Insurance in South Africa

Insurance in South Africa, whether it is short term, long term or life insurance, is considered almost essential amongst most South Africans. Car or Vehicle Insurance along with Household and life insurance being the most sought after. This competitive market has a host of short term insurance companies all trying to attract their share of the South African market. Although there are a large number of companies, the most successful or sought after insurers are such companies as Auto & General, Budget, DialDirect, First for Woman, MiWay, Mutual & Federal, Outsurance, Santam and Unity. While some insurance seekers may also prefer to deal with an insurance broker, others may prefer to deal with companies, such as DiaDirect or Outsurance who seem to prefer to deal with potential customers directly. For information on South African Insurance industry, visit the South African Insurance association’s website at

Herewith is a brief history or overview of some of the Insurance Companies. (Alphabetical order)

Auto & General

Auto & General, a member of the Telesure Investment Holdings Group, was founded in mid 1985, offering household and car insurance to the South African market. Auto & General has shown exceptional growth since its inception and received numerous achievements over the years including “The readability mark” in 1999, voted best short term insurer for the year, by the IBC in 2003, best personal lines short term insurance Company of the year, along with another company in 2004, and in the same year, Auto & General received an A+ rating for its claim paying ability by the Global credit rating company. Today, Auto & General, with its commitment to service excellence and other core values, continues as a market leader. Auto & General still received numerous awards and continues to grow in the very competitive short term South African insurance market.


Budget Insurance Brokers, is an authorized financial services provider with policies underwritten by Auto & General Insurance Company. Budget Insurance offer various short-term insurance products and services such as Car, Home, Buildings, Motorcycle and more. Budget Insurance also offer various Value added products such as Personal Accident and Cell phone cover to name but a few.


DiallDirect, was founded in 2003, offering household, motor car and business insurance to South African consumers. DialDirect made an immediate impact on the South African market with the “cut out the middleman” approach and occupying a unique position of being the consumer’s hero. DialDirect SA has the international backing of DialDirect UK, an established, reputable European based company offering services in competitive European Insurance market. DialDirect offers consumers the ability to deal directly with them via either the Internet or via a state-of-the-art call center offering consumers personal control over their short-term insurance needs. DialDirect offer prompt response to sales enquiries, unrivalled turnaround time of claims processing and policy administration.

First for Woman

First for Woman Insurance, a member of Telesure Investment Holdings, was founded in 2003, offering South African woman, insurance products specific tailored to meet their needs. First for Woman insurance, offer woman Car, home, life and business insurance products and because of the view that woman are a better insurance risk, are able to offer woman some of the lowest insurance premiums available. First for woman insurance continues to gather momentum, showing exceptional growth, and not just for short-term insurance but for assist products as well. First for Woman’s value added products take into account the modern woman’s lifestyle including physical, financial and emotional requirements. First for Woman assist programs such as roadside, medical, legal and emergency assist, allows piece of mind for wives, mothers and career woman throughout South Africa, knowing that they are covered for any eventuality.


MiWay is a registered financial services provider that offers home and car insurance services direct to the South African consumer. With shareholders such as Santam and Sanlam, MiWay has the financial backing required to launch a serious challenge to existing Insurance companies within Southern Africa. MiWay try to harness the power of the internet by allowing the South African consumer to purchase or manage their financial portfolio online, or if customers prefer through their 24x7 call centers. MiWays rewards program is also different to other insurers reward programs in that their clients earn rewards, whether they claim or not, if they turn out to be better than assumed risk. Miway also have a public compliments and complaints forum where they address any of their customer’s services complaints.

Mutual & Federal

Mutual & Federal, as part of Old Mutual PLC, was formed in early 1970, although its roots date back to 1831. Mutual & Federal offer personal, corporate and commercial Insurance to Southern Africa including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Mutual & Federals vision is to be the strongest and most successful short-term insurer in its chosen markets and its mission is to provide insurance solutions to protect their client’s assets. Although Mutual & Federal operate in an ever changing environment where rapidly evolving IT impacts on how business is done, Mutual & Federal has continually kept abreast of times and furthermore Mutual & Federal has never compromised on its core philosophies such as embracing change and offering highly efficient, friendly service to all its customers. Mutual & Federal will continue to tailor policies to meet client’s specific demands, and ensure that their claims get the full attention they deserve.


Outsurance, a member of the First Rand Group of companies, was founded in early 1998, offering household and motor vehicle / car insurance to all South Africans with the simple promise of "always getting something OUT". In early 2003, Outsurance launched Business Outsurance to cater for the South African business Insurance market, catering for all sizes and types of businesses, and in 2007, launched Outsurance Namibia to expand their offerings to outside of South Africa. Today, Outsurance is one of the insurance industries success stories and has become one of the leaders in the South African short term insurance market.


Santam first opened its doors on 01 May 1918 with its subsidiary, Sanlam opening its doors 1 month later, on 08 June 1918. While Santam, (South African National Trust and Assurance Company limited) primary focus was on short-term insurance products, Sanlam (South African Life Assurance Company) primary focuses was on Life insurance products. In 1999, Santam purchased Guardian National Insurance Company expanding its South African market share and increasing its commercial Insurance portfolio. Santam’s core focus has not changes since the early years, being to take car of their customers insurance needs by providing short-term insurance products directed at chosen markets while optimizing their broker network as their primary channel. Santam offers Insurance services to the personal, corporate and commercial market with contact centers in all the main cities around South Africa.