Uninsured Third Party Recovery Claims

General Information

Around 70% of all vehicles on South African roads are uninsured. Whatever the reason might be, these vehicles are also involved in accidents and the driver might not be the negligent party but need to pay for their own damage. “Not fair, this wasn’t my fault,” they complain, and their sentiments are understandable.

There also might be insured drivers who do not want to claim against their own insurer because they need to pay an excess and will lose their no claim bonus.

Your claim might have been repudiated by your insurer, due to non-compliance to the policy conditions. This does not mean that you do not have a claim against the guilty party.

You can also try to claim directly from the negligent party’s Insurance company if this person is insured. The Insurer can, however, make it very difficult to do so. They have a contract with their insured and has no legal duty towards you.

To date, the only other option would be to instruct an attorney to deal with the matter on your behalf. This can be a costly exercise and still no guarantee of a positive result.

At Excel Recovery Services we have an alternative solution for Third Party recovery claims.

We work on risk, which means that we will deal with this matter on your behalf and only earn a commission if we’ve been successful in recovering money for you.

Once a claim has been submitted and we’ve advised you that we will attempt a recovery, you will be given access to our online portal via our website, to follow the progress of your claim.

Be prepared that this can be a very long and tedious exercise.

Small Claims Court

Claims up to R20 000 can be dealt with in the Small Claims Court, where you do not need an attorney to act on your behalf. Refer to this link for more info



Some terms you might come across during this process:

  • Counterclaim: If you were more liable in how the accident occurred, the other party might claim against you.  For this reason, it’s of vital importance, to be honest with us about how the accident happened.  This can also happen if the other party’s damage by far exceeds yours and we need to apply apportionment of damages.
  • Apportionment of damage: We negotiate settlement according to Delictual Motor Law.  This refers to the Law of Collisions in South Africa.  Apportionment of damages is part of this law. This will determine what percentage of liability each party will carry during the accident. Eg: The accident occurred in an intersection.  Both parties are liable to enter an intersection only when it’s safe to do so. Depending on how the accident happened, apportionment of damage will be applied. If we apply 70/30 in your favour, the other party will be liable for 70% of your damage and you will be liable for 30% of their damage. For this reason, we might not always be able to recover 100% of your damage.
  • Salvage: The vehicle wreck which can be sold to a salvage dealer.
  • Write-off/total loss: The vehicle has been damaged beyond repair.
  • Trade, retail and market value: These are the values of a vehicle used in settling claims.
  • Trade: What a dealer will buy a vehicle for from you.
  • Retail: Amount they will sell it for.
  • Market: The difference between these two values. Eg. Trade + Retail /2 = Market value.
  • Betterment: If something needs to be replaced on a vehicle which is worth more than what was on the vehicle at the time of the accident, betterment can be applied. Eg. One of your tyres needs to be replaced. You have already driven about 30 000 km with this tyre, but you need to get a new tyre. A % betterment will be applied because you are now in a better position than before the accident.
  • Sudden emergency: To hold anybody liable for damage, we need to prove two aspects:
    1. Was the other driver negligent?
    2. Is he liable for your damage?

If the other driver can prove that he experienced a “sudden emergency” we cannot prove any of the above. Eg. A tyre burst and he lost control of the vehicle. If the tyre was in good condition, it was a sudden emergency which could not have been foreseen and we cannot prove negligence and therefore a liability.


  • R575 admin fee non-refundable (inclusive of VAT) will be payable on submission of the claim to us. Kindly include the proof of payment of this amount with the claim form. Reference on payment: Your surname and initials
  • ERS works on risk and will only charge a fee of 25% (excl VAT) of the amount recovered from the other party