What is comprehensive insurance? Do you need it?

‘Comprehensive’ means ‘grasped together’ – in other words, ‘including everything’ – and that’s exactly what comprehensive insurance does: it’s a single insurance plan or policy to cover all your assets at the same time. Comprehensive insurance can include your vehicle, your house, the contents of your house, and portable possessions like laptops, phones and cameras.

This type of all-in-one insurance solution is ideal if you have multiple assets that you’d like to insure while saving on premiums. That said, a comprehensive insurance policy is not necessarily the best choice for everyone. It depends on your assets and circumstances.

Who needs comprehensive insurance?

Let’s say you’ve just bought your first car, but you’re still living in your parents’ home. You would need car insurance, but not building and house contents insurance – your parents should have that cover already.

Similarly, when you’re renting, you’ll need house contents insurance to protect your belongings, but building insurance will be the landlord’s responsibility. You wouldn’t need comprehensive insurance, but it would still be a good idea to see if you can get car, house contents and portable belongings cover bundled in one policy, which should cost less than 3 separate policies.


Comprehensive insurance can include comprehensive vehicle insurance as well as cover for all your other assets


Comprehensive insurance is ideal if you own your home, and you and others in your household own cars and other assets that you need to protect. When signing up for a comprehensive policy, you’ll list all your assets with your insurer for a specified value, and if any disaster that results in a legitimate claim should occur, you’ll be paid out under your one, comprehensive insurance plan.

Not to be confused with comprehensive vehicle insurance

Note, however, that comprehensive insurance and comprehensive vehicle insurance are different products. Comprehensive vehicle insurance covers your car for damage or loss caused by fire, an accident or theft, and covers you against third-party liability. But apart from the comprehensive option, cars can also be insured for third-party, fire and theft (but not accidents), or for third-party cover alone, which covers only losses suffered by other vehicle owners if you are responsible for an accident.

Comprehensive insurance, in contrast, can include comprehensive vehicle insurance as well as building, house contents and cover for all your other assets.

When taking comprehensive insurance

To ensure you get the best possible cover, ensure that all the relevant assets and items you need covered are insured at the correct replacement values when your take out your comprehensive insurance.

If they're not, you run the risk of being underinsured. This means you are not fully covered. Underinsurance means the insured amount on your policy (the maximum amount you can claim) is less than the cost of replacing or repairing the item, which means you will have to pay the difference between the claim amount and the actual cost from your own pocket.

You also don’t want to carry the burden of being overinsured. Overinsurance means you are paying for cover you don’t need. If your cover exceeds the amount it would cost to repair or replace a loss, you are overinsured. It becomes tricky when the amount covers a collection of items, like house contents – that’s why it is important to take the time to estimate what everything is worth as accurately as possible.

While overinsurance may not seem like an issue at first glance, it means the premium you are paying is unnecessarily high. Over time, this adds up and can cost you a significant amount.

MyCover is comprehensive insurance cover amplified

At Nedbank Insurance we believe that our MyCover policy is a comprehensive insurance solution that covers all your assets and belongings with value-added services. These include:

  • Buildings Your home and all its fixed structures, such as outbuildings, walls and fences, swimming pools and paving.
  • House contents Everything inside your home, including your furniture, appliances, clothing and jewellery.
  • All risks Personal belongings that you carry with you, like your cell phone and your handbag.
  • Legal expenses Cover for the costs of certain legal services.
  • Vehicle: Your car, bakkie or SUV can be covered comprehensively while financed.
  • Roadside assist Help if your car breaks down or you have an accident.
  • Small craft Add your boat, yacht or other watercraft like jet skis or bikes and quads to the policy, provided they meet certain criteria.
  • Personal legal liability You can include cover for claims made against you for accidental death, bodily injury or illness, or accidental loss or damage to property, no matter where it happens.
  • Personal accident cover You can even add compensation for accidental death and accidental permanent disability to a Nedbank MyCover insurance policy.

Contact us on 0860 333 111 or at insurance@nedbank.co.za if you’d like to save money on your monthly comprehensive insurance.