Types of Car Insurance in South Africa – Comprehensive Guide

Choosing the right car insurance is essential for protecting your vehicle and ensuring peace of mind on the road. In South Africa, there are various types of car insurance policies available to meet diverse needs and budgets.

This comprehensive guide explains the main types of car insurance and highlights examples of insurers offering these services. Whether you need comprehensive coverage, third-party insurance, or something in between, this article will help you understand your options and make an informed decision.

1. Comprehensive Car Insurance

Comprehensive car insurance provides the highest level of protection for your vehicle. It covers damages to your car, theft, and third-party liability, as well as additional benefits like roadside assistance and car hire.

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  • Covers accidental damage, theft, and fire.
  • Includes third-party liability.
  • Optional add-ons such as car hire and roadside assistance.
  • Often includes windscreen cover and towing services.

Examples of Insurers:

  1. Outsurance: Offers extensive coverage options with flexible excess amounts and additional benefits like a cash out bonus for not claiming.
  2. Discovery Insure: Provides comprehensive cover with innovative features such as the Vitality Drive programme, which rewards safe driving.
  3. Santam: Known for its reliable service and comprehensive cover options, including enhanced benefits for high-value vehicles.

How to Apply:

  • Online: Get instant quotes and purchase policies through the insurers' websites.
  • Call Centres: Speak directly with consultants for personalised advice.
  • Insurance Brokers: Work with brokers to find the best comprehensive policy.

2. Third-Party, Fire and Theft Car Insurance

Third-party, fire and theft insurance covers you if your car is stolen, damaged by fire, or if you cause damage to another person's vehicle. It does not cover accidental damage to your own car.


  • Covers theft and fire damage to your car.
  • Includes third-party liability.
  • Does not cover accidental damage to your own vehicle.

Examples of Insurers:

  1. Budget Insurance: Offers affordable third-party, fire and theft policies with optional add-ons like roadside assistance.
  2. MiWay: Provides flexible policies with competitive rates, tailored to meet your needs.
  3. Auto & General Insurance: Known for its efficient claims process and reliable third-party, fire and theft cover.

How to Apply:

  • Online: Use the insurers' websites for quick quotes and easy applications.
  • Branches: Visit local branches for in-person consultations.
  • Insurance Aggregators: Compare multiple quotes online through insurance comparison websites.

3. Third-Party Only Car Insurance

Third-party only insurance is the most basic form of car insurance. It covers you for any damage you cause to other people's vehicles or property but does not cover any damage to your own car.


  • Covers liability for damage to third parties.
  • Does not cover damage to your own vehicle.
  • Typically the most affordable type of car insurance.

Examples of Insurers:

  1. King Price Insurance: Offers affordable third-party only policies with the benefit of decreasing premiums over time.
  2. First for Women Insurance: Provides basic third-party cover with additional benefits tailored for female drivers.
  3. AA Insurance: Known for its reliable third-party cover and excellent customer service.

How to Apply:

  • Online: Get quotes and purchase policies directly through the insurers' websites.
  • Phone: Speak to a consultant to tailor your third-party cover.
  • Mobile Apps: Manage your policy and claims through the insurers' mobile apps.

4. Pay-As-You-Drive Car Insurance

Pay-as-you-drive insurance is a flexible option where your premium is based on the number of kilometres you drive. This is ideal for drivers who do not use their cars frequently.


  • Premiums based on actual kilometres driven.
  • Ideal for infrequent drivers.
  • Can include comprehensive, third-party, or third-party, fire and theft cover.

Examples of Insurers:

  1. Discovery Insure: Offers a pay-as-you-drive option through its Vitality Drive programme, rewarding low-mileage drivers.
  2. Hollard Insurance: Provides flexible pay-as-you-drive policies with comprehensive cover options.
  3. Sanlam Indie: Known for its innovative insurance products, including pay-as-you-drive options tailored for modern drivers.

How to Apply:

  • Online: Sign up and manage your mileage reporting through the insurers' websites.
  • Smartphone Apps: Use apps to track your driving and manage your policy.
  • Insurance Brokers: Get advice on the best pay-as-you-drive policies available.

5. Commercial Vehicle Insurance

Commercial vehicle insurance covers vehicles used for business purposes. It provides protection against damages, theft, and liability, tailored to the needs of businesses.


  • Covers business-related vehicle use.
  • Includes protection against theft, fire, and damage.
  • Can be customised to include multiple vehicles.

Examples of Insurers:

  1. Santam: Offers comprehensive commercial vehicle insurance with tailored cover options for businesses.
  2. Old Mutual Insure: Provides reliable commercial vehicle insurance with a focus on large fleets.
  3. Hollard Insurance: Known for its extensive commercial vehicle cover options and strong claims support.

How to Apply:

  • Online: Obtain quotes and manage policies through the insurers' business portals.
  • Business Insurance Brokers: Work with specialised brokers to tailor the best commercial vehicle insurance for your needs.
  • Direct Sales Teams: Many insurers have dedicated sales teams to assist businesses directly.

Conclusion: Choosing the Right Car Insurance Type in South Africa

Understanding the different types of car insurance available in South Africa is crucial for making an informed decision. Whether you need comprehensive cover, third-party, fire and theft, or a more specialised policy like pay-as-you-drive or commercial vehicle insurance, there are plenty of options to suit your needs. Use this guide to explore the various insurance types and find the best policy from reputable insurers to ensure your vehicle is well protected.

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