SA's No 1 Insurance Blog

More than ever, driving on South African roads means each of us needs a bodyguard.

You’re driving down the road. The guy in front of you is taking his sweet old time, but no problem, you take the right hand lane to overtake, and accelerate past.

Suddenly you spot something large looming in your rear view mirror.
There’s nothing you can do – you’re driving at the speed limit – and you can’t pull into the left hand lane because you’re overtaking. You glance into the rear-view mirror and see the guy hammering his steering wheel. He looks angry and it’s right about now when you wish you had a bodyguard.

But while one of those would be nice; that’s not the bodyguard I’m talking about.
Next time you’re driving on our roads, look at the cars around you. Pay particular attention to the older model cars.
As you drive past look for things like scratches and dents. Particularly look for scratches and dents which have already started to rust.

I always ask myself: “Don’t these guys have insurance? Or did they stop the insurance thinking they’d never need it?”
But then I get to thinking about excesses.
Nowadays you’re lucky if you have anything less than R3, 000 as your excess. For those of you who don’t know; an excess is the first amount which needs to be paid by you when claiming.

So what does car insurance help when it’s only a small dent with R800 damage?
The logical thing to do is wait until you have enough dings to make it worthwhile putting in an insurance claim.
But here’s the problem with that.
An insurance company isn’t going to pay for non-related claims. Let’s say you have a fender bender, and while you’re at the panelbeater, you ask them to fix two other dents not related to the claim.

Well they just ain’t going to cover all of that under the one excess. Quite likely, you’ll face a new excess for each dent.
That’s where the Bidvest Bodyguard range of polices come in.
What does the Bidvest Bodyguard cover?
First thing you need to know is that they offer two products:

1. Bodyguard, and
2. Bodyguard Executive

What these do is pay for losses when your vehicles interior and exterior bodywork suffers minor damage from things like:

• Dents (Yip, like the idiot who bangs his car door into yours in the parking lot)
• Scratches (Yip, like the guy who walked past your baby and scraped his key along the side of your car. Okay, maybe you shouldn’t have been such a jerk by giving him that rude sign when driving past him.)
• Chips (Those blinking trucks hauling stone and driving in the fast lane), and
• Scuff marks (Okay, that one got me)
So what’s the difference between the Bodyguard and the Bodyguard Executive plan?

Here’s how they stack up…

Bodyguard Bodyguard Executive

Bodyguard Bodyguard Executive
Minor dents R3. 500 per claim R6, 000 per claim
Scratches R3. 500 per claim R6, 000 per claim
Chips R3. 500 per claim R6, 000 per claim
Hail damage R3. 500 per claim R6, 000 per claim
Wheel rim damage R3. 500 per claim (1 claim per year) R6, 000 per claim (1 claim per year)
Windscreen chips Chip repairs only Chip repairs only
Tar removal R3. 500 per claim (Removal only) R6, 000 per claim (Removal only)
Number plate R6, 000 per claim
Car hire R1, 000 per claim
Interiorguard R3. 500 per claim R6, 000 per claim

So it’s obvious – drive a Mercedes, BMW, or Audi – then take out the Bodyguard Executive plan.

Actually, that’s incorrect. If you drive ANY late model car, then you need the Bodyguard Executive plan. Drive an older car and you can get away with the Bodyguard plan.
So what are the catches?
First some good news – you can take this cover out month to month. No long term contracts, no massive upfront costs. Pay as you go!

Another great benefit is that you can accumulate up to 3 claims every 6 months to make the repairs convenient for you. Imagine having to hand your car over once a month for chip repairs?
But you need to inform them as each claim happens and tell them you wish to accumulate the claim.

Onto a few things you need to know:

• Wheel rim damage refers to the scratching of rims, and not the repair of buckled rims. And as mentioned above, you’re entitled to one claim every year.
• Windscreen chips are only paid IF less than 10mm in size. Where the windscreen chip has turned into a crack, it isn’t covered
• Headlamps and other glass components are also covered under the windscreen chips section, which is nice.
• You can’t have one dent repaired for R3, 500, one scratch repaired for R3, 500, and 3 chips repaired for R3, 500 – in other words, a R10, 500 claim. On the Bodyguard plan expect to get R3, 500 for all these repairs.
• They will allow you to pay in R1, 000 IF the cost of repairs exceeds R3, 500 (or R6, 000). But if the damage exceeds R3, 500 – and you don’t want to pay in the R1, 000 – then you need to claim from your car insurance policy.
• If a body panel has been ripped or torn, then they won’t classify it as minor damage. You’ll need to claim it from your car insurance policy.
• Hail damage must be repaired at an accredited dent remover
• The car hire benefit mustn’t be seen as them paying for a hire car. Rather, they’re contributing R1, 000 to the hire of a car, with you paying in the remainder. This benefit is only offered IF the repairs are expected to take longer than 24 hours.

What I really like about the Bodyguard range:
The Interiorguard benefit – especially for those of us with older cars!
For instance, my gear lever has started to fray from my enthusiastic driving manner. I’d love to have that repaired to its former state.

Here are some of the things covered under this benefit:
• Centre console
• Dashboard
• Door handles
• Door panel plastic
• Gear lever boot
• Gear knob (Yip, that’s me!)
• Handbrake boot
• Headrest
• Parcel shelf
• Roof lining
• Rubber carpet inserts
• Seat fabric
• Seat stitching
• Steering wheel, and
• Sun visors

I think I’ve said enough. You get it, right?

Interested in a quote? Leave your details below

Until next time.

The InsuranceFundi Team