Unexpected Risks That Your Car Insurance May Cover

By: CAR magazine

When you took out car insurance on your new vehicle, it is unlikely you reviewed the policy with a fine-tooth comb. You would rather enjoy your new ride than read the fine print, right?

This means that while you might know the basics of what is covered by your vehicle insurance, you might not be aware of some of the crazy unknown risks that car insurance cover takes care of for you.

Your comprehensive policy covers you for things that are out of your control, like theft and weather. But there are some surprising things your policy covers that you might never have thought of.

While cover between insurers differs, these are a few of the general risks you might not have expected to be covered against.

Falling objects

Nothing quite says ‘unexpected vehicle risk’ like objects falling out of the sky. Space junk, meteors, or even grand pianos are not objects you expect to have landed near you. But such events, rare as they might be, are a fact of life, and if they ever do happen, it is nice to know that cover is there should you need it. 

Some motor policies may cover you for an accident you caused due to attempting to avoid a falling object. 


Mice and squirrels have their cute moments, but they stop being cute when you find that they’ve chewed through your car’s wiring. The fact that they can damage your car is as unsurprising as the surprising fact that your insurance might cover it.

Damage cover for rodent catastrophes is routinely part of comprehensive policies, often falling under an ‘other than collision’ clause. Check whether your auto insurance covers rodent damage, especially if your area is abundant in squirrel life or prone to rat and mouse infestations.

Animal collision

Travelling on the open roads, you have likely seen road sign warnings for wildlife crossings. Whether a tortoise or a hippo, these represent a real threat as they can cause all sorts of accidents, even in an attempt to avoid them. 

More often, though, this type of accident is likely caused by farm cattle wandering the road. While you can’t hold anyone responsible for a wild animal roaming freely on the road, you may or may not be able to hold a farmer liable for the damage his cow caused to your car.

Note that when making a claim for this type of damage, whether you hit a domestic animal like a goat or a wild animal like a kudu, you will need to obtain a police report. 


Riots and public disorder are not usually front of mind when purchasing an insurance policy.

Cover for accidental or deliberate damage caused by anyone taking part in a strike, riot, or protest in South Africa is undertaken by the South African Special Risks Insurance Association. SASRIA is a short-term insurance product that specifically covers damage from these events. You might find it offered as an add-on to your main policy, but some companies include it with your comprehensive cover. 


Around 70% of cars in South Africa are not insured, according to a study from the Automobile Association. This makes having cover that protects you against uninsured motorists a critical part of your policy to get repairs to your car made. But uninsured motorist coverage is likely broader than you realise. It can also cover you if you get hit as a pedestrian. 


Potholes are a common sight and sensation on South Africa’s roads. While the city of Johannesburg has been working to improve the problem after almost half of its roads were classified as poor or very poor, the chance for damage is still pretty high.

If you hit a pothole even when you drive with care, insurance might cover the damage caused to your tyres or suspension. Whether or not your claim will be allowed comes down to what constitutes your day-to-day driving.

If you regularly drive rough roads, the wear and tear on your vehicle’s suspension or shock absorbers will not be covered. But if the road you drive is in good repair and you hit an isolated pothole, the damage to your tyres or other parts could be covered as an accidental event.


If you live in an area prone to flooding, your home policy does not cover it unless you have an add-on specifically for flooding events. However, comprehensive car insurance cover does reimburse for damage that happens due to something other than a collision, which would include flooding.

Possible flooding damage to your vehicle could encompass a waterlogged engine, chassis damage, rusting, or other issues.


Since dogs often travel without seat belts, they are more vulnerable than human passengers. Especially for pet owners who travel with dogs in the car often, a not-so-common cover is injuries to your pet should they get hurt in an accident. 

If your current policy does not cover this and you deem it worthwhile, you might want to determine whether you can purchase it as an add-on.

Car Detailing

If you happen to be sipping on your morning smoothie while driving and someone hits you from behind, that spilt liquid can easily ruin your car’s interior. Since the accident caused the spill, your insurance should cover cleaning up the inside of the car along with fixing the fender. 

The same cover should hold if your car is ever stolen and recovered.

Check Your Car Insurance Cover

Many of these unexpected events are highly unlikely to ever happen to you. But the point of having car insurance is to cover the unforeseen and unwelcome surprises that result in damage and inconvenience. It pays to read your policy closely to know what you are protected against.

If you would like to review your current car insurance coverage to see if you need to make changes, contact Dialdirect today – our team of experts would be happy to help you get the coverage you need.


Disclaimer: This content is for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes only. We do not make any warranties about the content’s completeness, reliability, and accuracy. 

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