The Road Accident Fund – Be Thankful It Exists
The Road Accident Fund came into being because South Africa has the most dangerous network of roads in the world.
There’s nothing wrong with the highways, but rather the people using them.
Most of the time they are drunk, their cars are unlicensed and so are they. Every year thousands of people die on the roads. Some, having such terrible injuries, will never drive again.
The Road Accident Fund – What a Mercy
Transport is a critical aspect in any country, as it contributes towards the growth of the economy, therefore the Road Accident Fund (RAF) provides for social insurance cover which is compulsory to every road user.
This cover is in the form of security or indemnity insurance. It is for people who cause the accident but also for any injuries and death to the victims.
The RAF was established by an Act of Parliament in1997 to provide cover for people using the roads in South Africa. The client base of the RAF is not only South Africans but also foreigners who use the roads.
The RAF provides Two types of Cover –
- Personal insurance cover
- Indemnity cover to those who cause the accidents
Before 1997, the system surrounding compulsory motor car accident insurance fell under the Motor Vehicle Accident Act of 1986.
Where does the RAF get its Money?
Contributions to the Road Accident Fund are through a levy on fuel which drivers ‘pay’ every time they put in petrol.
Who can Claim from the RAF?
- Anybody who sustained a bodily injury in an accident
- A claimant below the age of 18 must get a parent or legal guardian to assist them
- A dependent of a deceased breadwinner
- The next of kin of the deceased
A person involved in an accident can’t allow the claim to drag on indefinitely and all claims need to be submitted to the RAF within three years from the time of the accident.
Finalisation of claim is to be within five years from the date of the crash. Hit and run claims must be lodged within two years.
What can You Claim?
The injured person may claim the costs of their hospital stay and if emergency medical care is involved, the Fund’s liability to compensate must be in agreement with a prescribed tariff.
How long will the Road Accident Fund take to process Claims?
The RAF gets inundated with claims and therefore needs a fair amount of time to assess its liability in respect of all the claims lodged.
All this information then has to be entered into the computer system before allowing an Electronic Funds Transfer into the claimant’s account.
The claimant will then be advised by email or letter how the amount of money paid into the bank account was made up.
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