Driving a car is something which most of us do every day. Even though it has become part of daily life, this activity still carries a large amount of risk. You can get into an accident and damage your car and other people's property. You can get injured and injure others as well. In such situations, car insurance can be extremely helpful. It is designed to help you overcome the financial consequences of road accidents.
South Africa Car Insurance – Basics
This type of insurance is also known as auto or vehicle insurance. It can cover all types of moving vehicles from family sedans to sports cars and from bakkies and minibuses to trucks and campervans. There are three ways in which you can be protected with this type of insurance. You can get third party liability cover. In this way, the policy will pay compensation to members of the public (third parties) that have incurred property damage or bodily injury during an accident caused by you. Your car can get covered for the damage incurred in a road accident. In this way, you the policy will pay the cost of repairs. You can also cover your card against theft, fire and other perils.
If you are found responsible for causing property damage and/or bodily injury to people when driving your car, you will have to pay compensation to them. When you do not have car insurance, you will have to pay the money out of your pocket and this may literally ruin you financially. When you have a policy, the insurer will pay the major chunk of the compensation amount. By paying monthly premiums for car insurance, you will lower your risk of great financial losses in the future.
Car Insurance Benefits
There is no legal requirement for vehicle owners to have car insurance in South Africa. If you've taken out a loan to buy your car, the lender may require you to buy a policy. Even if you are not required to get covered, you will benefit greatly from doing it. The benefits exceed the cost by far. Besides, there are many providers of car insurance in South Africa competing with each other. This gives you the opportunity to get the most affordable deal for you.
Find out what the main benefits of owning auto insurance are:
1. Liability protection
All legal costs and damage and personal injury claims filed against you will be covered by the policy if you are found to be at fault.
2. Uninsured motorist cover
Your insurance policy will pay compensation to you in case the driver responsible for the accident is uninsured and unable to compensate you.
3. Theft cover
The policy will pay for the repair or replacement of your vehicle in case of a theft, theft attempt or hijacking.
4. Accident repair cover
The insurer will pay for repairs to your vehicles needed due to damage incurred in a collision with other vehicles, objects or people.
Buying Car Insurance
The best strategy to use is comparison shopping. You need to obtain car insurance quotes online and to compare them. Applying for quotes and obtaining them is free. You should get quotes from as many insurers as possible. Another really important thing is to provide only accurate information in the quote request form.
There are two main factors to focus on when comparing car insurance quotes. These are the benefits and cost. You have to consider the comprehensiveness of the cover or the number of threats which it will protect you against. The exclusions are the perils which you will not get protection for. The fewer they are the better.
The insurance amount is the maximum amount of money which the insurer will pay out when you make a claim. It has to correspond to your needs. You should never buy less coverage than you need as this can cause financial difficulties for you later on. The cost of the policy must be affordable to you given your income and expenses. The policy which offers the best value for money is the one which enables you to buy the maximum insurance amount per rand.
Car Insurance Cost
The cost of car insurance is called premium. It is paid annually but it can also be divided into monthly instalments. The premium on each policy is determined individually based on the individual risk of the car owner. The factors which determine your level of risk and consequently the policy premium include the type of vehicle which you have, the place where you love, your driving record, your age and gender and whether you will use the vehicle for personal or business use.
Types of Car Insurance Policies
The auto insurance policies in South Africa fall into three major categories. The three different types of covers vary in terms of comprehensiveness and cost. You will be able to pick the most suitable one for you in line with your needs. The main options which you have include:
1. Third party car liability insurance
This is the most basic and the least expensive of the three options. If you are found responsible for causing a road accident and you have to pay compensation to other people involved for damage to their property or for injuries which they have incurred, the insurer will cover these costs. However, the company will not pay for the repair of your car or other personal property of yours.
2. Third party liability, theft and fire car insurance
This is an upgraded version of the basic cover. Your liability as a vehicle owner is covered. Additionally, the insurer will pay for the repair or replacement of your vehicle in case of theft, theft attempt, hijacking or fire, explosion or lightening damage.
3. Comprehensive car insurance
It covers you for all of the above-mentioned. In addition, the policy will pay for the repairs to your car needed because of an accident irrespective of who is at fault. A comprehensive policy can also include additional benefits such as roadside assistance, towing and storage and even medical assistance. It is up to you to decide whether these extras are worth the extra cost.
There are other extras which can be added to your policy. These are optional so you have perfect freedom to decide on their usefulness given their cost. The list includes car hire coverage and non-standard accessory coverage. For instance, you can cover a custom sound system integrated in the car.
Finally, before you buy car insurance, you must read the terms and conditions of the policy very carefully and ensure that you understand them perfectly. If you have any questions, you should not hesitate to ask an expert such as a broker.