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Your Car Insurance Explained.

Car insurance is one of the most important financial purchases a SA consumer will make ,so finding the right Insurer and making sure that you get the right cover is very important .

Many SA consumers often do not shop around for a better insurance quote and tend to stick with the sae insurer each year ., this can often result in the Insured paying thousands of Rands more each year than we need to.

On the other hand , often we can decide to opt for a really cheap insurance cover– only to discover that when we make a claim, certain items were never covered under the terms of that insurance policy.

Shopping around and comparing many different Insurance quotes is the starting point for anyone who wants the best car insurance deal. Our car insurance comparisons will allows you to search for and compare quotes from ALL the top insurers and brokers in the SA.

But knowing how motor insurance works can help you get an even better deal – not just on price but in terms of the service you may need from your insurer.

It tries to answer some of the most typical concerns of motorists: everything from explaining how your quote is set and tips on how to cut the cost of your cover, to the various steps involved in making a claim.

We also try to make insurance simple for you to understand by explaining some of the more typical terms used when taking out car insurance.

What drives the cost of car insurance?

Why do car insurance premiums go up?

There are many factors that influence the quote you will be given. Some are personal to you and depend on your situation.

Others factors depend on the level of benefits you want from your motor insurance policy. You can select between the range of benefits and thereby influence the price you pay for your premium.

There are factors that you have little or no control over and depend on outside circumstances.

Insurance Fraud will drive up the costs of everyone’s insurance premiums Fraud continues to be very costly to the industry. What the consumer needs to realise is that it is the honest insurance customers that are subsidising those who commit fraud in the form of increased premiums.

Stock markets: few people realise that insurers try to “stockpile” funds so that they can pay out in the case of claims. This means money taken in premiums is often invested until it is then paid out.

This strategy is more obvious in the case of home insurance, where storms can lead to very large – and sudden – claims. But to a lesser extent it also applies in the case of motor insurance policies.

Inevitably, this is not much use if markets are plummeting. Again, the recovery in world stock markets since 2003 is what has helped keep premiums at “reasonable” levels.

What determines the cost of your Insurance quote?

A number of factors will determine the cost of your motor insurance quote.

Postcode: you are deemed to be a higher risk if you live in a city or urban area - especially if you park your car on the road. Security measures – alarms, locks and trackers help to reduce your car insurance premiums.

Age and experience: newly qualified drivers - or drivers under 25 - are deemed more likely to have accidents than older, more experienced drivers.

This has important implications for parents: adding teenage drivers to a policy can significantly increase your premium.

Also, if you take a special course, such as an advanced driving course this will often lead to a discount. Your Occupation will determine the cost of your motor insurance. For example, a company director might pay less than a sports person of the same age. Claims history: the less you claim, the less you pay.

Excess: this is the amount of money you will have to pay yourself before the insurer then chips in for additional repairs. The more money you’re willing to pay out as excess, the lower your premium.

The car’s value and insurance category: cars are placed in specific insurance categories, with expensive or powerful performance cars being the most expensive to insure. For example, categories range from Group 1 for a Fiat Panda through to Group 20 for a Porsche 911.

Age and experience: newly qualified drivers - or drivers under 25 - are deemed more likely to have accidents than older, more experienced drivers.

This has important implications for parents: adding teenage drivers to a policy can significantly increase your premium. Claims history: the less you claim, the less you pay. Five-year no-claims discounts are best. If you have an own-fault accident, you typically lose up to two years’ bonus.

Where does the money I pay in premiums go?

We all know car insurance is an expensive business – but where does our money go?

The money you pay on your motor insurance is not set aside in case you need it – instead it is put into one big pot. Here`s a breakdown of where the money from your premium goes:

    * 50% to pay claims.
    * 25% on legal and administrative costs.
    * 25% for costs of running the company.

These numbers vary between insurers. Some are better than others at saving and on cutting their overheads.
Most of the money paid out on car insurance claims is paid on property damage.
Collision damage makes up more than 50% of an insurance company`s total expenditure.

How to cut the cost of your car insurance

The obvious way to cut your car insurance costs is to shop around at least every six months, as the price of your vehicle depreciates through out the year.

But it is also often the case that people pay for the level of cover they receive. The more bolt-on extras you have, the higher the cost of your motor insurance. You must carefully decide which of these extras you want and which you don’t need.

    * Is a rental car provided as standard? Is it offered if your car is stolen or written-off? Do you have to pay extra to insure the rental car?
    * Does the policy offer roadside breakdown assistance? Is other countries outside of SA covered? If so, this can cost a lot more.
    * How high is the policy excess? Are there any mandatory excesses for accidental or malicious damage? Many companies issue policies that have a “compulsory excess” - and sometimes a “voluntary excess”. This refers to the amount of money you are willing to pay in the event of an accident. The more money you`re willing to pay in excess, the lower your motor insurance premium.
    * Does cover include personal injury, personal belongings or replacement locks?
* Will your insurer immediately authorise repairs from recommended agents? If you have to obtain quotes, the cost may be less.
    * Does it offer legal advice and medical counselling telephone lines?
    * Can you protect your no-claims bonus? How many claims are you allowed under the scheme before your no-claims bonus is affected?

Ways of reducing your car insurance premiums

Here aresome steps you can take that will impact on the cost of your policy:

Mileage – Many insurers’ policies are based partly on an estimate of the mileage you travel each year. There are certain schemes such as Pay As You drive from Hollard which provides insurance for people who wish to stipulate the amount of kms they will drive each year ,Hollard then price the premium accordingly.

Alternatively  if you move jobs and have a shorter distance to commute you should inform your insurer of a new estimated mileage as this could save you cash.
Motorists who pass an `advanced driver` course can also see their premiums reduced. Think seriously about it: one single course fee could cut your future car insurance bills for years to come.

 Consider who to put as the main insured driver – If you have one car in your family, drive it equally and you have more penalty points than your spouse, putting him/her down as the main driver with you as a named driver on the policy could also cut your bill.
Car security – A car alarm, immobiliser or tracker makes it less likely that your car will be stolen and therefore should reduce your premium. If you do fit such security devices, make sure that they are approved by your insurer. It is worth calling your insurer to see which ones will cut your car insurance quote the most.

Try not to speed or commit other traffic offences – The higher the number of speeding and other offences, the more expensive your car insurance is likely to be.

Modifications – New wheels, seats, colour changes and adding a spoiler are all changes that could add significantly to your premium. To pay as little as possible, keep modifications to a minimum.

How to make a car insurance claim
What happens if a claim is rejected?


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