Choosing The Right Car Insurance Provider
While South Africa differs from many countries in the world in that motor insurance is not a compulsory purchase for us, there’s little doubt that it should be near the top of any vehicle owner’s priority list. Not only does insurance provide an oft-needed financial buffer in the event that you have an accident or your car is stolen, but many of our banks will refuse to finance a vehicle that is uninsured.
So, it’s not so much a question of whether or not you should get car insurance, but rather of how to find the right insurance provider to meet this need.
Where do you even begin?
Compare quotes and investigate reviews
In this digital age of communication and connectivity, it’s easier than it has ever been to source quotes from various short-term insurers. Investigate who the top-rated insurers in the market are, and compare quotes until you can trim the herd down to a manageable selection of reputable providers whose offering fits within your budget.
Of course, if price were the only consideration, then insurance would be the simplest purchase in the world. Unfortunately, ‘cheap’ and ‘good’ are sometimes mutually exclusive concepts, and you’ll have to dig a little deeper if you want to get the best value for the money you’re willing to spend.
Compare perks, benefits, and additional services
What additional benefits will accompany your policy? Which services are non-negotiable for you and which are simply nice to have?
These are some of the questions that you should deeply consider before settling on the insurance company for you. There is often more to insurance than the paying out of claims, and a well-considered offer from a reputable insurer will take into account your peace of mind and how best their policies can secure it.
For example, as a South African, the idea of ending up stranded on the side of the road in the middle of the night is probably a nightmare breakdown scenario. So, it would be a good idea to check if prospective insurers offer a roadside assist service, what its range is, and what the limitations on it are.
Look for insurance deals you’re eligible for
By dint of your age, gender, educational background, professional status, or membership with certain associations, you may find that you are eligible for discounts or other special deals offered by some insurers. Price isn’t everything, but deals aimed at a category you fit into could well offer additional benefits particularly well-suited to you.
For example, PPS Short-Term Insurance tailors their offering specifically to the needs of graduate professionals. This means they have a low-risk pool of clientele, which affords them the ability to offer competitive premiums. Additionally, their experience with this market segment allows for greater insight and advice when assembling a policy that meets their clients’ needs.
Check the excess and the premium amounts
Is the insurer’s excess a fixed amount or is it a percentage of the total cost of the claim? And will the premium change the moment you file a claim, or is it guaranteed for a certain period?
Insurance is meant to be a financial buffer against loss. But it misses this mark if it becomes an entirely unpredictable expense.
It’s a good idea to review the excess and premium costs of your prospective insurer, to ensure that their payment conventions fit within you budgetary comfort zone. Insurance serves little purpose if its cost could unexpectedly bankrupt you.
Research, research, research
At the end of the day, the onus is on you to understand your insurance needs, the offers on the market, and the insurers that are waiting to serve you. There is no replacement for good preparation and, with access to the internet, you’re no more than a click or two away from all the information you could possibly want.
Take advantage of online resources like hippo.co.za and hellopeter.com. Arm yourself with information and protect your on-road peace of mind with a car insurance policy that meets your needs.