Buying Car Insurance For The First Time? Use This Checklist!

Even for veteran road users, facing down the selection of South African car insurance companies and their myriad grand promises can be a daunting process. The market is littered with insurers all telling you that they’re the best insurance company out there and muddying the waters with too-good-to-be-true deals and inaccessible industry lingo.

For the car-buying newbie, the first-time purchase of car insurance can seem to be an utterly insurmountable mountain to climb.

Having a good, trustworthy and transparent broker whose advice you can rely on can save you a lot of trouble, but even if you’re lucky enough to know one, we strongly advocate informing yourself and going into this decision as armed with information as you can possibly be.

It’s in that spirit that we give you our quick-and-easy car insurance checklist. When you can tick each of these boxes, you know you’re ready to make a decision.

Insurance company

Of course, the first item on your list needs to be the insurance company (or companies) you are considering. This site is a great resource for tips and techniques you can use when selecting an insurance provider, so take advantage and read a few of our posts discussing the topic.

Suffice it to say, you want to have done your research before selecting the insurance company you want to use. You’ll have to make sure that they’ve got a good track record of handling claims; that their customers are, on balance at least, satisfied with the service they provide; and that they’re an established company, not a fly-by-night operation.


Before you get ready to sign anything, you should make sure that you have an idea of what sort of deductible you can realistically expect to be capable of paying, should the need to make a claim arise.

You deductible is the (usually fixed) amount that you will pay if your car is damaged, stolen or involved in an accident, before the insurer will start to pay out.

The advantage of a high deductible is that it means your monthly premiums will be cheaper – of course, this is only a benefit if it’s an amount that you can actually foresee being able to pay. If not, well, even the lowest premiums in the world are a waste of money if they’re not going to ensure that you’re covered when you need to make a claim.

Cover types

Make sure you know the types of cover available to you, and that you’ve narrowed them down to the types that make sense in your circumstances.

In broad, there are three types of car insurance:

  • Comprehensive cover;
  • Third-party cover; and
  • Third-party; fire & theft (also known as limited liability cover)

Each covers different needs, and in the case of comprehensive car insurance, different cover options are usually included under the umbrella. Knowing these details and having a good idea of what cover types you’re looking for, is a good start to making sure that you get the motor insurance policy that you need.

Personal Details

This might be an obvious one, but it bears mentioning that you should have your pertinent personal details in hand when you’re ready to fill out the forms and get yourself insured. Your residential address, contact details and ID number will all be required when you apply, and ensuring that these are correct will save you headaches if and when you have to make a claim.

Vehicle Details

Much like your personal details, this one might seem like a no-brainer – until you’re standing with a form in one hand, a pen in the other, and a head empty of all the relevant information.

Make sure you know your vehicle’s registration number and engine size, as these will be required when applying for car insurance.

That’s it!

It’s a simple enough list, but one that could save you a lot of time if you stick to it, Let us know if we’ve left anything out.