How car insurance is the best in South Africa? Unlike many other countries, car insurance is not mandatory in South Africa.
However, South Africa has a high number of car accidents and vehicle thefts each year, so it makes sense to get good car insurance to protect yourself from unnecessary costs.
Many South African insurance companies offer car insurance policies that cover the vehicle instead of the driver. You will need to name your listed or designated driver on your policy.
You can also add other drivers to your policy, but this may increase your premium costs.
You can also get extended coverage that lets you drive other people’s cars.
Since car insurance isn’t mandatory in South Africa, many drivers don’t have it. According to research, about 70% of all cars in South Africa aren’t insured.
The car insurance industry in South Africa is regulated by the Prudential Authority (an arm of South Africa’s Reserve Bank). Many insurance companies belong to the SAIA (South African Insurance Association).
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How Can I Use Car Insurance From Another Country in South Africa?
If you have basic car insurance policies in other countries, you will not be able to transfer them to South Africa.
You can transfer your policy if you have an international insurance policy or if you have a full comprehensive insurance policy that includes foreign coverage. You should check with your insurer if you are covered before moving.
Whether or not you qualify for overseas car insurance, you will have to register your car with the SA authorities when you bring it into South Africa.
Types of car insurance in South Africa
There are three main types of car insurance available to South African drivers.
1. Limited car insurance
Limited coverage is slightly more expensive than full coverage and includes coverage for theft, fire, and hijacking, as well as third-party claims. However, limited coverage does not cover damage to your vehicle in the event of an accident.
2. Comprehensive car insurance
This is the most comprehensive and expensive type of cover available. If you have finances for your car, your bank will insist on this type of cover.
This type of cover covers pretty much everything, including damage, theft, and costs to your car and others if you are at fault in an accident.
Policies vary from insurer to insurer, so you’ll need to check if things like breakdown assistance or cover abroad are covered or not.
3. Third-party car insurance
Third-party insurance is the cheapest of the bunch and only covers damage to other people’s property. Unless you have a very old car, this is usually not a good option.
Third-party insurance does not cover you if your car is driven outside South Africa. If you want more coverage but don’t want to buy a complete policy, some third-party insurers allow you to take out additional coverage for things like roadside assistance.
Costs and excess
In addition to the type of South African car insurance you choose, your premiums will also be determined by a number of factors, including:
- What is the current value of your vehicle
- There are four different value options available in South Africa.
- What is your driving profile?
- Age, health, and driving history.
- Where are you located?
- How much do you drive?
- Some insurers offer discounts or pay-as-you-go options for drivers who don’t travel a lot.
- What are you using your car for
- How many drivers are listed on the policy
The cost will also be affected by your excess or deductible. Your excess is the amount you pay towards any claim.
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All insurance companies have a compulsory excess. You can increase your excess to reduce your monthly premium.
Some insurance companies also provide discounts if you agree to have a tracking system installed on your car.
Car insurance bonuses and penalties in South Africa
Most South African car insurance policies come with a discount for long-term customers called the no-claims bonus.
This means you’re entitled to a small percentage reduction on your yearly premium if you don’t make any insurance claims for a certain period of time.
Most insurance companies in South Africa have their own schemes and incentives for offering no-claims bonuses. Generally, you’ll be eligible for a no-claims bonus after a three-year period.
The discounts increase with each year you go without a claim, so it’s important to check your policy’s no-claims offer before you sign up.
Some insurance companies don’t offer a no-claims bonus as part of their standard package. Others charge an extra premium fee that you can opt into.
Car insurance companies in South Africa
You can choose from a variety of South African car insurance providers. Top car insurance providers in South Africa according to Compare ‘n Review include:
- 1st For Women
- King Price
Another option is to buy insurance from an international car insurance company that will cover you if you drive out of South Africa. The premiums will be higher, but it’s a good choice if you travel a lot and need to go abroad.
How to make a car insurance claim in South Africa
If you’ve been in an accident and need to file a claim, it’s best to do it right away. Some insurance companies have a claim window that you need to fill out, so make sure you have all the details you need, like your policy number and driver’s license.
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Depending on the insurer, they might want you to do it over the phone, send you a form to fill out, and then send it back with any supporting documents.
They might also want you to submit it online, depending on what kind of claim you’re making. If you’ve been involved in an accident, you’ll need to give them all the details you know, including who was at the scene and who was at the wheel.
Depending on how serious the accident was, you might also need to call the police and send them the police report. It’s also important to take pictures and get any witness statements to back up your claim.
If you’re filing a claim because someone stole your car, you’ll need to give us the location of the car and any security systems you have in place to keep it safe.
Your insurer usually works with the dealership to settle the excess, so you have to pay the money back before you can get a new or repaired car.
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If you’d like to get the car fixed at a certain garage, you can send the details of the garage and the repair quote to your insurer.