It never pays to drive around in an un- or underinsured car. You’ll want a service provider to turn to for advice, and especially for a payout to cover damages to your car should it have been involved in a crash.
But how should you rate different providers against each other, or make sure that a particular package is able to suit your needs? Consider the below.
Fortunately, there is a range of comparison tools on the market today, with which you can line up apples, pears and bananas, and make an assessment on various important verticals. The insurer you are leaning towards may not have signed up to appear on this sort of comparison portal but, by making use of such a tool as a starting point, you’ll get an excellent idea of what other reputable service providers in the market are offering to others in your age group who are driving a car similar to your own.
Compare and conquer
When you’ve lined up the car insurers on the portal, you’ll probably have a range of quotes for Comprehensive Insurance – in the case of, for example, a hatchback such as a Toyota Yaris, dependent on the age of your car, your own age (younger drivers are considered to be more risky to insure), when your last accident was, as well as where your car is predominantly parked (e.g. in an access-controlled area would add less to your premium than parking on the street, of course!)
Budget for excess
Now, look at the excess you’d be liable to pay in the case of an accident or any other type of claim: some could be as high as R20 000 per claim, once standard and additional excesses are considered. An excess, for those unsure of the meaning, can be seen as the deposit you’d need to pay in before your car insurer will pay out your claim. Does this seem affordable from the service provider you are leaning towards? Some insurers will consider raising your excess, if it’s not too high, so that you can pay less of a premium each month. The idea is that the package you end up taking should be comfortable according to your own needs, earnings and lifestyle.
Select the seamless
How easy is it to sign up? If your insurer has invested in an app or a website that provides you with a seamless and speedy sign-up process, this can also be an indication of how stress-free it may be to deal with said insurer in the case that something goes wrong. In this day and age, insurance is moving away from weighty paperwork and call-centre queues in a view to harnessing smart technologies to provide a user experience that is pleasing and efficient.
“Insurance is about more than just footing your car’s repair bill,” says head of MiWay Blink, Christiaan Steyn. “The latest technological innovation is allowing us to provide savvy young drivers with a cutting-edge product that is fairly priced and weighted towards safety (the App detects a car crash and sends emergency services if you don’t respond to the calls from the emergency call centre) and pleasing features (such as a cashback that increases the less you drive). We’re seeing the dawn of a whole new type of insurance and a concomitant new set of behaviours from drivers, which should make the South African roads a whole lot safer in the time to come.”
Third parties and annual adjustments
Will your sibling, parent or partner drive your car from time to time? Be sure, then, to stipulate the details of this person (or at least an extra driver) on the policy so that you can have peace of mind whomever may take the wheel.
And be sure to check in with your service provider on an annual basis, rather than allowing your policy to simply roll over – year on year – without you noticing the renewal date. Circumstances can change more than you realise on an annual basis; you may have bought a new car, be living in a new home that provides a different type of security for your vehicle, not to mention how cars devalue in price the moment they leave the showroom.
Has your insurer adjusted the “retail value” of your vehicle? This should be done on an annual basis to keep your premium accurate.
Stay alert out there, and remember to stick to the speed limit.