H.Insured : What you thought you knew about motor comprehensive insurance


It is difficult to believe when an Insurance salesman tells you ‘we will pay everything’ right? especially for those who have experienced a loss and gone through a claims process. So, is it true when an Insurance Salesman tells you ‘we will pay everything’?

My answer is yes and no, depending on the situation.

For clients of Insurance companies, the benefit of the product or service they purchased cannot be enjoyed until after a payment has been made. Due to certain policy terms and provisions as well as principles stated in the document which is handed to you when you sign up for an Insurance policy, you will be able to know whether you will receive a full payment or otherwise even before you put in a claim. This article is meant to educate you on whether you are entitled to a full payment or otherwise when you make a claim on your motor comprehensive Insurance.


Firstly, you need to know that a standard general Insurance policy does not cover everything, this is due to a provision called excess.

An amount of money you pay towards a claim on your motor comprehensive Insurance, whether you are to blame or not for any loss or damage to your vehicle is known as an Excess.

The Insurance company will take the excess payment out of the amount being paid to you or to the garage where your vehicle is being repaired.

It is usually 10% for private vehicles and 15% for commercial vehicles of the loss which is to be borne by the Insured.

Due to excesses, it automatically defies the logic that an Insurer will pay everything, however, there is a possibility for an Insurer to pay everything.

For excesses, when a vehicle is new, there is an option to buyback excess. What it means is that you can pay for that 10% or 15% provision to obtain a 100% cover at inception.

In this case, when you have a total loss, which is a case where the repair bill amounts to 70 to 100% of the Total Sum Insured, the Insurer will likely or not take a decision to pay the Total Sum Insured after all documents have been submitted.

Someone will ask, what if it is a partial loss, am I likely to get the full payment on the claim submitted?

My answer there will be yes and no after you have bought back excess.

Insurance is a contract between the Insurer and the Insured and it is guided by certain principles such as the principle of Indemnity, Contribution, subrogation etc.; these may affect your Insurance claim depending on the description of the nature of loss you stated on your claim form.

Principle of Indemnity

This principle states that the Insurer is supposed to put you the Insured or client back in the same position you were before the loss and not to benefit from the loss or be worse off financially.

As such, many other factors may cause a reduction in the cost of your claim submitted such as contribution.


This is a provision stating that two or more Insurers each liable for a covered loss should each contribute to pay for the loss. There are other scenarios where an Insurer may demand the Insured contributes on a loss.

In a case where one of your headlights or side mirrors of your vehicle is destroyed accidentally, the Insurer will deduct the cost of the other pair since it is sold in pairs.

Also, after body works have been carried out on parts of your vehicle, that part will have to be sprayed, however, when you spray just a part of your vehicle, that part will look new, and the rest of the vehicle remains the same. Due to this, an Insurer will ask you to contribute for the cost of full spraying unless you decide to opt out.

Depending on the year of manufacture and use of your vehicle, depreciation may apply to parts affected by wear and tear in the adjustment of your claim but will not affect parts such as the wind screen and head or taillights.


This is a term which describes the legal right due an Insurer to pursue a loss caused by a third party to the contract after payment has been made to the Insured. This is done to recover any amount the Insurer has already made to the insured in full or partially.

To learn more about this, always ensure to read your policy documents. At Hollard Insurance we educate our clients and ask whether they would like to buyback excess when they are taking an Insurance policy.

>>>The writer is a Business Development Officer at Hollard Insurance and can be reached on 0242221931.

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