Practice what you preach!
The perils of cost-cutting on your car insurance.
By Daisy Oldenburg
I have been working at JW Seagon for a year now and I have to say entering the insurance world has been a complete revelation for me. It turns out it is not as boring as it appears and the people working in this industry do genuinely care about the welfare of their clients. I have been enthusiastically sharing this information at every dinner party and social event I have been to, but I had failed to actually re-evaluate my own insurance policies.
I was rudely awoken to this fact when my car was involved in an accident a couple of months ago and a great deal of damage was done to it, in fact over 600,000 Kes worth! I must assure you at this stage that nobody was hurt and for that I am very grateful. However, I did have to come to terms with the fact that I only had 3rd party insurance and I was going to have to cough up the 600,000 Kes plus in order to get my car back on the road.
Let’s wing it!
The reason we only had 3rd party was because we had our fingers burnt once before when another car was involved in an accident some years ago, and whilst we had fully comprehensive insurance our insurance provider at the time refused to pay out claiming we were underinsured. So, we decided it would be better to pay third party only, save a considerable amount of money every year and if we were to have an accident just take the hit. We figured financially over the years it would probably even out. It was a classic example of the Kenyan attitude of “let’s wing it!” I mean who wants to pay an insurance company to insure something if there is any doubt whatsoever that they may not pay out when a claim is made – not me and not anyone else.
So, my theory, whilst it has worked brilliantly for the past 6 years in which we haven´t crashed our car, has now been thwarted! I had to sheepishly admit to the rest of my JW Seagon team that I only had 3rd party cover and watch them smile sympathetically whilst thinking how irresponsible I was to take such a risk. When I explained why I hadn’t taken out fully comp they simply replied, but you´re insured with JW Seagon now so of course it would be paid out.
I also hadn’t quite understood how much money it could cost to fix a car. Not only has it been a struggle to find the money, but I have spent hours lying awake at night thinking of all the things I could have spent some of that hard earned money on; school fees, a new office, a new car, flights to Europe for the family, a new sofa set, the list goes on! Alas there will be none of this, certainly not for the first few months of this year whilst we rebuild my car and get it back on the road.
When it is back on the road, I will be asking the General Team at JW Seagon to arrange fully comprehensive insurance, and I will take that financial hit safe in the knowledge that if there was ever to be another disaster, I will be able to handover the bill to the insurance company.
My advice: It´s not worth the risk. Take out a decent insurance and you will be grateful when it does go horribly wrong!