Next to your house, your car is probably your biggest and most expensive asset – and having reliable short term insurance will give you the financial protection and peace of mind you need. The question is: what type of car insurance is right for you?

There are three basic types of car Insurance available in South Africa: comprehensive cover, third party fire and theft insurance and third party cover only.

Comprehensive cover offers the most extensive cover. It gives you cover for theft and hijacking, and loss or damage caused by accidents, fire and natural disasters like hail and floods. Comprehensive car insurance also covers you against claims by third parties where you are responsible for damage to their vehicle.

Because of the extent of the cover, comprehensive is the most expensive type of car insurance. However, if you choose not to take up comprehensive cover, there are two other options available: Third party, fire and theft insurance, and third party only.

Third party, fire and theft insurance differs from comprehensive cover only in that it does not provide cover for accidental damage to your vehicle. If your car is lost or damaged due to theft, hijacking or fire, you will be covered – as will the cost of any damage you cause to the vehicle of a third party. However, if you are involved in a vehicle accident you would have to cover the repair or replacement costs of your own vehicle yourself.

Third party only cover is the cheapest of the three options. It provides cover for any damage you may cause to someone else’s vehicle (the third party), and will cover the costs associated with the accidental death or injury of third parties involved in the same accident. This option does not cover you against loss or damage to your own vehicle caused by accidents, fire or theft.