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But it wasn’t my fault!

Published on: 05 January 2016

But it wasn’t my fault!

Is an excess payable whenever you submit a claim, regardless of whether the incident was your fault or not?

Unfortunately the answer is yes.

In the case of a motor vehicle accident, the excess is a contribution that you are required to pay towards a claim you have made (based on the contractual obligations you agreed to in the policy document).  If the accident is not your fault, the damage to your vehicle (which includes the excess)  can be recovered from the other party involved.  Your insurance company will attempt to recover their costs as well as your excess as part of the claim process.

So why should you have to pay an excess if it wasn’t your fault?

Well, both you – and your insurance company – don’t want you to have to claim. It just makes sense – why would you want to endanger the assets you’ve worked towards owning, your finances – your life? Knowing that you will have to pay money towards your claim will (hopefully) make you act more responsibly – it’s a win-win situation!

Another reason is that the administrative cost to the insurance company is the same, whether the incident was your fault or not.

This said, your insurance company will mostly likely use their legal recoveries department to do their level best to recover your excess amount back from the guilty party on your behalf, which can take a long time to do.

If you don’t have the guilty party’s details, your insurance company cannot recover the excess, so take down as much detail as you can at the time of the accident.  Names, ID numbers, addresses, vehicle registration numbers, a description of the vehicle – these can all be very helpful when lodging a claim and you will need some of these on the police report too.

If the guilty party has no asset that can be attached (assuming they don’t have the funds to pay the excess), then the excess can also not be recovered. Your insurance company might also decide that the legal recovery costs are far greater than the excess recoverable amount. The recovery of an excess amount can therefore never be guaranteed.

At MiWay, we assist as much as possible in helping our policyholders manage their risk and endeavor to settle valid claims as quickly as possible. We don’t stop looking after our policyholder following a vehicle claim; wherever possible we will attempt to recover the excess and pay it back to our clients where they are not the guilty party in an accident.