Torque Tips | Reasons why claims are not being paid by the RAF

Reasons why claims are not being paid by the RAF

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We all know the financial implications of an accident. All the medical bills and invoices from damages to your vehicle that will need to be paid. Even when abiding by the rules of the road, in one split second you can find yourself in an accident. Luckily and legally you can fall back on the RAF – it was initially created for South African road users who have been involved in road accidents. Over the past few years, millions of South African road-accident victims have not received any financial compensation or pay outs from the RAF. Today we are pointing out a few possible reasons why claims are not being paid by the RAF.

The RAF owes about R17 billion to road accident victims, since as far back as 2019 already. The RAF’s ability to pay out is influenced by certain economic factors. It is known that the RAF gets its funding from everyday drivers who pump money into the RAF Scheme when filling up their tanks with petrol or diesel. When doing this, they unknowingly pay a certain amount on tax, which is allocated to the RAF. According to statistics, in 2019 the fund received a little more than R3 billion from the fuel levy on a monthly basis, but their claims and pay-outs were calculated to be an average of a little more than R4 billion per month. With these numbers, we can start to understand the snowball effect of these shortcomings in a year. This of course is without calculating the funds expenses additionally, such as staff salaries and more, which paints a different picture entirely.

Of course, there are internal contributing factors why claims are not being paid as well, such as alleged bad management and negligence. It’s far more likely that it is red-tape related, however, with the claims process being such a lengthy one. Firstly, the RAF has to receive the evidence of the accident, then investigate it, and finally accurately calculate every claim and pay-out. The amount of claims they receive daily are for extremely large sums of money, too. To manage this, they need a well-structured and laid-out system, not to mention fast-paced, hands-on workers, which itself has been problematic in the past. The truth is they simply can’t effectively investigate and pay out the victims claims, with lack of internal structure being a main contributor.

The final reason why claims are not paid out by the RAF, can be because of the individuals’ actual ‘claim’. We mentioned that the RAF goes through a detailed step-by-step process. Once they have received your evidence and have done some investigating, they may have determined that you are at fault. This can be due to negligence in driving or simply driving an un-roadworthy vehicle. Due to this, they may legally decline your claim and simply not pay out at all.

Prevention is better than cure, and therefore we strongly advise our readers to take the necessary precautions, such as joining a reliable, respected and accredited insurance provider as well as always diligently following the rules of the road. By doing so it won’t be necessary to fall back onto the RAF and rely on immediate financial help from them, but it will certainly help in the near future. Be prepared for what lies ahead tomorrow.