According to the Automobile Association of South Africa, there are approximately 12 million vehicles on South African roads and that only between 65% and 70% of them are uninsured. Given the startling number of theft, accidents, smash-and-grabs and hijackings which occur daily it is imperative that motorists ensure that their vehicles are insured.
Although many car owners feel that insurance is a grudge purchase, the consequences of not being covered by a reputable insurance company can be severe; resulting in catastrophic financial losses and debilitating personal inconvenience.
It may seem like a good idea to cancel one’s insurance policy (in an attempt to save money) but rather than drive uninsured, here are a few tips to consider, which may help reduce premiums and still allow you to enjoy vehicle insurance cover:
- Shop around: It’s a good idea to check if your current insurer has new products and services which you can benefit from. These products and services would likely maintain adequate cover, but at a reduced monthly amount. If not, check what other insurance companies may have to offer as keeping abreast with new insurance products could save you a pretty penny monthly.
- Keep your claims to a minimum: Filing a claim for every ding, scratch and dent is a sure fire way of increasing your premiums, especially when such minor damages could be paid for out of your own pocket. You may argue that you pay monthly premiums and are entitled to make claims as and when you see fit, however, bear in mind that the more you claim, the more of a high-risk driver your insurer sees you as being. Rather, make claims only for damage which you well and truly cannot afford.
- Update your details: You would be amazed at how much you could save if you no longer use your vehicle as often, for example, as you did in pre-lockdown days. Should your car spend more time parked in your garage at home than on the road to and from work, be sure to inform your insurer.
- Increase your excess: The ‘norm’ for many motorists is to pay the lowest excess in anticipation for the event of a claim. However, this practise generally results in higher premiums. By turning the ‘norm’ on its head, and opting for a higher excess, you could save money by paying lower premiums. This would free up cash on a monthly basis.
- Insure your vehicle correctly: Some car owners make the mistake of not ensuring that their vehicles are insured at the correct value. This results in motorists unnecessarily over paying for insurance on a monthly basis.
There are other ways in which motorists can reduce their monthly insurance bill, especially in the difficult economic times we find ourselves in. No matter how tightly you have to fasten your belt do not make the mistake of cancelling your insurance cover. Rather, discuss your options with your insurer. You may be pleasantly surprised by how much you stand to save on a monthly basis.