No debate: Taking out vehicle insurance is a must

While not something most South Africans wish to talk about given the current state of the economy and escalating energy crisis, the simple truth is that having vehicle insurance is a must regardless of whether you buy a new or used car.

Of course, the biggest factor preventing owners from taking out insurance is the final amount that will either receive approval, or a description in not so polite terms when presented with it.

With current affairs in the country unlikely to improve anytime soon, the answer to avoid being ripped off when it comes to vehicle insurance, is to do proper research and not to exceed the limits of your wallet.

Don’t go overboard

This is according to Old Mutual’s Lizo Mnguni, who remarked that buyers should pay what they can afford and not go overboard on buying a vehicle that would ultimately cost more to insure than what they had expected.

“Once you have a shortlist of cars, call your insurer or broker to ask which car is more expensive to insure. Your broker will be able to tell you which car will help you save on your insurance,” he said.

He added that interested buyers should continue to monitor the media and track the opinions of journalists, as well as the number of vehicle awards in order to get a better understanding of which vehicles is the best.

ALSO READ: What to know about vehicle insurance policies

“The esteemed journalists have already done the legwork for consumers, and have considered things like value for money, total sales, and all-round worthy winners,” Mnguni continued.

How to save

When looking for ways to save on insurance costs, Mnguni says that two methods present the best possible option.

“If you have savings, you could consider using more of your rainy-day fund to afford an increase in your excess, which you would be liable to pay were you to experience an accident. By increasing your excess with a lump sum, you are likely to reduce your monthly premium by a considerable margin of between 10% and 20%,” he says.

In the case of vehicle owners unable to increase their excess, an insurance-by-usage method of paying should be considered.

“If you don’t use your vehicle for an extended period and it is parked in a safe area like a garage it means you are not at risk of having an accident. This may entitle you to a discount on your insurance premium,” Mnguni adds.

Look at the Ts and Cs

He concludes by warning that irrespective of which method of vehicle insurance is eventually settled upon, “it is important to abide by the terms and conditions of your policy so that if you have a claim, it is not rejected”.

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