JOHANNESBURG - Do you think your comprehensive car insurance covers you for every accidental eventuality? You might want to think again.

The Easter season has long been known as a dangerous time to be on South Africa’s roads - and it’s only getting riskier.

Last year saw a 14% increase in the number of fatalities due to car accidents over the Easter weekend. As the start of the many public holidays and long weekends approach, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have all the cover you might need to see you through the aftermath of an accident.

“People often think that every eventuality is covered by their ‘comprehensive’ car insurance,” says Vera Nagtegaal, Executive Head of Hippo.co.za.

“Sadly, this is not always the case, so you should always speak to your insurer about whether or not you have the cover you need, based on your specific lifestyle and requirements.”

Nagtegaal explains that when it comes to your insurance, there is a range of additional types of cover that you might need as part of your car insurance package:

  • A courtesy car: You have a car because you need one. If it’s getting repaired, it makes a world of difference to have a hire car while you wait. Check that the duration of the car hire agreement covers the usual time-frame of a serious panel beating.
  • Breakdown cover: If your car breaks down on the side of the road, this cover will allow for a mechanic to be sent to the site of the breakdown and complete the repairs or tow your car to a service centre.
  • Off-road use cover: If you regularly drive on gravel roads during the holidays or for work, this cover will insure your car against damage.
  • Dents and scratches: This add-on repairs minor scrapes and scratches from small incidents like bumping a gate or pole.
  • Tyre and rim cover: Tyre damage is frequent thanks to the potholes on South Africa’s roads. This add-on makes sure that you are covered against these inconvenient costs.
  • Windscreen cover: Little chips or larger cracks can be inconvenient or even life-threatening. With this type of cover, you won’t need to pay an excess to get your windscreen repaired.
  • Personal accident insurance: This will cover the driver of a car or motorbike and up to nine passengers for death or permanent disability from a road accident.
  • Many car insurance policies include some of these types of cover in their comprehensive packages as a matter of course, while with others these must be specified as add-ons,” says Nagtegaal.

She points out that people are often very uncertain about what their policies do and don’t cover, so it’s a good idea to speak to your insurer and find out what you might need.

The admin and inconvenience after a car accident can be very unpleasant. Even a minor scrape or bump can be time consuming and annoying to sort out.

For these reasons, Nagtegaal says it’s important to have the widest range of cover possible in place, to help you financially when the going gets tough.

IOL MOTORING