After your house, the next most expensive asset most people own will most probably be their vehicle.
Since anything can happen on the road - no matter how safely you drive - fear drives many people to the internet looking for vehicle insurance. But with alluring deals for car insurance blaring at you from every website, advertisements on the radio and the latest TV ad promising mountains of benefits at a low premium of "....." it's difficult to really know which way to turn.
So how do you choose the vehicle insurance that's right for you? Here are a few tips to help you decide.
1. Know your budget
By starting at your budget and knowing how much money is available to be spent on an additional (but recommended) expense, you look affordability first and foremost instead of features.
It will provide you with good guidance as to what type of packages you can consider and which insurance companies can meet your needs at your price point.
Don't make a mistake, every insurance provider will try and 'upsell' you. Without a budget guideline, you will have a lot of fluff as part of your premium.
2. Choose the right package
Here are some guidelines as to what is included in different packages that most insurance companies will offer:
- If you have a new and valuable car, the car is security for a loan, or you want the best coverage available, then the comprehensive package is recommended. It is the most expensive package that the companies will have to offer.
- If the car is older, has some mileage on the clock or you want protection over the major liabilities, then third-party, fire and theft can be an affordable package
- The bare-essential package is third-party cover. It is recommended to get at least third party cover for in case you are the cause of an accident. It is the least extensive, but less expensive than having to pay for third-party damages.
3. Give accurate information
The information you give to insurance companies, will influence their quote. Thus it is important to have all the information available and to make sure that the information is accurate.
You do not want to have to pay more than what is necessary. Further, if the information is incorrect and a claim is submitted, the insurance company is under no obligation to uphold their end of the agreement. Plus, it could result in extra, unplanned expenses from your bank account.
Be aware that things like the car’s age, the amount of kilometers on the reader, where it is stored (garage, outside, under a veranda, etc.) and whether there is a tracking device all plays a role in determining the final cost of the premiums. Further, your own personal details, where you live and your income will also play a role.
4. Know what you are getting
Before you commit to any package, always make sure you understand the full extent of what you are getting.
- Get a grip on the terminology (do a basic Google search, asking "what is ..... ?),
- what the terms and conditions are,
- whether there will be excess payments (and if so, whether it is a fixed amount (recommended) or not) and, most importantly,
- what is included or excluded from the package.
It is highly recommended to always obtain at least third party insurance - the expense to repair the other party’s car or cover their costs depend greatly on the make and model of their vehicle and this could be a huge unexpected expense from your own pocket.
Also be on the lookout for possible discounts and cash back payouts for not claiming for a certain amount of time. Small things like 24-hour roadside assistance or free car hire in the case of a serious accident are not always a must but are extremely helpful. But it is important not to get lost in all the additional trinkets.
5. Compare Compare Compare
You have nothing to lose and a whole lot of money to save! Different companies offer different products at different premium rates so it’s always worthwhile to get more than one quote, from different companies and also for different packages.
Websites like Fincheck and CompareGuru provide you with easy online comparisons, but more in-depth quotes may require a call from the company itself. If you would like a company to call you, compare Vehicle Insurance on Fincheck and apply to a company that you like. They will get in touch.
Also, do not turn a deaf ear to critique and word of mouth. Ask your friends, colleagues and family members about their insurance. They will give you honest critique (more so than the sunshine and daisies promised on the website of the companies). Pay particular attention to what they have to say regarding customer service, claims payout, additional benefits and how quickly the problems are resolved. Online reviews on sites like HelloPeter are also a useful source to consult.
We trust this article has helped you. If it had, please share it with a friend, and remember to sign up for updates below. Happy car insurance hunting and try to keep the road rage to the minimum, your premium already does enough to your blood pressure! Be safe on the roads!