Top Tips for Finding the Right Car Insurance Policy

Shopping around for insurance can be tedious. After all, many of us are always looking to save a few extra rands without it necessarily leaving a negative impact. For instance, you may choose to forego the car hire option and increase your excess to pay a cheaper premium. This may not be an altogether bad idea…until you’re in a car accident and don’t have enough savings or back-up transport to run errands.

There are many ways you can go about choosing insurance for a car that does not have to result in settling for less, however, it will require some research.

Up for the challenge? Read through our essential tips to get cheaper car insurance.

What is car insurance?

Car insurance is also known as vehicle insurance or auto insurance. This is essentially a fixed amount of money you pay to an insurer every month to protect yourself financially should your car be stolen or damaged.  Read this article on what is comprehensive car insurance for a detailed breakdown of the different types of insurance policies available for your vehicle.

Why is Car Insurance Important?

One might think “why have car insurance when I can simply save enough money and pay the extent of the damages myself in case of an accident?” This is a common question asked by drivers who are not keen on paying a monthly premium to protect their vehicle. However, saving money yourself might be more difficult to do compared to a debit order that goes off every month. In the event of a ‘rainy day’ you may consider using up your savings, leaving you with less money or no money at all to pay for unforeseen damages. Reputable insurers also have relationships with approved mechanics and dealerships to get you the parts for your vehicle at negotiated prices. If you fix your vehicle yourself or go to a mechanic yourself, you may spend more money than necessary to fix your car. If your vehicle is a write-off, you may not have enough money saved to replace the vehicle at retail value.

1. Compare car insurance quotes

The only way you’ll know whether you’re getting the best value for money is if you shop around to make an informed decision. Compare car insurance quotes online and establish which is the best option for you. There will be hundreds of different companies on the internet that promise to provide you with the best deal, but don’t be overwhelmed. Take your time to make the right decision and evaluate the options given to you clearly. Insurers can provide you with a no-obligation quote where you receive a breakdown of costs based on the type of cover you select. Give yourself ample time to read through the Ts and Cs and ask someone to explain any terms to you that you don’t understand.

2. Choose the right cover

If you’re a new driver, it is recommended that you choose  comprehensive car insurance cover. This covers your car against any damage caused by accidents, natural disasters such as floods or hail, and theft. If you have a car older than 20 years, you may be more comfortable with choosing third-party insurance cover. Speak to your insurer, identify your risks and ensure you choose the best cover for your pocket and needs.

3. Choose the Right Car

If you’re shopping around for a vehicle, you may want to exercise caution when choosing your vehicle. Some vehicles are considered a high risk based on how common they are hijacked in South Africa or within your province. If your car is considered a high-risk vehicle, your premium will be higher than a car that is considered low-risk. If you’re looking for affordable car insurance for your budget, then it may be a good idea to choose your vehicle wisely.

4. Pick a Trusted Insurer

The best insurance companies are those that are trusted by their clients and deliver on their promise to provide world-class service. With a trusted insurer, you have peace of mind that they will process your claims efficiently and there will not be any hassles when you enquire about anything you don’t understand. Do a search on Google or HelloPeter and compare insurers based on their reviews to find the right option for you.

5. Drive Safely

You may not be able to control the driving habits of other drivers, but you can control yours.

Practice safe driving habits by adhering to the road’s speed limits, always keeping a safe distance between you and the car in front of you and never texting while driving. Taking your eyes off the road for a second to look for a different song to play on your radio is also dangerous.

If you've had alcohol, don’t drive!

6. Regularly Review Your Insurance Cover

Whenever your insurer sends you documents, read through them and make a note of how much excess you can expect to pay and what your car is covered for. If you need to claim, you don’t want to be faced with something you weren’t expecting. If you see something that you’re not comfortable with, get in touch with your insurer and ask them about it.

7. Be on the Lookout For Benefits

When taking out insurance, pay attention to the questions that are asked by the agent. You may be offered a car-hire option whereby in the event of an accident, you receive a courtesy vehicle within the same group as your current vehicle for 30 days. This may be included in your premium at an additional cost. Some insurers offer benefits such as roadside assistance or take-me-home services.

8. Check the Claims Process

Having a car insurance policy is great and highly recommended, but the buck does not stop there. Check whether the claims process is easy enough for you to understand as you never know when the day may come for you to use it. Does your insurer have a website or an app from which you can submit a claim? These online options can be much simpler and comforting than calling a customer service line that will prompt you several times before you’re helped.

9.  Trustworthy Car Repair Services

The right insurer will work hand-in-hand with reputable repair shops which may not be cause for concern. Find out if you’re able to check on your car during the repair process to give you absolute peace of mind.

The best way to provide you with absolute peace of mind is by choosing the right car insurance for your budget and your needs. Be sure to do your research thoroughly to make an informed decision and never hesitate to ask questions if you don’t understand something. This will ensure that you’re up-to-date with the latest information regarding your policy, leaving you happy and relaxed to live your way!

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