Car insurance in South Africa: A heavy burden for all

Insurance – that thing we all hate paying but we know it is necessary. For most South Africans car insurance forms the largest proportion of insurance costs we pay on a monthly basis.

For most of us it is a must because we know the high cost of repairs and of course the danger of third party claims. In fact in the United Kingdom it is illegal to drive without car insurance.

Not so in South Africa however, where it is estimated that up to 35% of vehicles on the road are not insured. This drives insurance costs up for paying consumers and makes it difficult for insurers to keep premiums low. In addition, South Africa has very high road accident statistics with a recent report by the Road Traffic Management Corporation estimating over 830,000 car crashes in 2015.

Consequently insurance costs are high and South Africans pay among the highest proportion of their annual salary in car insurance premiums in the world. It is thus perhaps no wonder that over a third cannot afford car insurance or choose not to insure due to the high cost. found that a high number of people are interested in getting low cost insurnace products – often opting for third party, fire and theft, just to be covered.

This places a significant burden on those who do pay car insurance and all who have bought their cars on hire purchase are of course compelled to pay insurance by the lending institutions. Is it time for South Africa to review its car insurance legislation? Should some form of compulsory insurance not be introduced to spread the burden more equally?

Meanwhile consumers best option when it comes to car insurance cost is to regularly compare insurance quotes. In the past this was a laborious process of phoning different insurers and spending hours on the phone, sometimes waiting in call centre lines or for insurers to get back to you. This has now been made much easier by tech savvy multi-media companies who offer to take the pain out of this task by simply entering your details online and getting a number of quotes back within a short time. For example, makes this as easy as one, two, three.

Given the high cost of car insurance regular checks to compare car insurance costs across providers is perhaps the best weapon the consumer has to keep insurance expenses as low as possible.

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