Comprehensive car insurance is quite simply full insurance cover for your vehicle with all the extras. It is essentially the best insurance policy you can but for you car and as with any better product, it costs more. These days where many of us are trying to cut costs, it is important to understand just what you are paying for. The reality is that sometimes comprehensive car insurance is not optional – like when you car is still under finance. However, to others who now have an aging freehold vehicle, comprehensive car insurance may not always be necessary. Nevertheless, first look at the benefits before just deciding solely on the cost of comprehensive car insurance.

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Accident Repair

Comprehensive car insurance covers your car for accident damage as well as the other party should you have been at fault. South Africans are often confused about this point – who pays when both parties have car insurance. The reality is that the party at fault will have to reimburse the other party’s insurance company at some point. Comprehensive car insurance has you covered in this respect. Your insurance company will pay for your accident damage repair and then reimburse the other party’s insurance company. You are still liable for the car insurance excess but this is negligible when considering the entire cost of repairing both vehicles.

Windshield and Glass

It is surprising just how costly automotive glass can be. Whether you have to replace your windshield, the door glass or just a small side panel, the fact is that it can costs you a pretty penny. Windshields can go up to the thousands and apart from accidents, thieves tend to bust the glass to steal items within the vehicle. With comprehensive car insurance, you can pay a small excess and get covered for the glass alone.

Theft and Hijacking

South Africa is unfortunately known for its high crime rate – not just among its citizens but globally as well. Car hijacking and vehicle theft is a problem throughout the country even in the most exclusive areas with a high police and private security presence. Should you be a victim of a carjacking or car theft, comprehensive car insurance will pay you for the loss of your vehicle. The amount that you will be reimbursed depends on whether you insured the vehicle for the replacement or book value. Once again you will have to pay an excess, usually a percentage of the car value but this will be deducted from the final payout to you.

Fire and Loss

Whether you lose your vehicle from a fire, collapsing building, natural disaster or some other act of God that could not have been foreseen, comprehensive car insurance has you covered. This cover is not just simply a matter of accident cover. While it is an accident, the fact is that the vehicle cannot be repaired in most instances or is too costly to repair and it only makes sense toe write off the car and reimburse you the owner. As unlikely as it may seem, these eventualities are possible even if you are a person who take precautions at every corner.


The fact of the matter is that comprehensive car insurance is the better option. Now if you are solely focussed on finding cheap car insurance without bothering about the benefits the comprehensive cover does not usually suit a tight budget. However, it is worth looking at the extras that are available with comprehensive car insurance that are usually not available on other types of cover. These extras even extend as far as reimbursing you should you sustain medical injuries while in your vehicle.

Car Hire

Imagine being without a car for 1 week or even 1 month. If your car is damaged in an accident or you have lost it in whatever way, you may be looking at a period of time before it is repaired or you find another vehicle that you wish to purchase. In South Africa, public transport is just not always a feasible option and you cannot be bothering friends and families to take you around. Hiring a car in South Africa is not cheap and you will be paying about R300 per day for hiring even a budget model. For just a few rands extra, you can opt for the car hire cover on your comprehensive insurance that will pay for rental vehicles.

Personal Liability

When you are driving, you are responsible for controlling your car and for the damage that it may cause. Knock a pedestrian, severely injure a passenger or destroy some private or public property like a wall and you are liable for the reimbursement and costs. Sometimes it can be staggering and should the complainant make it a civil case and take you to court, it is possible that you will be paying those bills for life. Do not depend on the Road Accident Fund which is almost bankrupt. Personal liability cover in your comprehensive car insurance policy will help you in this regard up to a certain limit.