The deal with third party liability
Third party liability is a common name for the type of car insurance you can get to make sure that you’re not on the hook for third party costs in the event of an accident. If you break it down, ‘liability’ means ‘responsibility’, so if you’re liable then you’re officially and legally responsible. ‘Third party’ refers to the other person involved in the situation, like if you drive into someone else’s car then that person is the third party.
When people talk about car insurance, they generally want to convince you that comprehensive is the best option. And there’s merit to that argument. But that’s not what we want to talk about. We want to chat about third party costs and how this insurance could be the answer for you.
Third party costs
The reality is that accidents do happen. So, if you get into a car accident with another person, and it’s your fault, then you’ll be liable for the cost of repairing their car. These expenses could end up running into the tens of thousands. And that’s on top of whatever you need to deal with when it comes to fixing your own car.
Think about it…
Imagine that you drive what you consider to be a beautiful car. Beautiful because you own it, it’s yours, you look after it, and have we mentioned that it’s yours? Oh we did? Now imagine that you drive into the back of the latest Toyota Fortuner.
Take a second to consider just how much it would cost to repair even the most minor of scratches, let alone structural damage to the bumper of this kind of car. You’re possibly looking at R70,000 (maybe even more) because cars aren’t what they used to be and parts are increasingly more expensive. Anything that needs to be replaced needs to be ordered, there are labour costs involved, and even a spot of respraying to make sure it all matches up again.
It’s ridiculous how much it can cost to repair even the smallest of issues with cars nowadays, not to mention something more serious.
Third party liability saves the day
What this type of car insurance does is make sure that you’re not personally going to have to pay for any damage that you cause to someone else’s car. Given the costs involved, it’s completely worth it to take out third party liability cover.
How to get this cover
Comprehensive car insurance typically includes cover for third party costs, but if you can’t afford this option and your car is paid off and less valuable, then there’s a way to protect yourself from third party liability. Most (if not all) insurers also offer ‘third party, fire and theft car insurance’ and ‘third party only car insurance’. The first option covers third party costs and damage to your car by fire and the theft of your car. It costs less than comprehensive cover but won’t cover damage to your car if you get into an accident. This isn’t bad at all, especially considering how affordable it is.
But the cheapest way to cover third party costs, however, is to take out third party only car insurance. What you need to know is that the person whose property is being covered is NOT you. It’s only the third party involved, where you’re liable for the damage. In this case, a little cover is still way better than none at all!
You might not think that you’re super adventurous, but the fact is that we all take risks every day. Even making toast or getting out of bed can be risky. There’s no telling when an accident can happen, or who, or how many people might be involved. So make sure to cover third party car liability and prevent any unnecessary financial trauma from ruining your future.Click here to get a commitment-free quote in just 2 minutes or you can call 0860 50 50 50 to get in touch.
Car mechanics vs. panel beaters
The difference and why it matters
The process of having your car fixed is rarely (or should we say ‘never’) an enjoyable experience, even if you have car insurance to cover all the costs. At most, it can be satisfying to know your car’s getting some TLC and will be returned in tip-top shape. But that’s not quite the same as ‘enjoyable’. So long as it gets done, that’s about all we really care about (that, and when the car will be returned).
In fact, our concern doesn’t even extend so far as to know who’s dealing with the repairs. It could be a mechanic, a magician, or a panel beater. All we know is that the car’s in ‘for repairs’. To shed light on the subject, we’ve nailed down the differences between the 2 main car repair services and who you should see for what.
The deal with car mechanics
Many South Africans first think of visiting a mechanic if something goes wrong with their cars, especially after an accident. And they may be right. You see, car mechanics deal with the inner workings of your car, like not starting or making funny noises. These experts evaluate all your car’s mechanical systems and repair them using various tools and equipment.
Issues mechanics resolve:
- Engine noises and other strange sounds.
- The replacement of parts, such as the clutch or gearbox.
- Malfunctioning air systems.
- Misfiring spark plugs.
The list is seemingly endless, but only relevant to a car mechanic if the car has internal issues. If the car has body damage, then a panel beater is what you’ll need.
The deal with panel beaters
Panel beaters have nothing to do with the fixing of the inner workings of your car. These chaps are all about your car’s exterior and will take on the responsibility of repairing and realigning damaged and dented panels of your car’s bodywork. Much like mechanics, panel beaters have special equipment and processes, and rely on tools like files and grinding equipment, dollies, gouges, keys, chisels and clamps, and electrical equipment among others.
Issues panel beaters resolve:
- Removing or smoothing out bumps, dents, and general crinkles.
- Replacing damaged body parts and welding replacements in their place.
- Straightening bent frames.
- Aligning damaged frames, body sections, and unit bodies.
Panel beaters are also responsible for the final assembly and inspection for true fit, and will test your car to ensure proper connection and working components in electrical fittings, door handles, locks and lights. That’s as close as they get to being mechanics. If there are issues with these components that aren’t related to panel beating, they’ll refer you to a mechanic.
So, which service do you need?
There’s nothing worse for your car than getting the wrong repair service to take responsibility for the repairs. A panel beater shouldn’t fix your fan belt and a mechanic shouldn’t realign your bumper. It’s absolutely not a case of letting just anyone screw and bolt together parts with any old tool. Not only can it lead to more issues down the road (literally), but it could endanger your life.
The best way to think of it is this way:
- Internal problems = car mechanic.
- External problems = panel beater.
Each is equipped with the right knowledge and expertise to restore your car to its perfect self. A commonality that these 2 services share, however, is the fact that they can present you with unexpected costs that might not be affordable. No matter how reasonable the cost may be, car repairs of any sort are unlikely to be the same as the price of a bottle of milk. And you don’t want to skimp on these kinds of repairs.
But if you have car insurance from an insurer with a reliable reputation for putting their clients’ wellbeing at the front and centre of all that they do, then everything becomes that much easier to budget for. Take King Price, for example. The royal insurer treats all their clients like kings and queens, only uses royally approved service providers, and offers logical car insurance that decreases every month. Which is the best way to prepare for unexpected situations, like needing to have your door panel replaced after a minor argument with a parking lot pole.