The cost of living keeps on going up, but that doesn’t mean you should be paying more for your car insurance than you need to. With Budget Insurance, you can save money on your car insurance premiums, while getting all the coverage you need. Here are 5 top tips to help you save money on your premiums…
There is no question that having adequate car insurance is an essential expense. You just never know what can happen on the road and being fully protected isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity. However, that doesn’t mean insurance premiums should exhaust your disposable income. In this article, Budget Insurance suggests a handful of ways in which you can reduce what you pay for car insurance every month.
1. Choose the type of car you drive carefully
Does the type of car you drive affect your car insurance premiums? Yes, it does. In fact, it’s a major consideration. The general rule of thumb is that the more expensive a car is, the higher you will pay for car insurance. This is because repairs or replacement costs will be higher in the event of the car being damaged or stolen.
But there are a few more factors to think about when buying a new set of wheels. This can include the vehicle’s age, whether it is a luxury model, safety features and the statistical chances of the car being involved in an accident or stolen.
Buying second-hand can be a good option, but consider these important factors before you shell out any money. This is because newer cars are equipped with more expensive features, which are more costly to replace than those in older models. Your vehicle’s body style could also have an impact on insurance costs. For example, SUVs garner higher premiums than smaller models, because they will probably do more damage to another vehicle if there is an accident.
Your car’s crash safety rating can also have an impact on you getting cheap car insurance. Vehicles that have higher test scores, for crash avoidance and mitigation, as well as how the car protects passengers from injury when involved in an accident, will have lower premiums.
2. Watch your driving record & take a driving course
Does your driving record affect your insurance premiums? Yes, it does. If you are prone to getting traffic fines, have been involved in a car accident in the past, or have any other traffic infringements, this could hike up what you pay for car insurance every month. Other than being a careful driver who respects the rules of the road, there is one way you can reduce your car insurance premiums and that is by improving your skills through an advanced driving course.
What Is Advanced Driving?
When someone gets a driver’s license, it indicates that he or she has demonstrated the necessary skills for basic driving. Most drivers never continue their learning beyond that point. However, it’s wise to take your driving education further. Advanced driving courses teach participants the skills they need to be the best drivers they can be. Students are trained in:
- Vehicle control
- Proper speeds for passing and travel
- General road-handling
- Effective observation
- Suitable braking techniques for all motoring situations
Benefits of an advanced driving course
The primary reason that drivers elect to participate in an advanced driving course is to enjoy the benefits of being safer on the road. There are other benefits, too. You’ll put less wear and tear on your car, allowing you to drive it for many years without spending as much on maintenance and repairs. Furthermore, when you obtain an advanced driving course completion certificate, you can submit it to your insurance company, and you may receive a discount.
3. Increase your car insurance excess
One of the first things you are asked when you get a car insurance quote is what excess you would like to have with your policy. An excess is the amount of money you must pay when making an insurance claim. For example, if you are involved in an accident and make an insurance claim of R10 000 to replace a damaged bumper, you may have to pay R1 500 to your insurer before the repair can be made.
Most insurance companies have a compulsory excess amount, and this can differ depending on the car model and the age of the driver (more inexperienced drivers will be given a higher excess because they have a higher chance of having an accident). How much above the compulsory excess you want to pay, will be your choice. Having a lower excess means you will pay less when you claim, but it also means you pay more on your insurance premiums.
One of the ways you can save on your monthly insurance costs is to set a higher excess. This does mean you will have to pay more when you claim. But if you don’t make any claims, you will be lowering your overall insurance costs.
4. Take car security seriously
It is an unfortunate reality that vehicle crime in South Africa is alarmingly high, with billions of rands in vehicles being stolen or hijacked every year. That’s why every step you take to lower the risk of your vehicle becoming a crime statistic, will have a positive impact on your insurance premiums. This can be done by adding security measures, such as a:
- car alarm
- Wheel locks
- Approved tracking device to your car
There are also simple safety measures you can take. Some of these include parking in a safe and well-lit area, remembering to lock your vehicle (even when you are at home) and keeping your valuables out of plain view. Your insurance company will work out your premiums based on where you park your vehicle, particularly overnight.
Some areas are statistically more dangerous than others and this can raise your premiums. These statistics are worked out according to how many crime incidences have occurred in an area, including theft, robbery, smash and grabs and hijackings. However, if your car is parked in a locked garage and you live in a security estate with 24-hour guards, this is likely to lower your risk profile.
5. Review your car insurance cover regularly
Regularly reviewing your insurance policy is a good idea and could save you money in the long run. This should be done immediately if there have been any changes in your personal life, such as when you move house, buy a new car, or need to add another driver to your insurance plan. All these changes will make a difference to your premium. However, reviewing your insurance should also be done regularly, to try and avoid your rates slowly increasing year on year.
Ask your Budget Insurance broker questions. Does the quote cover all the drivers of your car, or do you get complimentary car hire if the car is in for repairs?
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