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In many countries around the world, third-party car insurance is a legal requirement, but this is not so in South Africa.

Every day on our roads people find themselves in accidents that weren’t their fault only to discover that the person responsible has no car insurance. In these cases, their only recourse is to foot the bill for repairs themselves.

To most of the people reading this blog, car insurance is essential. The moment you bought a car you probably obtained an insurance quote and made sure you were covered as soon as possible. Aside from the fact that many lending institutions won’t provide vehicle finance without proof of comprehensive insurance, an accident can happen at any time, in any place.

In South Africa, estimates place the percentage of uninsured cars on South African roads at up to 60 per cent. This means that if you’re in an accident that isn’t your fault, chances are you’ll have to pay anyway.

But why do people in South Africa choose to take the risk and go uninsured? Find out the top five reasons below:

1. It’s not affordable for them

Many South Africans can’t afford adequate vehicle insurance, even third-party only cover. Indeed, it’s not only car insurance that South Africans struggle with – other types such as personal, life, and value added products like Domesticsure are far from many consumers’ minds.

2. They don’t drive regularly

People who work from home, for example, may not feel the need to take out insurance for their cars. If most of their travelling involves popping to the shops and back, it could seem that taking out cover isn’t worth it. But the reality is that most accidents happen close to home. It’s clear that if you’re driving a car, even once a month one kilometre away from home, insurance is vital.  

3. They think it will never happen to them

Humans are prone to a phenomenon called ‘optimism bias’. This is when people think they’re less likely than others to have something bad happen to them, and it works across people’s expectations – they think their children are going to be geniuses, they feel they are better at their jobs than their colleagues, that they’re better drivers than everyone else, and of course, that they will never be in an accident. Studies have shown that this occurs across cultures, genders and races. However, while it’s common to human nature, it means that expectations and reality are not always aligned; so many people won’t even look for an insurance quote because they believe they’ll never be in an accident.

4. They’re unaware of the high costs of repairs

Certain cars are more expensive to repair than others – we all know that. But even if your car isn’t brand new, the costs to repair can be exorbitant if you don’t have vehicle insurance. Even worse, if the car is written off, most people don’t have the means to buy a new one, and unfortunately, it doesn’t always take much to write off a car. In fact, the standard in the insurance industry in South Africa is to write off a car if the cost of the repairs is more than 70% of the value of the car, which shows that even a small bumper bashing can result in hefty expenses.

5. They don’t care about bumps and scratches

For some, a car is a means to get from A to B and nothing else. A few bumps and scratches are nothing to be concerned about as long as the car functions. These owners may feel that the cost of insurance isn’t worth it if they don’t plan to repair vehicle damage. The problem is that they don’t take third-party cover into account. If you are the responsible party in an accident, you may be in a heap of trouble if you don’t have third-party insurance.


Form the moment you contact Auto & General for an insurance quote, the process of insuring with us is hassle-free. We offer a wide array of insurance services, from vehicle, to personal, to business and life, and a range of value added products like, funeral plans, and tyre and rim guard.

Vehicle insurance is a necessity no matter who you are or what car you drive. Contact our professional call centre today to get comprehensive cover.

Auto & General is an authorised FSP: 16354. Long-term policies underwritten by 1Life, FSP: 24769

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