Car Insurance in South Africa for Dummies

Car insurance is an essential part of owning and driving a car in South Africa. It offers financial protection to drivers in the event of accidents, theft, and other unforeseen circumstances. We’re aware that for many, the ins and outs of car insurance can be quite confusing, so we thought we’d sum it up in a simple and useful way for you to digest. 

Let’s hit it! 

Types of Car Insurance

There are generally three types of car insurance in South Africa. We won’t go deep into the other options for now, we’ll just cover the widely known ones that everyone should be familiar with. 


This covers damage to your car as well as damage to other vehicles or property. It also covers theft and hijacking, as well as accidental damage caused by you or another driver. It’s basically the big daddy of them all.

Third-party, fire and theft

This covers damage caused by you to other vehicles or property, as well as fire damage and theft of your car. Some cover is better than no cover, right?


Finally, this type of car insurance covers damage caused by you to other vehicles or property but does not cover any damage to your own car. How’s your driving?

Choosing the Right Level of Cover

When choosing car insurance, it’s important to choose the right level of cover for your needs. Comprehensive cover is generally the most expensive, but it offers the most comprehensive protection. If you have a new or expensive car, comprehensive cover is usually recommended!

Third-party, fire and theft insurance is a good option if your car is worth less than R150,000, and you do not want to pay for comprehensive cover.

Third-party-only insurance is the cheapest option, but it offers limited protection. It’s generally only recommended for cars that are not worth much, or for drivers who cannot afford more comprehensive cover or doubt their own driving skills. Kidding. Not really, though.

Understanding Excesses

An excess is the amount of money that you’ll have to pay in the event of a claim. There are generally two types of excesses: a standard (compulsory) excess and a voluntary excess. 

A standard excess is set by the insurer and is non-negotiable, while a voluntary excess is an additional excess that you can choose to pay to lower your premium.

It’s important to consider your financial situation when choosing your excess. While a higher excess can lower your premium, it could also leave you with a large financial burden in the event of a claim.

Additional Benefits and Optional Extras

Many car insurance policies offer additional benefits and optional extras. These can include things like roadside assistance, medical expenses cover, and car hire in the event of an accident.

Make sure you carefully consider these additional benefits and optional extras, as they can significantly increase the cost of your premium.

That’s a Wrap

We hope this is a neatly packaged and helpful summary of what car insurance is for you. Overall, it’s a necessary expense for anyone who owns or drives a car in South Africa, so best get used to it! 

Remember always to read the policy documents carefully and ask questions if you are unsure about anything.