car insurance excess

When it comes to choosing your insurance premium from the quotes you’ve received, don’t forget to compare the excess! Excess in car insurance is a cost that you have to pay the insurer. If you are involved in an accident, your insurance premium will only cover what it is set to cover with excess. So, you’ll have to pay an excess fee to cover the costs of damage and repairs in conjunction with your premium.


Don’t worry, if you are wondering why excess exists and what it is, we are going to cover that in this article.

What is excess?

A car insurance premium isn’t as simple as ‘pay a monthly fee and you are covered for all accident costs.’ You need to keep the excess in mind when settling on your car insurance premium. 


Excess is an amount that you agree to pay to help cover the costs of damages and repairs if you are involved in an accident. The excess is paid directly to the insurance provider. For example, if your excess is R500 and the repairs will be R10,000, the insurer will cover R9,500 and you must pay the excess fee of R500.


The purpose of excess serves as an ‘insurance’, so to speak, for insurers to help protect them against fraudulent claims. It also helps to prevent insurance clients from making too many minor claims. Since the excess amount is payable by you first during the claim process, it helps to promote responsibility and sensibility with insurance claims.

car insurance premium

Types of excess

Typically, the excess is divided into two categories: compulsory excess and voluntary excess. 


Compulsory excess is the amount decided by the insurer which gets applied to your policy. Everyone must pay an excess and the amount varies depending on your age, type of vehicle, and other insurance factors.


Voluntary excess is a higher amount that you agree to and are willing to pay, which then means you get a lower monthly premium. 


Some insurance service providers determine the excess payable by the amount of the claim or the nature of the claim. While other providers can offer a fixed excess amount. Keep this in mind when reviewing car insurance quotes in South Africa.


When do you pay excess?

vehicle excess in insurance

You’ll have to pay the excess anytime you make a claim on your insurance. For example:

  • If you are involved in an accident, you must pay the excess, even if the accident wasn’t your fault.
  • If your vehicle is stolen
  • If your vehicle is damaged while driving on unsafe roads


Anytime you make a claim, you have to pay the excess. So, if the cost of the damages to your vehicle is below your excess amount, it’s better to pay for it yourself.


Insurance excess is an excess amount you must pay alongside your insurance premium when filing a claim. The excess amount helps prevent people from making too many minor claims or fraudulent claims. There are 2 types of excess you can choose from which helps determine what your monthly premium will be.


So, to recap on the types of excess:

Compulsory excess is the excess amount determined by the insurer that you must pay when making a claim.

Voluntary excess is when you choose to pay an amount higher than the compulsory excess for a lower premium. 


We hope this helped you to understand insurance premiums and excess a bit more. If you are feeling confident in your knowledge, it’s time to get your premium.


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