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The wrong motor body repairer can put a dent in your pocket

An accident can leave your car (and pocket) wrecked or with only minor damage. Either way, you will more than likely need the services of a reputable motor body repairer to get your car back in shape.

Richard Green, national director of the South African Motor Body Repairers Association (SAMBRA), a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), says to avoid any unhappy surprises later on, it is important to ask the right questions upfront. 

Who is going to repair the damage will be the last thing on your mind if you’re involved in an accident. Priorities on the scene are things like checking for injuries, getting the other driver’s details, finding out if anyone witnessed the accident and speaking to your insurance company.

In truth, the scene of an accident is often chaotic. Before you know it your car is towed away – to who knows where really – without you having a clue what the actual damage is.” Tow truck companies will often refer a motorist to certain workshops for repairs. Green says this is not always due to the high quality of service provided but because tow truck companies receive commission for jobs referred. ”SA motorists involved in accidents should not be forced into making ill-considered decisions. The motorist has the right to choose who should assist in the recovery of the vehicle.

There can be many hidden costs in car repairs, even if you are insured, but you can soften the blow significantly by ensuring you get quality workmanship. 

One way of doing this is to only use an accredited motor body repairer.

A good motor body repairer will fix any external and internal damage to the body and structure of a car, like repairing a bumper, a door, a bonnet, a fender, aligning the structure or respraying. If there is any mechanical work to be done, most reputable repairers have a specialist mechanic on site that can tend to any accident related mechanical repairs. 

Any motor body repairer worth their salt will expect customers to ask questions and be able to put their minds at ease with comprehensive answers. 

Six important questions to ask your motor body repairer

1.  Which automotive associations does your business belong to, and is your business an accredited member of that association?

2.  Does the company have a good reputation and do you use authentic, high-quality parts and materials?  Do your research and check the social channels for satisfied or disgruntled customer comments.

3.  Will you supply me with a detailed description of repairs and what methods will be used to repair my car?

4.  How experienced is the team who will be working on my car?

5.  Do you offer a guarantee on workmanship, paint and parts?

6.  How long will it take to repair my car and will you keep me posted when delays occur? 

Ultimately, the owner wants their car repaired professionally and without it losing any value – as, unfortunately, any accident repair is deemed to cause depreciation. This is why issues of good workmanship, new and factory approved repair parts and fair pricing, as well as quick turnaround on repairs is what consumers should request and expect. By using an accredited repairer with SAMBRA, you know they can be held accountable for the quality of workmanship and that you have recourse from RMI or the Ombudsman if things go wrong

To find out if your chosen panel beater is SAMBRA approved please visit our website


Written by Richard Green, South African motor body repairers Association (SAMBRA) 

Are you insured against summer?

As the effects of climate change become more evident, heavier storms are experienced.

Summer is approaching, and so traditionally does South Africa’s annual rainfall frequency.

As the effects of climate change become more evident, heavier storms are experienced.

 Regardless of the season, the onus is on the homeowner or policyholder to review their policy at least every six months.

A homeowner must ensure that the updated policy conditions are read and understood and that the renewal terms, including the sum insured and premium, are relative to the current replacement value of the property insured.

Home maintenance obligations are indicated in brochures and in the policy renewal, and with the onset of summer, now is a good time to review the condition of your home.


• Clean your gutters. During winter, gutters, drains and valleys can become clogged by leaves, which prevent water from flowing freely. Overflow can result in water entering the roof, causing internal damages to ceilings and other internal structures.

• As temperatures fall and rise, metal roofs expand and contract, loosening screws and washers. These need replacement at least twice a year. Joins and laps between roof sheets also need to be resealed for protection against rust.
• Tiled or slate roofs are prone to loose or missing tiles. Ridge tiles should be secured and any cracked or missing tiles need to be repaired or replaced.
• Flat roofs need sealants checked on a regular basis.
• Thatched roofs need to be replaced every 10 to 20 years, depending on the weather and general roof wear and tear. It is important to install a lightning conductor and cover the thatch with fire protection liquid. Thatch also needs combing every two years.

• Pool maintenance includes the replacement of sand filters as often as is required, but generally at least once annually or bi-annually depending on pool size and climate.
• Pool lining should be checked frequently for cracks or bubbling as this is a sign that the fibre lining is starting to delaminate.
• Filter the pool for at least eight hours a day in summer.

Pipes and water outlets
• Check for bubbling paint internally and externally, as this is a clear sign of dampness caused by a leaking pipe or a rise in the underlying water table. This can also be caused by water ponding against a wall.
• Structural cracking may also be attributed to leaking pipes. Identifying these can prevent substantial damage to your property.
• Inspect your waste pipes and taps at least once a year to ensure they are properly sealed and watertight.
• Check exposed pipes for signs of rust or wear and tear, and address those issues immediately.
• Signs of mould or damage caused by mould require the use of professional services to identify the cause, and to rectify the problem.

Annual maintenance
• The installation of a timer on your pool pump and geyser, or insulation of your geyser will save a significant amount of electricity. Set the geyser thermostat at 60°C, and not higher.
• Unplug unused appliances and chargers, as these still consume electricity, says the Energy Saving Trust.
• Have a professional clean and sweep your chimney to remove blockages.
• Check windows and doors for deterioration.
• Regularly inspect windows and walls. Repair cracks or leaks as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration.
• Watch water consumption. If you see a sudden spike in your water bill usage, contract a plumber or the municipality to investigate. It may be as a result of an underground burst pipe or leak.

Although insurers are unable to check maintenance on all properties insured, it is emphasised in the renewal correspondence that the home owner is responsible to ensure ongoing maintenance.
Policy holders are urged to read their Policy documents carefully.

For any assistance with your Building insurance please phone 031-5021922 or visit our website


Article featured in Bedfordview and Edenvale news
Written by Natasha Osman ABSA