Types of insurance in South Africa


South Africa is one of the most economically progressive countries in the African hemisphere. With 57.78 million people in the country as in the year 2018. Just like many other countries, South Africa has a functional insurance industry/sector. In this article, we shall be looking at this sector in South Africa, and what types of insurance services are offered in the southernmost tip of the African continent. 

Insurance in South Africa

Insurance in the country is a fully blown sector. There are about 170 companies active in South African insurance. Insurance in South Africa is not a mandatory issue, however. So that means while there are a lot of companies to provide these services, not many individuals are particularly pressed to get insurance covers, so some individuals either have no insurance at all or possess very little. 

The Prudential Authority handles insurance regulations in South Africa, and the South African Insurance Association governs the nonlife insurance subdivision.

What are the types of insurance services in South Africa?

South Africa is just like any other major country. In this line, the insurance options offered in the country are not entirely different from those of other countries or other continents. However, because no two countries are the same, there are distinct qualities of insurance in South Africa. The significant types of insurance in South Africa therefore, are;

  1. Life insurance: life insurance is an insurance policy that pays the insured’s next of kin a designated amount in the event of their death. 
  2. Health insurance: this is the type of insurance that covers medical events and expenses. It protects the insured from any losses or damages that are health-related. 
  3. Auto insurance: simply put, this is insurance taken to protect a car or any other vehicle from loss, theft or damages. It is split into three; Third-party liability, theft and fire protection and comprehensive insurance.
  4. Home insurance: also known as property insurance, this type of insurance offers protection against any losses to the insured’s home or landed property. If you own a home in South Africa, it is mandated that you take out a home insurance policy. 
  5. Social insurance: social insurance in South Africa is a type of insurance where employed persons pay a monthly stipend to the South African Social Security Agency. This contributory fund comes in handy in areas like pensions, social relief, child support, unemployment benefits, car grants, and disability benefits.
  6. Dental insurance: most health insurance plans do not cover dental health and its expenses. Therefore, a separate insurance policy called dental insurance caters for dental health issues. 
  7. Pet insurance: if your pet is sick or injured, paying for vet expenses can be costly as vet fees are usually very high in the country. To avoid paying exorbitant prices for these expenses, a pet insurance cover can be taken to help lower the costs of treatment.
  8. Unemployment insurance: this type of insurance protects the insured if they lose their jobs and become unemployed. They get paid a designated amount, although this is not usually high.
  9. Travel insurance: Travel insurance is an insurance cover that covers any losses or damages that could occur while travelling from or to South Africa. It also includes any losses from cancelled trips, medical evacuations, or theft.
  10. Commercial insurance: this type of insurance is taken to prevent and cover businesses from any financial losses or damages. It is split into liability which is cover from any injuries to another person; property which is cover from any losses and damages to business property; and business interruption insurance which protects from any financial losses that may occur because the business operations are halted for any reasons 
  11. Contents insurance: this is insurance against your items and effects, from unfortunate events like loss from theft, or damages.


 Insurance in South Africa is an optional choice. The only two mandatory insurance policies anyone in South Africa is expected to take up are home insurance and social insurance.  

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