In Kenya, it is mandatory for your vehicle to have a motor insurance cover before being used on a public road. The law of Kenya requires you to display the car insurance certificate on the windshield of your car where it is possible for a police officer to inspect it. The importance of having a motor insurance cover is that, it offers financial security in case one gets into an accident. This means that, the cover ensures you do not get any unplanned costs in the unfortunate event of an accident. The cost of having a car insurance varies for different insurance types and insurance companies.
Majority of insurance companies in Kenya offer three types of motor insurance covers which are; third-party insurance cover, third-party fire and theft insurance cover, and comprehensive insurance cover. While third-party insurance cover is cheaper and covers only third-party damages, the comprehensive car insurance cost, slightly varies owing to the wide range of benefits. Third-party, fire and theft cover caters for third party liabilities such as injury, death or property damage; fire in the event the vehicle is damaged by fire and compensation in the event the vehicle is stolen.
Third-party insurance cover offers you the basic protection in the unfortunate event of an accident. This is a mandatory cover required by the traffic law as it covers damages, injury or death caused to the third party (who is not party to the insurance contract). When your car is insured under a third party cover, it means that, if you get into an accident, the insurance company will only pay for damages to property such as buildings, the other car or injury to the other person and not to yourself or your car. A typical third party insurance covers you against;
- Damage to property that belong to other people like vehicle or buildings
- Death or injury to pedestrians or public
- Death or injury to passengers
The cost of a private third party only car insurance costs between Ksh 5,000 and Ksh 10,000 per year and the average market price for the cover goes between Ksh 5,000 – 7,500 per year.
2. Third-party, fire and theft cover
While, the above discussed third party coverage provides protection only for the third party involved, third party fire and theft offers additional benefits too. This insurance policy covers for loss of the vehicle due to fire or theft and damage to property.
3. Comprehensive insurance cover
A comprehensive car insurance cover is not a mandatory cover but it is the most preferred by Kenyans. This cover offers full protection to both parties in case of an accident. A comprehensive car insurance policy is one of the most preferred type of car insurance, as it insures for damages caused to you and your car as well as damages caused to other parties and their property. It offers financial security in case of a road accident or in case your car is stolen, damaged due to fire, riots, natural disasters like floods.
A comprehensive car insurance cover also offers third party benefits such as damages to other people’s properties like vehicle or buildings, injuries and death. Different insurance companies have different additional coverages that are linked to their comprehensive insurance plans. These coverages provide cover for things such as windscreen, glass damage, entertainment unit, excess waiver among others. A typical comprehensive insurance covers you against;
- Accidental damage
- Malicious damage
- Third party liabilities
- Riot strike and civil commotion
The cost of a comprehensive insurance cover is calculated based on the value of your car once valuation is done. The policy does not cover damages to your car if the accident occurs when you were driving without a valid driver’s license, and generally;
- It does not cover for damages caused due to normal aging or your car wearing out
- It does not protect your car from depreciating in value overtime
- It does not cover for accidents and damages on your car that were caused by you driving under the influence of alcohol
The benefits of comprehensive car insurance, include:
- Covers your car’s accidental damage – The primary benefit of this cover is that you do not have to pay for accidental damage to your car. The cover protects you from incurring financial costs due to unfortunate damages and losses
- Covers third party liabilities – The cover not only protects your car but also protects you from losses in case you damage another person or property
- Compensates you in case of car theft – Comprehensive car insurance can help you in the case of theft by compensating for the loss
- Cover enhancement – Comprehensive car insurance cover has the option of enhancing it to include additional coverage that your car can receive from this insurance cover. This ensures that you have a broader cover for a wider range of risks. Some of these add-ons may include engine and gearbox protection
- Breakdown assistance – Breakdown assistance is one of the many add-ons available in comprehensive car insurance. So, whether you are stuck midway or got a puncture on the road, you can easily make a call and request for breakdown assistance without it counting as a claim
When buying a car, insurance is very important because it offers protection to the person and their asset. Before shopping for a motor insurance cover, one should take their time to understand different types of insurance to be able to buy what suits them best. You should choose the right kind of insurance for your vehicle and which one will suit you, your family and vehicle better.