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Know Your Policy – Part 11; Retail Value Booster – What is it and do I need it?

By Kayser Baird | Durban | May 31, 2018


Writing off or having a car stolen is an unexpected event and you will not always be able to replace your car with what you get paid out by your insurance company.

~Kayser Baird Insurance






What is a Retail Value booster?

The maximum amount that you can insure your car for is the monthly published retail value according to Transunion, these are the figures published in the little books that the car dealers carry and are updated every month. You can add an additional amount for the non-standard accessories you have fitted to your vehicle, but despite this you will often be left out of pocket when trying to replace your car following a write-off or vehicle theft, because you may want to purchase a newer model car, and may have to pay a deposit to finance the car. Some insurers now offer you an optional add-on to your policy where you can pay an additional amount to “boost” your insured value for say 15% over and above the insured value.

Do I need a Retail Value Booster?

This is very much about personal choice, but there are a couple of important points to consider here.

  1. Insurance provides financial stability or certainty and in our view you shouldn’t be paying more than what it takes to buy this certainty. The minute you “boost” your sum insured for example, you are in danger of moving away from the financial stability that insurance offers, and moving into grudge purchase territory.
  2. You will only benefit from the booster if you write off your car or if it is stolen, most of your claims that you have in your lifetime will be accident repair claims.
  3. Consider the fact that you know for certain you will buy a new car someday, and you probably know more or less when that will be. You also know for certain that you will either trade your car in to a dealer and get trade value, or sell it privately and get somewhere between trade and retail value if you are lucky. What you do not know for certain is whether your car will ever be written off or stolen. Does it make rational sense then to pay a higher premium to boost the value you will receive for an unkown event, surely it makes more sense to rather save that money for a certain event ie; changing your car, so that you have a higher deposit when trading in your car to buy a new one?
  4. If you paid a deposit when you bought your car, you should have some cash to put towards your deposit for your replacement car when your insurance company pays you out at retail value for your stolen or written off car.

Where to from here?

Contact your policy adminstrator at Kayser Baird to discuss your cover, we might be able to simplify your insurance and save you money. 031 – 767 8000.


Kayser Baird offers both Personal and Business short term insurance and is a leading South African broker. To request a quote for your personal insurance please contact us.

Read previous posts in the “Know Your Policy” series;

Part 1 – The Average Clause
Part 2 – All Risks Cover
Part 3 – Residential Buildings Insurance
Part 4 – Your Policy Excess Structure
Part 5 – Convenience Benefits
Part 6 – Load shedding and your personal policy
Part 7 – Optional extensions on your personal policy
Part 8 – Your Motor Excess
Part 9 – Underinsurance – Don’t let it happen to you”
Part 10 – Understanding your brokers role better


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