Insuring your car has become essential as the cost of vehicles and vehicle repairs have steadily increased over the years. Buying your car is probably the biggest purchase you will ever make apart from property. As such, it is imperative that your vehicle is covered against unforeseen disasters.
In South Africa, there are three different kinds of cover:
This is the most expensive cover and if you are getting financing on your vehicle, the bank will insist on comprehensive cover. This policy, as is implied by its name, provides comprehensive cover against fire, theft, collision, damage and hijacking. Comprehensive cover will also cover you from third-party claims.
Limited cover is somewhat cheaper than comprehensive and covers you for theft, fire and hijacking. It also covers you against third-party claims, but you are not covered for your vehicles damage in the event of a collision.
Cheapest of the lot, third-party will only cover damage done to other peoples property. This is often not a very wise insurance choice except for really old vehicles that are only used on very few occasions.
Insurers have recently introduced pay as you go insurance options for drivers who do not travel excessively. You can get comprehensive insurance on this plan at a much lower rate, determined by the average amount of kilometers you drive per month.
Submitting a claim:
If you are involved in an accident or other kind of incident and need to submit a claim, do it as soon as possible. Some insurers have a window that you must claim within and the same goes for reporting the incident to the police. Payouts on the claims will vary depending on the claim you are submitting for. Usually, the insurance companies will deal directly with the dealership, in the event of theft, or the panel beaters, in the event of a collision. The excess will need to be settled by you in order for the new or repaired vehicle to be released.
Comparing quotes online or telephonically might save you quite a lot of money and is definitely recommended. There are many websites available that offer this service for a nominal fee from the insurer that gets your business. Utilize these services wherever possible and keep in mind that if you do not have internet access, you can also use a telephonic equivalent.