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You own a car, and if something were to happen to that car – something out of your control – would you be able to replace it or repair it out of your own pocket? Not many people could afford those expenses, and that’s the main purpose of car insurance.
Motorists, particularly those in hijack-heavy South Africa, are slowly beginning to realise the importance of having that safety net.
So, why aren’t you insured yet? There are a couple of likely reasons.
Firstly, insurance is often seen as a grudge purchase, and many people just don’t have that money to spend. We get into our cars, and we hope for the best. But, another major reason is the common perception that acquiring car insurance is a pain in the neck, involving mountains of paperwork.
CompareGuru makes finding the right insurance product quick and easy, but there are still a number of factors for you to take into account. What sort of problems could you run into during the process? What are the dangers you need to be aware of?
Here are some tips to help you avoid any pitfalls, and ensure that you really get the right insurance, suitable for your needs.
Everybody is looking for the best possible deal, and in an ideal world, that would mean paying less money and receiving more cover. Unfortunately, insurance just doesn’t work that way. Too many consumers settle for the first offer they receive – or the cheapest quote – without comparing them at all, and knowing what you're getting for your money. There are many insurance providers out there, and some of them may be really cheap for a reason.
You don’t want to put your most valuable assets at risk by acquiring inadequate cover. That’s the most important factor to consider – sufficient protection. Therefore, it’s important to shop around and weigh up your options.
Have a look at the deals and benefits which could be included. Weigh them up against the competition, and only settle for the product that suits both your requirements and your budget. Do some research into the reputations of the insurers, and how their policies work. Know what you’re covered for, and what is excluded. It’s a shocking fact that many people who do take that leap and get insurance still don’t know what kind of events they’re actually covered against. You may be driving around thinking you’re protected, when in fact, you might not be.
Know your policy, know what the limits are and know what you’re paying for.
An insurance policy is essentially a legal agreement between two parties; the insured and the insurance company. This agreement is based on trust. You, as the policyholder, trust the insurance provider to cover you accordingly in the event of damage or loss. In return, the insurance company trusts you to pay your premiums and furnish them with accurate, honest information from the onset.
Honesty is absolutely key to a fruitful relationship. Any person could get any quote they want by just filling in a bunch of false information.
No, I’ve never been involved in an accident before. Yes, I’m married with children. I don’t spend a lot of time on the road. I drive a car with all the latest safety features. We live in a nice neighbourhood with low crime rates.
The quotation you receive from the insurer is based on this information. So, you could enter all of the above and certainly receive a better quote, than if you were, say, a young, single male with a record of mounting pavements…
But if it’s not the truth, or if you’ve omitted information, it will come back to haunt you should you ever need to claim.
Lying to your insurance provider will result in your claim being rejected, and you’ll have to pay for all the damage or loss out of your own pocket.
With that in mind, in the process of comparing quotes, it’s also important to provide all insurers with the exact same information. This is the only way to truly receive accurate quotes.
Most people will opt for lower monthly premiums, but what they don’t always realise is that to get the same amount of cover, of the same value, you’ll then have to face higher excess fees when you claim.
It’s far better to pay a higher premium every month and select a lower excess. The reason for this is simple; you can budget for monthly premiums. You know what you’re paying.
Accidents, however, come out of nowhere, they’re entirely unplanned, and there’s no certainty that you’ll be able to cover a large excess fee at that time.
In a nutshell, opting for lower premiums may save you money from month to month, but it will end up costing you far more in the long run.
So, you’ve gone through all the quotes as carefully as possible. You’ve chosen a reputable insurance company. The premiums are realistically affordable, and the policy covers everything you need it to cover. You’ve asked the questions you needed to ask and you know what you’re covered for, as well as your limitations. You’ve been entirely honest.
Now, breathe a sigh of relief. You’re one step away from protecting your assets.