General Insurance 101

General Insurance 101

General insurance typically includes automobile and homeowners policies and provides payments depending on the loss from a particular financial event.

It is typically defined as any insurance that is not determined to be life insurance. This type of insurance can broadly be defined as non-life insurance policies. It virtually covers all forms of insurance except life insurance.

How does general insurance work?

This type of insurance cover helps to protect individuals and things they value from the financial impact of risks, big and small- from fire, flood, storm and earthquake, to theft, car accidents, to costs of legal action taken against them.

The insurance tenure is normally not that of a lifetime. Most general insurance products are annual contracts.

When you decide to take out an insurance policy, you pay a monthly or annual premium. General insurance is no different.

Should things go wrong, the insurer may either repair or replace the items that have been lost or damaged- depending on the terms of the policy concerned.

Common types of general insurance:


In South Africa, the types of car insurance you can get include:

  • Comprehensive Cover- this is the most extensive type of cover
  • Third Party, Fire and Theft- this cover is less expensive and pays for any third party damage. Your own car is not covered in the event of an accident however.
  • Third Party Only – this is the most basic cover


Health insurance is an alternative to traditional medical aid and has seen a significant uptake in recent years in the South African market.


Having travel insurance helps you prepare for the unexpected while on your travels.


In South Africa, home insurance is also generally known as buildings insurance. This type of insurance covers the actual structure of the house. House insurance is generally known as Home contents cover.

Marine (cargo)






Personal Accident

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