Types of Car Insurance in South Africa | Prices and Differences

Types of Car Insurance in South Africa | Prices and Differences

Understanding car insurance coverage is essential in acquiring an auto insurance plan. Of course, as a car owner, you will maintain your vehicle conditions while keeping a good driving record and observing road safety. By the end of the day, our roads are not hundred percent safe, and accidents and other unseen risks.

It's always good to understand the type of insurance and what it covers before buying car insurance. This piece will dive into different types of auto covers available in the South African market. We will also differentiate these car insurance policies and important information to help you get started with your vehicle cover. Shall we?

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What type of car insurance is there?

Like any other insurance, South African insurance service providers offer a variety of car insurance policies to protect their clients from unexpected risks. Insurers go the extra mile to ensure clients have optional add-ons to enhance protection under different policies.

While buying car insurance, you need to know the difference between the common types of covers offered by insurance players. There are six common types of car insurance coverage in South Africa cutting across:

  1. Personal injury protection
  2. Collision coverage
  3. Car liability coverage
  4. Comprehensive coverage
  5. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage

Three types of car insurance

There are three main types of insurance in South Africa. In this section, we will look at these car protections and try to explain how each work and letter in other sections explain their differences. Here is the list of three types of insurance available in SA:

  1. Comprehensive Cover
  2. Third-Party, Fire and Theft
  3. Third-Party only

Comprehensive Car Insurance

Comprehensive car insurance protects against damage, vandalism, fire, theft, etc. This cover helps you repair or replace your car up to its cash value when an accident occurs. It's an optional cover and is usually characterized by deductibles that enable a car owner to pay damages out of their pocket before the insurer reimburses the claims.

Third-Party Fire and Theft

Moving on, third-party fire and theft offer every cover that a third-party insurance offer, but there is more to it. With this policy, you will be unable to get compensated in case your automobile gets damaged by fire or if it gets stolen.

Third-Party Only

You must at least have a third party only if you what to avoid extra costs when involved in an accident. This policy allows you to sort damages on a third-party car during accidents. However, this will not cover damages to your injuries or car damage.

What are the differences between the different types of car insurance?

The main distinction between comprehensive and third-party car insurance is the protection or risk of each. A third-party cover will cover damages and injuries to another person or driver when your car is involved in a road accident. On the other hand, comprehensive car insurance covers damage to your vehicle and can also cover injury costs while covering third-party liabilities. In a nutshell, comprehensive covers more than what third-party car insurance can.

Furthermore, the two types of insurance policies differ in price. Except to pay more for comprehensive car insurance as it covers more. Third-party policy costs are relatively cheaper as the cover is essential and covers few claims.

There are also noticeable disparities between the two types of insurance regarding customization. When holding third-party car insurance, you are not allowed to customize your vehicle protection policy. A comprehensive policy can be modified, and you can choose various add-ons to make your car insurance protect you from more risks. When holding a complete policy, you can select extra protection like engine and gearbox cover, zero-depreciation cover, breakdown assistance, and much more.

What type of car insurance should I get?

Well, choosing an insurance depends on different factors. For example, you can use third-party insurance if you are on a tight budget and have a safe and secure parking place. The same option can also work if you already have medical coverage, as it will cover your injuries when the unfortunate happens. Choosing a third party if you only drive within a specific area is also not a bad option.

On the other hand, it makes sense to secure comprehensive car insurance if you are driving on more risky roads and can afford the premiums. You may also consider the same insurance if you often drive through a shabby neighborhood. Comprehensive cover is best if you operate an Uber business or often drive with family, as it will cover you and your loved ones when the unthinkable happens.

Which type of car insurance is best?

Factoring in all the above mentioned, comprehensive car insurance happens to be the best. With this policy, you can use your machine knowing that you and others are covered. The add-ons also make this type of insurance the best option as it offers further protection.

It may be expensive, but premium rates depend on several factors. For instance, driving in a posh neighborhood can reduce the amount you pay as the risks are relatively low compared to driving in a humble area.

Cheapest type of car insurance

When it comes to price, third-party car insurance is the cheapest option. This is because it cover covers less when compared to a comprehensive policy. This does not mean that the latter is unaffordable. Depending on your car model, you can still hold cheap complete protection, another factor that may influence the policy cost.

Two types of car rental insurance

Investing in proper insurance coverage when you rent a car is prudent. Doing so gives you leverage over unforeseen occurrences. There are several types of rental car insurance, but this section focus on the two prominent coverage that everyone renting a car should consider buying. Here are the two kinds of rental car policies available to South Africans:

Supplemental Liability Protection

Supplemental liability protection covers the car owner and the person renting the vehicle. This insurance protects both parties against third-party liabilities. It covers damages on the property and medical expenses for injuries caused by a third person when a rented car is involved in a road accident.

Collision Damage Waiver

A collision damage waiver covers damages incurred when you rent a vehicle. Renting a car means that you are fully responsible for any vehicle damage while using it. Though an accident occurs at a third party's fault, they bare the cost. When you are involved in a road accident with a rented car and hold this policy, the insurer will relieve you of paying for damages as you will only pay for the minimum expense specified in the insurance quote.


In conclusion, the types of car insurance are varied and can benefit you in various ways. They are all different and bring different benefits. That is why we recommend that you first know your monetary possibilities, analyze how much you are willing to pay, and then know each of the types of insurance for your vehicle before making a choice.

Author: Cristian Rennella

Update: 31/08/2023

Preguntas Frecuentes

Could I access vehicle insurance against third parties?

Yes, this can be done without any inconveniences at Outsurance

Can I cover my vehicle against scratches?

Yes, with dent and scratches cover.

How to know if a premium is convenient?

In order to find out, you have to analyze multiple factors such as your paying capacity.

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