it is a good idea to consult with experts on how much cover to get. Business Insurance advisors can also make sure there aren’t any gaps in your motor liability cover so that you can rest assured in the policy you choose.

How does motor liability insurance work?

If an accident occurs, the first step taken beyond the safety of members involve is to determine who is at fault. Were one or both parties negligent? Did one or both parties cause the accident? Professionals from your insurers will assess the evidence and statements made at the scene of the accident to determine who is at fault.

If a third party claims that your negligence led to the accident, they will need to prove it with the help of professionals like their insurance providers.  In particular, they need to be able to show that you didn’t act reasonably in the circumstances and that you could have taken other steps to avoid the damages and injuries incurred.

If the evidence gathered proves that you are the liable party, your motor liability insurance steps in at this stage to help you pay for the costs you have become liable for. Third-party insurance alone is considered the most essential and basic form of motor vehicle insurance, and those who cannot afford comprehensive motor vehicle insurance usually opt for a policy with only third-party motor liability insurance.

Do I need motor liability insurance?

All vehicles on South African roads need to be insured, but the reality is that only a third of vehicles on our roads are currently insured. So yes, if you own a vehicle you will need motor vehicle insurance, and the most basic form of insurance available is motor liability insurance. At the least, you should have cover in the event that you are liable for the expenses that can arise from an accident for the other people involved (if you’re liable).

The importance of acquiring motor liability insurance cannot be overstated. This is because the costs that often arise from an accident can be exorbitant and can put a lot of financial pressure on your company. If your business owns a fleet of vehicles, the risk becomes greater. No matter how many safety precautions you take, accidents happen frequently on our roads even with the best drivers. All your vehicles need at least motor liability cover, and preferably comprehensive car insurance.

The need for motor liability cover has come into question in South Africa because of the existence of the Road Accident Fund (RAF). This insurance fund is supported by the state. It offers cover for injuries and loss of income for anyone who has been in an accident on South African roads. The RAF also reduces the opportunities for those in an accident to sue the responsible party.

This might make it seem like motor liability insurance isn’t all that important to you, but the truth is that vehicle owners and business owners can still find themselves liable for costs after an accident if the RAF cannot pay the claim or if the third party wishes to claim for secondary emotional shock. It’s also important to note that the RAF only covers South African roads, whereas motor insurance policies often include cover for other countries like Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, and more.

Damages incurred in the accident that are not bodily injury are also not covered by the Road Accident Fund. This makes it apparent that motor liability insurance is still vital for every business owner.

Sources: santam.co.za; moneymarketing.co.za;

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