WHAT IS COMPREHENSIVE CAR INSURANCE ACCORDING TO THE SOUTH AFRICAN INSURANCE ASSOCIATION (SAIA)?
Motorists often hear the term ‘comprehensive car insurance’, but what does it really mean? Let us find out what the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) has to say about this type of car insurance.
WHAT IS COMPREHENSIVE CAR INSURANCE?
Comprehensive car insurance is often seen as the top car cover product. However, even though it says ‘comprehensive,’ it may not be as comprehensive as one would like to think. There are different levels of cover and excess charges that should be considered. Different insurers hold different views on what comprehensive cover is all about.
WHAT DOES IT COVER?
According to the South African Insurance Association (SAIA), comprehensive insurance covers the most out of all the other car insurance products. Your car is insured for loss due to fire, theft, hijacking, hail or flood damage, accidents and any other specified situations. In addition, any damage made to a third party’s car is also covered.
WHAT DOES IT NOT COVER?
SAIA says that normal wear and tear, depreciation, and mechanical or electrical breakdown are not covered by comprehensive car insurance policies. Some insurers may have some exclusions such as not paying out for hail damage. SAIA stresses the importance of policyholders to read their policies carefully so that they can fully understand what they are covered for. It is also the responsibility of the insurer to ensure that the policyholder adequately grasps what is written in the policy.
WHY SHOULD YOU TAKE OUT COMPREHENSIVE COVER?
Let us unpack the information provided by SAIA. First of all, from a consumer point of view, taking out comprehensive insurance gives you complete peace of mind. This is especially necessary for South Africa, where roads are becoming increasingly dangerous by the day. About 70% of all motorists in South Africa have no car insurance at all.
WHEN DON’T YOU NEED TO BUY IT?
Comprehensive cover is not the be-and-end of all insurance policies. The best insurance policy for a person to have should be based on his or her budget and needs. Different scenarios require different insurance products. For instance, when your car is quite old, it may only require third party car insurance, with lower premiums. Unfortunately, this insurance does not cover any damage sustained by your car.
WHAT’S THE COST OF IT?
You can imagine, with the wide scope covered, that this insurance product is the most expensive. Such costs may be out of the reach of the ordinary motorist.
WHEN IS COMPREHENSIVE COVER COMPULSORY?
Financial institutions such as banks, through which cars are financed, will insist on you taking out comprehensive cover. Imagine writing off your new car as you drive it out of the dealer’s showroom? It may be highly unlikely, but the bank would be placed at great financial risk.
Comprehensive car insurance is not this ‘magic wand’ that covers you regardless of any situation. Make sure with your insurer exactly what it does cover, and, more importantly, what it doesn’t.
WHY NOT BUY AFFORDABLE COMPREHENSIVE CAR INSURANCE WITH PMD (Prime Meridian Direct)?
Now that you have read all about comprehensive car insurance as defined by the SAIA, why not purchase such affordable comprehensive car insurance with PMD (Prime Meridian Direct) using their Online Insurance Purchase Platform? PMD also has other affordable car insurance products, that provide an alternative to comprehensive car insurance, and that suit the budgets and needs of most motorists.
It’s not difficult to complete the quick process online, and you can do it from home or office at any time that is convenient for you. There is no need to call anyone, but if you have to, a call-back facility is there for you, as well as some additional audio and video materials.
HOW COULD A RISK PROFILE IMPACT COMPREHENSIVE CAR INSURANCE PREMIUMS AND EXCESS?
It’s important for every insured motorist to know what is meant by the term ‘risk profile,’ and how it can affect a comprehensive car insurance premium and excess. Let’s read on and find out.
Car insurance is a complicated subject and this is why readers should treat this article only as information. However, if you are planning to purchase a car insurance product, it will be safest if you contact a certified, financial advisor for professional guidance.
WHY SHOULD I BUY COMPREHENSIVE CAR INSURANCE IN THE FIRST PLACE?
Even though other countries may not require you to insure your car when it is being financed through a financial institution such as a bank, this is not the case in South Africa. If you are intending to buy a car and pay it off with monthly instalments, you will be required to take out full comprehensive car insurance.
WHAT DOES RISK MEAN TO AN INSURANCE COMPANY?
The risk any insurance company faces is a financial one. The rates an insurer charges a customer is calculated on how ‘risky’ a customer’s driving is likely to be. Will the motorist be making huge accident-related claims all the time?
WHAT RISK IS INVOLVED WHEN TAKING OUT COMPREHENSIVE CAR INSURANCE?
The insurer considers two aspects of risk – you and your car. Regarding you, the insurer wants to know what you are like as a driver. This is where your risk profile comes into play.
WHAT IS A RISK PROFILE?
A risk profile describes the various threats an insurer faces when insuring you as a driver. The insurer has to translate these risks into financial risk. In other words, if your driving history is fraught with many accidents, you have a bad risk profile as a high-risk driver. The insurer will have to increase premiums and excesses accordingly.
BE HONEST WHEN PROVIDING YOUR DRIVING HISTORY
When some motorists are signing up for car insurance, they are tempted to be dishonest about their driving history or risk profile. By presenting a ‘cleaner’ driving history, they think they may be able to save on premiums. Being dishonest will sooner or later catch up with them. It may end with disastrous consequences, such as when their claim is rejected.
HOW CAN RISK PROFILES AFFECT YOUR PREMIUMS AND EXCESS PAYMENTS?
Several aspects making up your risk profile can influence premium and excess payments.
AGE OF THE REGULAR DRIVER
Age of the regular driver has an important impact. The younger the driver, the less driving experience he or she will have, the greater the risk involved, and the higher the premium, and/or excess will be.
Driving history is most important to the insurer. Most insurance companies will go back several years regarding your driving behaviour. If you’ve averaged many accidents during that time, the insurer may need to load your premiums and excesses to compensate for that high risk. If you have been driving like that for several years, what will make you suddenly drive any differently?
THE AREA YOU LIVE IN
Some insurance companies will increase premiums if your car is parked in an unsafe area at night, and in a garage lacking proper security.
PROTECT YOUR RISK PROFILE
By adopting a responsible and defensive driving style, you are less likely to be involved in any accident. This means fewer payouts need be made by the insurer. A low-risk profile will mean less chance of hefty increases in premium and excess payments.
WHY NOT PURCHASE AFFORDABLE CAR INSURANCE WITH PMD?
The good news is that not all insurers use in depth risk profiling methods and excess payments to determine and manage risk. PMD is one of them, so, if you are starting out with car insurance for the first time, or wanting to make a change, why not make PMD your insurer? PMD offers affordable car insurance which you can purchase using their Online Insurance Purchase Platform. It’s quite easy and not a lengthy process. You can do it any time of the day or night, as it suits you. You don’t have to call anyone, but a call-back facility is available should you need it. Some audio and video materials are provided for extra assistance.
WHAT IS THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF EXCESS PAYMENTS FOR COMPREHENSIVE CAR INSURANCE FROM SOME INSURERS?
Those of us who have comprehensive car insurance, should know all about making unpopular excess payments, which can seriously hurt our pockets. Even worse is when we have to make such payments when the accident was not our fault. Let’s read further why insurers require excess payments.
Car insurance is a complicated matter, and for this reason, please treat this article as information only. On the other hand, if you wish to purchase car insurance, please consult a certified, financial advisor, who will provide you with professional advice.
WHAT ARE EXCESS PAYMENTS?
An excess is the first part of the claim that you have to pay for. It represents the uninsured part of your cover, and so with most policies, you have no choice but to pay it. Payment is usually made to the panel beater before you can collect your repaired car. In other words, if you agreed to pay an excess of R4 000, and the insurance claim is R40 000, then the insurer will only pay out R36 000. Payouts are only made after you have first settled the excess with a particular garage. Remember, if damage is less than R4 000, you will need to pay the full amount.
WHAT’S THE REASON FOR THE INSURER REQUIRING EXCESS PAYMENTS?
Irrespective of who is to blame in a particular car accident, paying an excess stops motorists from claiming for small incidents, minimises fraudulent claims, and keeps the premiums low. Without excesses, possibly hundreds of small claims could force an insurer to raise premiums, thus rendering the insurance product too expensive.
HOW CAN A HIGHER EXCESS LOWER MY CAR INSURANCE PREMIUMS?
Your excess represents the uninsured portion of a policy. The greater the excess payment, the greater will be the uninsured portion of a car insurance, and the less cover the insurer has to provide. Because the cover is less, the premiums will be less. The converse is also true. If you want to pay only little excess, you premiums will go up substantially.
YOU DECIDE ON THE AMOUNT OF EXCESS
In most cases, you will not have a choice whether you want to pay an excess or not, the amount however, can be influenced by you. Before you decide on an excess amount of e.g. R5 000, ask yourself if you can afford such an amount in case of an accident? If not, you need to reduce your excess, and rather pay higher premiums.
WHAT IS VOLUNTARY EXCESS?
If you wish to lower your premiums even more, you can opt to pay an additional amount over and above the compulsory excess. This is called a voluntary excess.
WHY SHOULD I PAY EXCESS WHEN I DID NOT CAUSE THE ACCIDENT?
Excesses are payable irrespective of who is to blame for any particular accident. The administration involved in an insurance claim does not change depending who is to blame or not.
YOU CAN CLAIM YOUR EXCESS BACK
Should you not have caused the accident, you can claim your excess back from the guilty party. The only problem is that this may take years, particularly if such a party is not insured.
The innocent party’s insurer has the legal right to recover everything from the guilty driver. A motorist is not allowed to try and recover this excess from the third party in his or her private capacity without the consent of the insurer. In doing so, the innocent party may compromise the whole claim.
PMD OFFERS YOU AFFORDABLE CAR INSURANCE WITH NO EXCESS
You have read all about how excess payments work with comprehensive car insurance. The good news is that no excess is payable when you purchase comprehensive car insurance using PMD’s Online Insurance Purchase Platform. The whole process is straightforward and quick, and you can access the Platform any time, whenever it suits you. There is a call-back facility available for you in case you encounter problems, and audio and video materials for extra support.