What type of car insurance do you need?

In order to make the best decision about what type of car insurance you might need, it’s best to take a look at the different types of cover available.

Here’s a simple breakdown to help you to decide.

What is car insurance?

Car insurance is a form of financial protection from bad things that can happen when owning a car: things like damage to or theft of your own car, or being held financially responsible for damages to another person’s property.

If you don’t have huge amounts of money in the bank, then driving a car without car insurance can be risky. Since cars are usually one of the most expensive things that you will own, the possible damage after an accident can leave you with a lot of bills that you might not have budgeted for.

Types of car insurance you can buy

Your insurer will generally allow you to select your level of “cover”. This means you can choose which of the possible bad things that can happen to your car you want covered by your insurer. The most common types of car insurance you can buy are:

Third party liability

Everything your car damages is covered but damage to your own car is not.

Third party liability is the most basic and affordable car insurance you can buy. Think of it as protection for everything that your car might damage while you are driving it, except for your car itself.

‘Third party’ refers to the person who holds you legally responsible for damage caused to their property by your car. Third party liability will cover the costs when the third party lays a damage claim against you. Most insurers also cover you in instances where you cause damage to other peoples’ stuff, even if you are driving a car that isn’t the one you’ve insured with them.

Third party, fire and theft

Everything your car damages is covered but damage to your own car is not unless it is stolen or damaged from a fire.

Third party with fire and theft provides additional cover to third party liability. On top of covering you when a third party holds you legally responsible for damages, you will be covered if your own car is stolen or damaged from a fire.

Comprehensive car insurance

Damage to your car, theft of your car, plus damage to another car or someone else's property is covered.

Comprehensive car insurance is an all-in-one cover option and the highest level of cover that you can get for you and your car.

It covers you for loss or damage to your vehicle that is caused by hijacking, theft, hail, storms, fire, lightning, explosion, and malicious or accidental damage. You are also covered for third party liability as laid out above: you’ll be covered if someone holds you liable for damages caused to their property by your car.

Possible additional benefits under comprehensive cover

Under comprehensive car insurance, some insurers also include additional benefits like:

Loss of keys, and remote controls

The costs of replacing or repairing keys and remote controls that are lost, stolen, or damaged are usually covered under comprehensive cover.

Emergency repair

If your car needs emergency repairs to get it safely back on the road, your insurer usually reimburses you, as long as the reason for the repair is listed in your policy and you provide a legitimate receipt.

Transport, towing, and storage

If your car needs to be towed and stored, your insurer will cover this as long as the reason for towing is listed under your policy.

Windscreen and glass

If your windscreen or windows are accidentally damaged, you are generally covered for the repair or replacement.

24/7 emergency roadside assistance

You might be in a rush to get somewhere and forget to fill up your car with petrol. Most insurers offer a 24/7 emergency assistance that will bring you a few litres of petrol to help you reach the petrol station. They also generally help you if you:

  • Lock your keys in the car;
  • Have an emergency breakdown (your insurer will arrange a tow to the nearest panel beater, usually in a 40km radius, one-night hotel stay if you are more than 200km away from home, and some even offer a limited car hire benefit to help get you home safely); or
  • Flat battery jump.

Optional benefits you can add to your comprehensive policy

Car hire

Some insurers will offer this as an included benefit under your comprehensive cover, but others might require that you add it to your policy and pay an extra premium. You will then be provided with a hire car if your car is stolen or not drivable after an accident.

Credit shortfall

If your car is declared a write-off, and there is a gap between the value of your vehicle and what you owe the finance company, credit shortfall cover will pay the remaining amount.


You can specifically add extra cover for things like bull/tow bars, additional lights, fancy sound systems you’ve installed, or new shiny rims for your wheels.

Tyre protection

Some insurers offer you the option to add extra cover for your tyres to protect them against damage from road hazards like glass, metal, potholes, debris, nails, blowouts, etc.

Types of car insurance at Naked

Damage to Others

At Naked, third party liability cover is known as Damage to Others. This covers your legal liability if your car causes damage to another’s property – the same as third party liability.

Stationary Cover

At Naked, we don't offer a product called "third party with fire and theft". Instead we offer Stationary Cover. It covers you in the event that something happens to your car while you are not using it and while it is stored in a secure place, such as a locked garage or security controlled parking area. Things like accidental damage caused by Mother Nature or something falling on your car, malicious damage, or damage that occurs from someone reversing into you while your car is parked are all covered by Stationary Cover.

Naked’s comprehensive cover

Naked’s comprehensive cover covers you for the loss or damage to the car itself, as well as for third party liability. You can also choose the Car hire, Credit shortfall, and/or Extras optional benefits we have on the app. Additionally, we cover you for things like loss of keys and remote controls, emergency repair for when you’re stuck on the road, transport, towing, and storage as well as cover for when your windscreen and glass on your car chips or shatters.

At Naked we understand that some people don’t always drive their cars: they may work from home, have a family car that gets used regularly and another that sits in the garage, or they might have a fancy sports car that only gets taken out on Sundays.

To accommodate this, we have a feature that allows you to pause your cover when you’re not driving. This allows you to switch from comprehensive to stationary cover while your car is securely parked in a safe place such as a locked garage or security-controlled parking area.

When you pause your cover using CoverPause your car is protected against the same things as under stationary cover, such as:

  • Accidental damage (eg. something falling on it in your garage or a bad driver reversing into you while you are parked in the airport parking lot), but not while anybody is driving it;
  • Weather, including storm, wind, snow, rain or flood;
  • Theft or attempted theft;
  • Fire, lightning and explosion;
  • Earthquake; and
  • Malicious damage.

Real-world examples of how cover can be matched to your needs

Here are a couple of examples to see how people have matched their car insurance cover to their specific needs:

Emily drives a lot and knows that if accidental damage or a write-off occurs, this would result in a significant financial loss. In addition, Emily wants her insurer to help her out should she cause damage to others while in her car. For these reasons, Emily selected the comprehensive option on her car insurance policy. This provides her with the maximum amount of car insurance cover.

Should Keletso’s car be damaged, written-off or stolen, he is more than capable of covering the costs himself. He does, however, want his insurer to help him out should he cause damage to others (which Keletso estimates could run into the millions, given that he lives in a very wealthy neighbourhood). Keletso therefore selected the “damage to others” cover option on his car insurance policy.

Yanga prefers to use her bike to get around but still owns a car that she does not drive (but which she also does not want to sell, for sentimental reasons). Yanga knows that her car is still at risk of being stolen or damaged while in storage and therefore selected the stationary cover option on her car insurance policy.

Jordan recently bought a shiny new SUV, which he financed. The finance provider required him to have comprehensive cover, and that’s what Jordan got.

Lebo works from home, meaning his car spends the week parked securely in the garage. Thus, he has a comprehensive car insurance policy with Naked and uses the CoverPause function during the week (switching his cover from comprehensive to stationary) so that he saves on his monthly premium.

We hope we’ve helped you figure out which car insurance you need. But to help a little bit more, we’ve recapped the types of cover into a handy table.