What’s involved in a typical car insurance policy in South Africa

What’s involved in a typical car insurance policy in South Africa

South Africa has a number of rules and regulations that have an impact on the ways in which a typical car insurance policy is set out. However, while there will be some evident similarities between different insurance policies, personal auto insurance policies often differ, sometimes quite substantially, between different types of providers. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to know exactly what your auto insurance policy covers, and what it doesn’t.

Third Party Insurance
Third party insurance will cover you against costs incurred to the third party as a result of a collision or accident. While the Road Accident Fund will help cover medical costs, having a third party auto insurance policy of your own will help protect you against additional costs such as vehicular damage or damage to another person’s property.

Stripped-down Policy
A stripped-down policy is a step above third party insurance. This type of auto policy will cover you for some claims, but won’t necessarily cover claims for things such as theft or vandalism. These types of policies can be an inexpensive way of insuring a cheap or older car, and are also a good option for younger drivers.

Comprehensive Insurance
Comprehensive insurance is just that: a car insurance policy that will help protect you against almost all eventualities, such as theft or damage to your car, medical expenses, and costs incurred by lawsuits or other similar actions. However, you should note that most types of comprehensive insurance will have a list of exclusions that you should familiarise yourself with.

Acts of God
Very few insurance policies will cover acts of God, which involve events such as natural disasters, or acts of war. Some, however, will help cover against natural disasters such as flooding. If you live in a risk prone area, see whether your insurance will protect against Acts of God or natural disasters.

Other Drivers
While a comprehensive insurance policy will cover damages caused by a driver who is nominated on your policy, it won’t necessarily cover drivers who aren’t. For this reason you should make sure that anyone who will be driving your car on a regular basis is nominated on your insurance. If they’re not covered by your insurance, don’t let them drive!

Driving Under the Influence and other Illegal Behaviour
Many comprehensive insurance policies won’t extend to damages or fines incurred due to driving when drunk, or taking part in other illegal behaviour.

Your insurance excess
A premium excess is the up-front fee you’ll have to pay when you make a claim to cover the cost of repairs or medical expenses. This excess will vary depending on your attributes as a driver, such as whether you’re a new driver, or whether you’ve made a claim before, and also depending on whether you’ve applied for a reduced excess amount. By opting to pay more for your regular car insurance payments, you’ll find that your excess will be lower if you do need to make a claim.