Comprehensive insurance can be quite confusing to understand. What does it cover and when does it cover, or not cover, you?
Let’s look at the basic benefits of comprehensive insurance cover for your car.
This article should not be considered as financial advice. Please seek financial advice from a certified Financial Adviser before you decide to buy car insurance or make sure that you obtain all the information you need before deciding to commit. This article provides general information about comprehensive car insurance from a variety of sources for informational purposes only. However, please visit this page for information about getting comprehensive car insurance with PMD.
What is comprehensive car insurance?
Comprehensive car insurance (fully comprehensive cover) allows you to claim for accidents or incidents that you have caused, or when you are at fault. 1
Comprehensive cover also applies if any damage is caused to your car and it was out of your control to stop or prevent it. E.g: Someone does a hit and run in a shopping mall parking lot and damages your car while you are in the shops.1
Having comprehensive car insurance is the best form of car insurance, giving you peace of mind that you may not have to pay for expensive car repairs for your own car, or for a third-party claim, out of your own pocket. Just remember you will probably have to pay an excess.1
When do you pay an excess?
You will pay an excess when you submit a claim against your car insurance policy. The reason why insurance companies charge excess’ is to make sure that your premiums remain affordable. If you were not to pay an excess, your insurance premiums may be higher every month.2
Benefits for having comprehensive car insurance
Comprehensive car insurance in South Africa covers your car against any damages that are caused by an accident or damages that are out of your control. Here is a guideline on what might be covered by your insurer.3
- Accidents: like a bumper bashing, head-on collisions, scratches or dents.
- Car theft or Hijackings
- Vandalism or riot: intentional damage from someone else.
- Fire: your car accidentally catches on fire for no reason.
- Natural disasters: storms, fire, hail and floods.
- Falling objects: a tree falls on your car or a wall collapses on your car.
- Liability claims: when someone claims against your insurance. E.g: A Third Party Claim.
When does comprehensive car insurance not cover you?
If you have caused an accident and you are in contravention of any law your insurance might not pay out the claim and any costs will come out of your own pocket. Therefore, if your car is not roadworthy or you drive without a valid driver’s licence, your insurer will not pay out when involved in an accident.
In some instances, comprehensive car insurance might not include the below benefits, depending on the insurance company. Make sure to shop around and to read the policy wording properly before you sign the contract. 3
- Additional drivers: if you do not state to your insurer that there is more than one driver using the car, they will not pay out against the claim.
- Roadside assistance: a towing or break down service is not always included in the policy. Therefore, if your car breaks or is involved in an accident you might be left stranded.
- Medical or legal assistance: this benefit is not included in comprehensive cover.
- Courtesy car/ Car hire: If your car is in for repairs or if you are waiting to replace your car if it has been written-off or stolen, a rental car is not always included in your policy.
- Personal property/ Content insurance: if your personal belongings have been left in your car, your policy might not pay out for the replacement of those items.
- Keys: keys might not be covered if they were to be stolen, lost or there is a key malfunction.
- Gap/ Credit cover: this is an addition to insurance (a top up) and might not be included in your cover.
- Original parts: Original parts may not be covered when your insurance pays out. Aftermarket parts may be used. If you want original parts to be used, you may have to pay extra.
- Windscreen or window cover: Damage to windscreens and windows are usually covered, but if you have a high excess it could remove glass coverage.
Depending on your insurance needs, comprehensive cover could be the way to go. Just remember to shop around and read the fine print on what you are covered for and for better understanding.