When it comes time to compare car insurance quotes in South Africa, there is a lot you need to know to make sure you get the best deal. It is not just a matter of quoting with the first company that springs to mind – at least, not if you want your car to be insured with a company you can trust. To make sure you have all the information you need when searching for car cover, here are some of the questions you should ask yourself:
- How many quotes should I compare?
- Which insurers should I quote with?
- What added value and benefits am I looking for in my car insurance?
- Is good service more important than low premiums?
- Have any car insurance companies reduced their premiums due to COVID-19?
- Should I compare car insurance quotes online or go through a broker?
- What factors might affect the price of my premiums?
Answering these questions will guide you on making the right decision when you compare car insurance quotes. Ultimately, these will determine how satisfied you are with your insurance company. That is why we have put together this helpful guide for you to use the next time you are doing car insurance quotes comparison.
Which car insurance companies have reduced their premiums due to COVID-19?
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on everyone. Insurance companies should adjust their premiums and services to accommodate this uncertain time. Fortunately, in true South African style, many insurers are doing just that by easing the financial burden faced by customers. At Auto & General, we have offered R35 million in premium relief during the lockdown to help our customers get through this tough time. In addition, our customers who have been retrenched and have Cash Back Plus on their policies could get up to six months of financial relief with their premium waiver benefit. We have also offered premium flexibility where we can to customers who have been in dire straits.
You never know when something like the Coronavirus pandemic might happen again, so it is important to choose an insurance company that has your best interests at heart, when you compare car insurance.
A broker may add a service fee to your monthly premium, making it more expensive. However, it’s important to understand that you are receiving a valuable service for that added fee. If you have any issues, such as when you need to claim, the broker will assist you in any way they can. Typically, they will submit your claim, manage the repair process, and do anything else to make the process as smooth as possible for you. They can also add cover or change your details, such as if you move to a new house and your address changes. At Auto & General, we work with only the most professional brokers who value experience and excellent service as much as we do.
You can also use an aggregator site like hippo.co.za to compare our quote side-by-side with a few other insurers. When you do this, keep in mind that in addition to a good price, the extra value you get with an experienced insurer is invaluable.
Should I bundle my car insurance with another policy?
There are a few reasons why bundling your car insurance with another policy is a good idea.
Firstly, many insurers will give a discount for bundling your car insurance with other products. At Auto & General, we give you a discount for having Car Insurance, Home Contents Insurance, and Buildings Insurance with us. Insure multiple vehicles with Auto & General and get up to 15% off on car insurance. If you bundle your Home Contents Insurance with Car Insurance, you can get up to 15% off on your Home Contents premium, and if you bundle your Buildings Insurance with your Car Insurance you can get 10% off on your Buildings Insurance.
Secondly, it makes logistical sense to bundle your insurance policies because it is much easier to manage everything with one company. There is only one debit order every month which covers all your policies, or only one payment to remember if you don’t have a debit order.
Thirdly, because you have more policies with one insurer, you are likely to interact more frequently with them. This, therefore, allows you to develop a better relationship with your insurer.
We understand that your time is valuable and you probably want to compare car insurance quotes as quickly as possible. However, we do caution you to conduct thorough research on each of the car insurance companies you are comparing before making a final decision. Some, like Auto & General, have decades of experience, while others are unproven in the industry. If you want car insurance you know you can rely on, going with an experienced insurer makes more sense. Doing it this way may take longer to find the right quote, but it could save you time and money in the future.
Deciding which insurers and how many to compare is entirely up to you. Having a greater range to choose from may help you feel better about your decision because you will know you have truly done all your research. On the other hand, having fewer options could save you time.
Once you have compared car insurance quotes, you can investigate whether the ones you are considering come standard with the following:
- Fair-market premiums.
- An excess you are comfortable with.
- The ability to adjust your premiums and excess to find a balance that suits you.
- Additional benefits, like 24/7 roadside assistance, automatic accident detection, guarantees on the workmanship of repairs, and cash back.
- The experience of the insurer.
- Different levels of car cover to suit your individual needs, such as comprehensive or third party only cover.
- What kind of service they offer. Find out what kind of experiences other customers have had with them – look at reviews online or ask friends and family who are insured with them what they think.
Ideally, you want to have a long and happy relationship with your insurance company, and these factors will help you find the right insurer for you.
What could be the cause of high premiums?
When you compare car insurance quotes in South Africa and you find that your quotes are higher than you expected, there could be a number of reasons for this. Insurers will take similar factors into account when determining your premium. Some of these include:
- Demographics: Your age and gender. If you’re under 25 years old, you will pay a higher premium even if you’ve never been in an accident. This is because you are considered to be a higher risk driver because of your age and your inexperience on the road. Also, women are considered less of a risk than men when driving.
- Addresses: Your home and work address. The locations where you park your car during the day and at night most of the time affect your risk.
- Vehicle: Your car. You might think older cars should be cheaper to insure because they are worthless, but that isn’t true. The cost of potential vehicle repairs has a big effect on your premiums. Because older cars are more prone to having problems and therefore being in accidents, they are a greater risk, making premiums more expensive. Likewise, big 4x4 vehicles often cost more to repair than hatchbacks, so having a bigger car can lead to higher premiums.
- Claims: Your recent accidents. If you have had any claims in the last few years – even if they were with different insurers – this indicates that you might be a higher risk, which drives your premiums up. The extent of the damage and cost of repairs also affects how high your quotes are.
- Insurance history: How long you have been insured for. Many insurance companies will adjust your premium depending on how long you have been insured for. Be aware that if you have any gaps in your insurance history, this could negatively affect your premium.
- Excess: Your excess and premium are not balanced. Some insurers, including Auto & General, offer customers the ability to adjust their monthly premiums versus their excess. You can increase your premiums if you want to pay a lower excess if you ever need to claim and vice versa. If your quote seems high, first check if the insurer hasn’t automatically offer you the lowest possible excess.