Ever driven on one of South Africa’s secondary roads in a typical Highveld storm, amid gale force winds, with the rain pelting down marring visibility, only to hit a flooded pothole you may have ordinarily attempted to dodge? I have, with extensive damage caused to both the affected rim and tyre, and unexpected expenses I had not budgeted for.
But what if there was a way to soften the blow (literally and figuratively), of an unexpected expense due to accidental damage?
Arguably, the average quality of road surfaces around the country has dropped significantly over the past two decades. From 1998 to 2008, the portion of the national road network older than its original year design life grew from 36% to 78%. This, according to www.khplant.co.za.
There are several reasons for this, chief among them, inadequate road maintenance, without which roads eventually lose thickness and become prone to surface damage, stated the article. And while the number of cars on South Africa’s roads increases, the massive cost of road maintenance backlogs continues to spiral.
Also, according to www.khplant.co.za, one economist estimates that South Africa would need to spend around R138 billion per year to fund road maintenance, while another suggests the spend should be closer to R200 billion. “60% of roads in South Africa are in poor condition,” explained Matthew Reardon, Bidvest Insurance, who have introduced an insurance policy to cover
accidental tyre and rim damage, “and the rainy season causes an increase in potholes, (in Johannesburg alone, an average of 1 000 potholes are reported to authorities every week), with the average cost of tyre replacement in excess of R2 000.00.”
He claimed that their Tyre Angel policy was launched with this in mind, to offer the motorist some peace of mind that should they suffer accidental damage to their rim and/or tyre, the unexpected expense is automatically covered. Under this particular cover, where the tyre can be repaired, insurance will cover the cost. Should the damage be irreparable, insurance cover from Tyre Angel will pay for the replacement tyre plus for wheel balancing and alignment.
And in the event of damage to the rim, insurance cover will pay up to R750.00 towards the repair or replacement. Moreover, after six months, insurance will pay for a Tyre Maintenance Inspection to assess the tyres on the vehicle. After 12 months, Tyre Angel will pay for the balancing and alignment of all four wheels, regardless of whether a claim has been
submitted. The policy offers four levels of cover to choose from, covering all tyres and rims fitted to the vehicle, including the spare:
COVER OPTION (Price per Month)
Up to R1 000.00 (per tyre) R 79
Up to R2 000.00 (per tyre) R 99
Up to R3 000.00 (per tyre) R179
Up to R4 000.00 (per tyre) R239
“All brands of tyres are covered, including Runflats and All Terrain tyres,” added Reardon, “and customers can register a claim with our administrator, while tyre stores then register the claim with the customer. “We pay the tyre retailers directly, thereby ensuring the customer is assisted the same day.”
Tyre Angel is marketed and sold exclusively via the Bidvest Insurance contact centre. *NB: Some products on the market (such as the Firestone brand, for example), offer their own road hazard guarantee, which covers the motorist in the event of accidental damage. When purchasing tyres, be sure to enquire whether your product choice carries a guarantee. If not, you might want to consider taking out an insurance policy POTHOLE! such as this.