Scratch and dent cover is an entirely separate financial product from what you may call regular car insurance. Both cover your car and will pay for repair to damage to the body work. But there are fundamental differences between both car policies that is important to understand. Firstly, scratch and dent cover cannot replace regular car insurance and vice versa, mainly because these are two different products and not substitutes. But scratch and dent cover can complement your existing car insurance policy.
Understanding Car Insurance
Car insurance as most people know it comes in two main types of cover – comprehensive and third party.
Comprehensive car insurance will cover your vehicle for accident damage, loss of vehicle through a fire or other such incident, theft or hijacking. It also pays for the damage to other vehicles or property if you were at fault and essentially caused the accident. Third party car insurance is the cheaper version. It will only pay for damage to other vehicles and property when you are at fault but will not pay for the repair or replacement of your car.
An intermediate product sometimes called basic car insurance includes third party car insurance, and will pay for loss of your vehicle but will not cover you for accident damage.
Adding On Scratch and Dent Cover
Many people opt to add on scratch and dent insurance to their cover for several reasons.
- It will pay for minor car damage when third party insurance does not.
- It will spare you the premium increases from claiming from your comprehensive car insurance policy.
- It will save you the loss of your no claim bonus when you claim from your existing regular car insurance.
- It is very affordable and offers you additional protection without compromising your regular car insurance.
- It protects you against minor incidents where your regular car insurer may refuse to pay out or need to investigate further.
- It keeps your car bodywork in optimal condition to ensure a better resale value when the time comes.
Regular car insurance costs your several hundreds, if not thousands, of rands but scratch and dent cover can cost you less than R200 or even less than R100 for much cheaper cover. It just makes sense to take on the added protection for your vehicle and your pocket.
Without Car Insurance
It is always advisable to take out regular car insurance, or at least third party car insurance if you cannot afford comprehensive cover. But even if you do not have regular car insurance, you can still sign up for scratch and dent cover. For a small monthly premium you can ensure that your car is protected against minor damage that can easily costs several thousand rands. More importantly, by allowing you to repair the damage you sustain now, scratch and dent cover can help you avoid rust as corrosion sets in quickly even on a small chip.
Many people without car insurance say that they will go the route of self insurance. If you think that you can just save the money and pay for the damage when it occurs, consider this – a monthly premium of R100 will pay up to R3,000 for minor damage. You will had to have saved R100 for at least 30 months to be able to pay for R3,000 in repairs. And if you sustain another dent the next day, will you wait another two and a half years to save up to repair the damage? Read up more on how scratch and dent works.
* Please note that rates mentioned in this article are purely for illustration and may be significantly different from actual policies.