Accidents happen all the time on South African roads, from minor fender-benders to severe crashes. We all hope that we won’t ever be in the middle of such an incident, but the truth is that accidents do happen, and most of the time, when you least expect it. While the accident itself is a terrible ordeal, having to manage the aftermath can be just as daunting.
Costs accumulate quickly when it comes to vehicle damage. From small scratches and dents to major panel beating work, everything adds up. The worst scenario to find yourself in would be your car being damaged, or even stolen, and you not being able to cope financially.
Luckily, that’s where insurance companies are your saving grace; and that is why having car insurance is so very important. However, finding the right insurance for you and your car can be a difficult process. There are so many insurance companies out there, finding the one that fits you best is not always easy.
Below we’ve shared some of the top choices for car insurance in South Africa.
What to Look for When Choosing Car Insurance
When looking for the right insurance for your car, there are a few factors that you should keep in mind.
- Best Value versus Best Price – finding cover that is affordable and comprehensive
- Waiting Periods – How long before you are covered
- Communication lines – Is the company easy to get hold of when you need them
- Terms and Conditions – Make sure you understand the fine print
Three Most Common Types of Car Insurance
1. Comprehensive Car Insurance.
This type of insurance will cover your car against almost anything that can happen. Theft, damage from attempted theft or a break-in, accidental damage caused by you, damage caused by natural disasters, damage caused by a third party and damage that you cause to a third party. Due to the extended cover, this type of insurance is the most expensive of the three.
2. Third Party, Fire, And Theft Car Insurance.
This type of insurance means you are covered against theft, damage due to attempted theft or break-ins, fire and accidental damage caused by a third party. You won’t, however, be covered against any damage that you cause to a third party, nor will you be covered against damage caused by natural disasters. This insurance type is more affordable than the comprehensive insurance, although you have less cover.
3. Third Party Only Car Insurance.
Third party only insurance is the cheapest option out of all three types. This insurance covers the cost of damage you cause to someone else’s car and nothing else. This helps prevent you from paying exorbitant amounts of money for a third party car if you get into an accident.
Top 5 Car Insurance Companies
AA offers all three main types of car insurance, as well as a list of value-added products that you can add on to your insurance package. Their premiums are affordable, and they cater specifically for seniors over the age of 60 with a package designed just for them.
AA car insurance benefits include:
- Up to 50% off on excess payments
- If you use an AA Quality Assured repairer then no excess is payable
- Unlimited call-outs per 12 months
- Round-trip towing + overnight accommodation and car hire*
- Comprehensive assist services
- Roadside rescue & security
- Emergency medical rescue
Extra products include:
- Fine Payment Assist
- Pothole Damage Assist
- Stand By You – a guard to keep you safe while you wait for help on the side of the road
- Accident Claim Assist
- Licence Renewal Assist
Momentum has all three types of insurance, as well as optional extras that can be added to extend your cover. They offer no hidden costs and guaranteed premiums for 12 months – whether you claim or not. For those who travel outside the country with their vehicles, they offer Momentum Explorer as well.
Momentum car insurance benefits:
- Premiums based on your individual needs. Choose the level of cover for your vehicle:
- Fully comprehensive car insurance cover
- Limited cover for third party, fire, and theft cover
- Liability to other third parties only vehicle cover
- No need to nominate drivers – they work on a regular driver basis
- Cars are insured at retail value – with the option of insuring at market value
- Free 24-hour roadside assistance
- A simpler, faster way to submit claims via their mobile app
- Earn a cashback bonus of up to 30% yearly on your car and home insurance premiums when you activate SafeDayz™ and complete the Safety Score.
Discovery have a wider variety of insurance types to choose from. They also offer a range of value-added products. They offer all three types of insurance, with their comprehensive insurance being divided into different plans.
Discovery’s comprehensive plans are called:
Discovery car insurance benefits:
- Immediate help in an emergency – You get immediate emergency assistance if they detect a severe impact to your car, even if they can’t get hold of you
- The ability to find your vehicles – Find your vehicles easily in real time on your smartphone
- A panic button on your smartphone – Get immediate emergency assistance with their smartphone app
- Avoid bad weather – Get warnings of imminent bad weather
- Hassle-free parking – EasyPark gives you automatic, hassle-free entry and exit at selected shopping centres, as well as early theft detection
Optional motor insurance features:
- Get rewarded for good driving – You can choose to join Vitalitydrive, a unique driver behaviour programme that rewards you for driving well
- Lower your car’s write-off percentage – Choose to write off your car at a lower level of damage
- Pay lower premiums if you drive multiple vehicles – Reduce your premiums on the Executive Plan if you own several cars, but only one is driven at a time
- Boost your car’s retail value – Opt to get your car’s retail value plus 15% back if it is written off
- Get credit shortfall cover – If your car is written off after an insured event and there’s a difference between the value of the vehicle and the amount you owe the financing company, they’ll settle the difference
- Upgrade your car hire – You can upgrade your car hire to up to 60 days, as well as upgrade your car hire group
MiWay offers car insurance that is customizable according to their customer. In addition to the common three types of insurance, MiWay has Total Loss which provides cover to clients for the total loss of their vehicles only due to write-offs, theft or a hijacking, as well as limited third-party liability. Accidental damage that does not result in a total loss is not covered.
With MiWay you can insure your vehicle for one of the following values:
- Retail value (the recommended insured value – the current selling price on the dealer’s floor as per the TransUnion Dealers’ Guide)
- Market value (the average between the vehicle’s retail and trade values)
- Trade value (the average price that a motor dealer will pay you for the vehicle as per the TransUnion Dealers’ Guide)
- Specially agreed value (which applies to unlisted, vintage and collectors’ vehicles, caravans and trailers where a valuation is given by an appropriate approved source)
MiWay’s comprehensive car insurance offers you:
- Affordable premiums
- An easy-to-understand excess structure
- Great customer service – and the ability to manage your policy yourself online
- A hassle-free claims process – claim online or via our App
- Free roadside emergency assistance
- Six free WeDrive (MiWay’s take-me-home service) trips
OUTsurance separates their plan into two types – Comprehensive and Essential. They pride themselves on being the most affordable insurance company, offering a cash incentive for potential customers who are able to find a quote cheaper than theirs.
OUTsurance comprehensive car insurance offers you:
- 10% cash OUTbonus – If you have been claim free for a period of three years, you’ll receive 10% of your paid car insurance premiums back in cash.
- Free emergency roadside assistance – As an OUTsurance client, you automatically have access to Help@OUT – their 24-hour roadside emergency assistance service.
- 12-month guaranteed premiums – Guarantee your car insurance premium for 12 months at a time, even if you submit claims during this period.
- Low flat excess – your excess remains fixed, regardless of the value or size of your claim.
- Hand-picked panel beaters – Have your vehicle repaired by an approved service provider who will guarantee these repairs for a total of 12 months.
OUTsurance essential car insurance offers you:
- Liability cover for up to R1 million – If an accident is your fault and you are legally liable for damage to a third party’s vehicle, they’ll pay for damages up to a maximum of R1 million – with no excess payable.
- Theft cover – If your vehicle is stolen, they’ll pay out the full retail value minus your excess amount.
- You can specify maximum accidental cover up to 40% of the retail value of the vehicle – If your vehicle is damaged in an accident or because of fire, an explosion, an earthquake, snow, hail, flood or storm, OUTsurance will pay out the value of the damage up to the maximum amount selected.
- You’re completely in charge of the repair process – Your claim will always be paid out in cash. You can shop around for the best price and arrange for repairs at a service provider of your choice.
Other Fantastic Car Insurance Companies
There are many companies for you to choose from when looking for car insurance. You are bound to do a lot of shopping around before you find the insurance plan that fits you perfectly. Remember to keep in mind what it is that you need from the insurance company, and how much you are able to afford in premiums.
While looking for insurance can sometimes be quite stressful, once you are covered you can drive with the peaceful knowledge that should something unfortunate happen, you will not be left financially stranded.