Insurance covers you for losses and damages to your belongings in return for a monthly premium. It is not compulsory in Namibia (some countries like the UK require you to have certain insurance cover by law), although there are many choices in terms of insurance providers and forms.
Car insurance is often talked about, and because Auto Help is all about motoring, we want to help you make informed choices.
Yet, to understand car insurance you have to understand insurance itself first – so you can find out more about types of insurance, brokers vs. companies and what to look out for when choosing insurance in this article.
Where Can You Get Insurance?
An insurance company is the entity underwriting the insurance policy. In exchange for providing you with cover (a guarantee to pay or reimburse you for losses and damages in respect of your insured objects), they receive a monthly payment from you.
There are quite a few insurance companies in Namibia who each offer a wide variety of policies to individuals and businesses. You can normally contact them directly to enquire about their offers.
Because it can be daunting to choose the right product from so many options, insurance brokers help people looking for insurance sort through them. They give personalised advice on the type, amount and cover needed and can be valuable support due to their experience and contacts.
There are myriads of insurance brokers in Namibia, so it’s important to do your due diligence when choosing one, as well. References from other people are a good indication, as well as timely communication and personalised attention.
What Kinds of Insurance Cover Exist?
Personal & Business Insurance
Legal entities can own possessions, which can be insured. Any person is in themselves a legal entity called a natural person. Closed corporations and companies, whether for profit or not, are also legal entities and can own things.
That’s why there is personal insurance – for things owned by natural persons – and business insurance – for assets of registered businesses.
Both types of insurance work on the same principle: Your monthly premium is worked out as a percentage of the value of the assets you want covered, taking into account the risk of them being lost or damaged (for example, a cell phone is much more likely to break than a coffee table).
What Types of Personal Cover Can I Get?
Personal insurance can cover any and all of your possessions, from your house, to your car and electronics.
Car insurance isn’t required by law in Namibia and many people choose not to spend money on what might be seen as an unnecessary expense. However, there is a range of car insurance available, from full comprehensive to basic third-party cover.
Because a car is something that is usually always in use, it has a fairly high risk of breaking or being involved in some kind of crash (remember to drive safely!). There are types of car insurance that don’t just cover you, but any damage you cause, too.
This can protect you from expensive mistakes (after all, it just takes a second of inattention when parking to damage another car), but insurance also protects you from the mistakes of others (who wants to pay to fix their car when someone else damaged it?).
Besides car crashes, insurance here can also reimburse you, or pay, for broken windows, lost car keys, theft, sand blasting and towing charges. In the unfortunate event that your car should be written off due to damage (it’s not worth repairing), car insurance can even get you a new one if you signed up for the replacement cover.
If you own a home, it’s definitely worth taking out building insurance. This covers you against fire, water damage or natural disasters and such.
Considering the price of houses in Namibia, building insurance isn’t something you want to save on.
Home Content Insurance
While building insurance protects your physical house, home content insurance covers all objects in it. This makes it excellent cover to have, even if you’re renting.
Many insurance companies entice clients by offering value-adds to their home content insurance, such as free house calls by plumbers or electricians or included cover for accidental breakage of mirrors and TVs.
Out-and-About or Portable Insurance
Not all your possessions stay in one place all the time. Especially electronics and jewellery are likely to be damaged, lost or stolen while they’re out and about with you. Portable insurance protects these small but often expensive items.
While it’s a useful thing to have, portable items have a higher risk and therefore usually a higher premium. Often, insurance companies will also require you to have home content insurance before taking out portable insurance.
What Type of Business Cover Is Available?
Because businesses interact with people on a legal basis and have more varied (and often much more valuable) assets than individuals, business insurance is a lot more complex and varied than personal cover.
A good insurance broker should be able to help you understand exactly what kind of insurance your business needs, but the most basic options are liability insurance to protect against damage or losses to third parties, asset cover and building or car insurance.
As you go through life, your insurance needs change. It’s always a good idea to revisit your insurance policy every year and assess if everything is up to date. You can check if you need to add, revalue or remove any assets or covers and make sure your premium is still relevant to your needs.