Tips On Getting The Best Deal On Your Auto Insurance
Cover more for less
No matter what insurers might say, car insurance is a grudge purchase. You don’t take a policy out on your vehicle because you want to, per se, but because you know you more or less have to. And even though you know that comprehensive cover could save you paying a significant amount out of pocket in the event of an accident or theft, the chances are that there are a lot of things you’d rather put your money toward than monthly premiums that seem to chew through more of your budget every year.
So, just how do you cut down on the costs of this necessity that you hope you’ll never need?
Do some online insurance investigation
It might sound like the height of drudgery, but you could do worse with a couple of hours than spend them investigating and comparing offerings and quotes from different providers of car cover.
The South African market has no shortage of insurers and all of them are online, hungry for your business. So, take advantage of that. Do a little quote hunting. Scout for reviews on hellopeter.com. Check out their websites, and see if they have any offers that pertain to your circumstances.
You should already be doing this for reasons more fundamental than your insurance costs, but in case life and limb haven’t provided enough motivation, keep in mind that your driving track record contributes to the costs of your monthly premiums. The more claims you’ve made before, the higher your premiums will be.
This also means that, more than just driving safely, you should avoid being too trigger-happy in filing claims for minor damages. Resist the urge to file a claim for minor parking lot bumps or stone-chipped paint, because those claims will add up and you’ll feel the sting when you’re forking out more for your premiums every month.
If you’re not the best driver and are prone to accidents, consider taking a certified, advanced driving course – you’ll improve both your performance and your premiums!
Only get the cover you need
Be realistic about your needs and discuss them with your insurer. Opt only for coverage that actually makes sense for you, your vehicle, and your lifestyle.
If you’re driving around in your grandfather’s battered old hand-me-down, for example, you might not want to bother insuring it for repairs if it accumulates more damage. Likewise, if you don’t foresee anyone but you driving the vehicle, then there’s not much reason to get cover for a second driver.
A good insurer will be more than happy to have a representative sit down to discuss your needs and how they can be accommodated in a way that improves your life without simply increasing your costs.
Choose a higher excess amount
When you file a claim, the excess is the sum that you will pay out before your insurer makes their contribution. Most people dread paying their excess but, counterintuitive though it might sound, opting to pay a higher excess can allow you to save big over the long-term.
The reason is that in most cases, if you choose to pay a higher excess you’ll be rewarded with lower premiums. Of course, it bears mentioning that this tactic requires some forethought. You should only go this route if you have a low-claims history and can reasonably expect not to have to file a claim for the foreseeable future. Additionally, do not set your excess so high that you will struggle to pay it in the event that you do have to file a claim.
Invest in security for your vehicle
As a South African car owner, this is another point that you should already be following through on, whether or not lower premiums are your motivation.
According to Police Minister Bheki Cele, around 22 000 cars are stolen in the country a year!
Don’t kid yourself into believing that insurers don’t pay attention to numbers like that. Car theft is a risk that they’ll have to pay for, so short-term insurance companies are usually more than happy to lower your premiums if you demonstrate that you’re taking the initiative in keeping your vehicle from becoming another crime statistic.
So, make sure your car has an alarm, install a tracking device and, whenever possible, park in your locked garage or guarded basement parking.
Speak to your insurer
Ultimately, your insurer and you should be on the same side. Do your research and make sure you’ve got a good idea of the options out there and what best suits you, but don’t forget to discuss your needs with your insurance provider.
A good insurer will help you put together the best policy for your needs and your budget. If not, you can always take your business elsewhere.