I stopped at a stop street. On the left hand side there is a high garden wall, making it necessary to move forward of the stop line to see what traffic there is in order to cross the interesection safely. There was a backup of cars from the next 4-way stop 1 block away. The cars were backed up well passed the intersection where I was stopped, with a break in the row of cars to allow traffic to cross.I moved forward into the intersection as it seemed clear to cross but in the meantime a car had turned from the 4-way stop, and was moving in the direction toward me. I stopped once more as I felt it unsafe to make the crossing. I was not even beyond the waiting cars so not even midway into the intersection.The person behind me drove into the back of me. We are both insured with the same insurance company. I reported the incident to the police and notified the insurance company. I have had a quote via the insurance company for the repairs as well as from another company. The difference is about R500.The individual is refusing that I claim for the repairs to my car from his 3rd party cover. The insurance company assures me they do not have the right to make him do so. His argument is that his monthly premiums will increase. If I claim for the repairs I will have to pay the excess and will lose my no-claim bonus next year. As this will be more or less the same amount as the repairs (approx R 6000), I have decided to have the repairs done, pay for them and apply to the small claims court(with all the hassles atatched) for compensation. Is there any other way to handle this ?JaneJohaanesburg, SA
Hi There - I'm sorry for your troubles - Insurance law and claims can often be a nightmare as you are experiencing. The reality is that from what you have indicated and based on general legal principles the other driver is pretty much 100% to blame so on the merits your case sounds like an easy winner. Your problem is a little technical. He cannot dictate to you whether or not to claim on his insurers - thats rubbish - you are free to claim on your insurers and they will decide whether to claim on his insurers (the same company so not a material issue). You would then be entitled to sue him for your excess. The problem you are facing now is that if you don't claim on your insurers and simply choose to sue him, he will raise the defence that you are insured and that your claim (except for the excess) lies against your insurers and not him - He would have a good defense here. In a nutshell if you feel like suing him (its a long and expensive exercise unless you have a go in the small claims court - this is a good option if the excess is under R12k) you will need to lodge your insurance claim. I hope this clarifies the matter for you. In the meantime please remember to rate my answer - positively I hope . Regards XXXXX XXXXX luck.
Thank you for your response. It does not matter to whom I speak but i get a similar answer in that if a person drives into you, the person from behind is at fault. I dont really want to have to go to the Small claims court as if one does not do exactly as required one could lose out anyway.
here is the reply I received form the insurance company
We refer to the accident which occurred on the xxxxxx between yourself and also our client xxxxx
Please be advised that we have not been able to settle the legal claim you has instigated against him because we have not received consent from him and we cannot proceed on a claim on behalf of the client unless there is consent from the client to do so.
In terms of clients information this is considered as confidential information of the client and therefore we cannot give out any information of anyone who is contracted with our insurance company. So unfortunately you will have to use the information you obtained at the scene of the accident from xxxxxxx
Please also be aware that fixing your vehicle is not an admission of guilt as long as the damages relating to the accident has been quantified you may proceed to fix your vehicle. Should you do so though please remember to inform the Claims department of your decision."
The insurance company say they will try to get the excess back but to date the other person refuses to allow this--see above.
What is the point then of havuing 3rd party insurance?
Your sentence indicating that he cant dictate to me ..... does this mean the insurance company should be paying out from his 3rd party policy ?
Should I be taking this higher at the insurance company?
What it means is that you must claim from your insurers for the damages less the excess whether they choose to recover from the other driver is not up to you but their decision - you must sue him privately for the excess if he doesn't agree to pay the excess. The small claims court is your best option as its pretty much free and quite quick but that is your choice. Regards
I did ask a further question: in summary I should have the repair done and claim from my policy, then if the insurance company does not recover the excess, I should then try the small claims court for this amount. Is this the suggestion in a nut shell?
Thats it exactly! To be honest thats what I would do if it were me. Putting aside no claim bonuses and higher excesses - this is what insurance is designed for - why carry the cost yourself for a benefit you pay for so dearly?
Thank you for this--it does make sense especially if I dont get anywhere with the small claims court! I will have some of the money back!
Agreed - just between you and me - this nonsense of increasing premiums and losing no claim bonuses is purely a method to discourage people from claiming on their insurers. Who is the ultimate beneficiary of that??? If your premium goes up to much - get your broker to shop around for other quotes you will see how quickly your insurer doesn't increase your premium too hectically! Good Luck - and please remember to rate my service and answers.
Thanks for accepting my answer!
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