WHY COMPARE CAR INSURANCE QUOTES OR COST ESTIMATES?
Why compare car insurance quotes? You know that saying, “never settle for second best.” It is the same when it comes to auto insurance. Vehicle cover is something that you will pay for monthly for most of your adult life, it is an expense that adds up over time.
Don’t make choosing vehicle cover a casual decision, follow the below 6 steps to help you choose the right car insurance quote:
Step 1: Decide what budget you have available for car insurance.
Step 2: Decide what type of motor insurance suits your budget (comprehensive cover, third party-only cover and third party, theft and-fire cover).
Step 3: Look at the car insurance companies’ track records via independent news websites (not belonging to insurance holding group companies) and online customer reviews. How often does each insurer’s premiums increase because motor vehicle cover is something you pay for many years into the future? It all adds up. South Africa has many reputable car insurance companies, which have been operating for many years. Choose a registered FSP (financial service provider), which is either self-sufficient or underwritten by a reputable company. You can check if a company is registered on the FSB website. There are traditional insurers that offer comprehensive cover and as well as insurers that offer you more personalised cover, which cover only what you need to be covered and this is in order to keep premiums as low as possible. South Africans are spoilt for choice. So, take advantage of all that is on offer. In these tough economic times, it is worth the extra effort to select the right insurer.
Step 4: Now that you have shortlisted a handful of insurers you should apply for quotes online via their websites (see also car insurance calculators below) or give them a call. Collect as many quotes as you feel that you need. Don’t be pressured into rushing to sign up with any insurer yet.
Step 5: Compare each insurer’s quotes with each other. Take your time to weigh up all the cost estimates from each shortlisted vehicle insurance provider. Look at it from a short-term and long-term perspective. Carefully study all the fine print of each policy. Be patient, don’t rush your final choice to avoid being disappointed later.
Step 6: Accept the car insurance cost estimate online via the insurance company’s website or telephonically and enjoy the cover that it provides.
CAR INSURANCE CALCULATORS
You may often hear about car insurance calculators and various other financial-related online calculators. These are useful online tools. This would fall under ‘step 4’ of selecting your car insurance. These are internet-based insurance, quote creating programs that many South African insurance companies offer within their websites. These tools allow you to input your insurance requirements, some personal information and then produce a quote. These online motor insurance estimators could ask you for information such as: the age of your car, the car’s mileage, your age, the make and model of the vehicle and what cover would you want, to name a few potential questions? Be honest and fill in the options as accurately as possible so that you have accurate quotes to compare with each other.
These tools come in handy because it is convenient to calculate your own potential vehicle cover premiums and to compare insurers respective offers when it suits you. Make sure to understand the fine print (t’s and c’s) when using these tools on each insurers website – is the quote final and does the quote include all costs (no hidden costs)? Call or email the relevant insurance companies if you have any questions about their vehicle cover calculators.
CAR INSURANCE – DO YOU REALLY NEED IT?
Car insurance, do you really need it? When looking at the statistics relating to motor vehicle hijackings and car accidents within South Africa, you will have more than enough evidence which highlights the importance of car insurance.
The cost of repairing your car has increased dramatically over the last couple of years, resulting in significant increases in the average cost of insurance companies processing a claim. Due to the increase in vehicle theft, accidents and rising repair costs, insurance companies are forced to recalculate the risk and cost of insuring our vehicles.
Unfortunately, the SA motorist cannot afford to drive an uninsured car when considering South Africa’s high accident and car theft rate. About 65 percent of South African motorists don’t have car insurance, according to the South African Insurance Association (SAIA). This has enormous implications for all road users, irrespective of whether they are insured or not.
The hard reality is that if you are an uninsured driver, you alone will have to cover the costs of repairing your car or even buying a new one if it has been badly damaged. In addition, you will also have to bear any legal costs when trying to claim damages from another uninsured driver without the assistance of an insurer.
VEHICLE INSURANCE IS NECESSARY
Motor vehicle insurance is necessary as its absence affects many people. Regardless if you happen to be the most cautious of motorists, and even if you pay cash for your car, you are still at great financial risk if you drive an uninsured vehicle.
> Daily, many South Africans experience the significant loss of losing their cars resulting from either theft, hijacking or accidental write-off: An example of such a situation would be:
I said goodbye to my friends and left the premises to go to my car, which was parked on the pavement, When I arrived at the location where I had parked I was taken aback as my car was no longer where I had left it! My heart almost stopped beating!
Events such as these are often a nasty reality check as we tend to think that this will never happen to me. However, the loss of your car, whether it be because of a motor vehicle accident or theft or hijacking, is extremely difficult to recover from as you suffer a huge financial loss, especially since cars are so expensive?
Car insurance is necessary should you wish to put your mind at ease. As you drive one of your most expensive assets daily, car insurance provides you with the opportunity to have peace of mind that you now have cover for those unforeseen circumstances which often put you under severe financial pressures. This is one of the greatest benefits of having motor vehicle insurance.
The motor vehicle insurance industry in South Africa plays a significant role in the financial well-being of many of its citizens. It is important that we continue to educate all South Africans as to the importance of having motor vehicle insurance.
For many people within South Africa, a barrier to having insurance is often the cost. The current landscape of a high level criminal activities and increasing costs in repairing or replacing motor vehicles have contributed to the high costs in having an insurance policy.
Car insurance is unfortunately not compulsory in South Africa, which means that the Government cannot tackle the issue of uninsured vehicles.
WHAT IS CAR INSURANCE?
What is car insurance? Understanding the risk of not having car insurance is important, but we also need to understand what “car insurance” is? One of the biggest challenges facing the South African insurance industry is that of consumer education. In other words, quite a few consumers don’t know what is going on with the financial service industry and insurance products. In fact, most of the complaints to the Ombudsman for Short Term Insurance are from consumers who are just not familiar with the aspects of motor insurance.
The Arrive Alive website provides some advice to vehicle owners about car insurance and road safety.
Car insurance is a contract in which an insurance company is financially responsible for loss, as described in the insurance company’s policy terms and conditions that the insured person may suffer to the vehicle. The bottom line is that people need to become acquainted with the policy terms and conditions and policy schedule. The clients need to make sure that they clearly understand the wording, terms and conditions, and any exclusion clauses.
INSURANCE COMPANIES NEED TO HELP THEIR CLIENTS
This is clearly where car insurance companies can help their clients – by explaining the contract in summary form and in layman’s terms. Clients can be put off by difficult-to- interpret small print covering many pages of the contract. By simplifying and “educating” the client about the essentials of their policy, they will be so much happier as they will understand at long last the product for which they are paying.
So often we hear of people who tell us that they should have read the car insurance policy’s “small print.” Their expectations were that when “X” happens, they will receive benefit “Y”, which unfortunately does not materialise. The more attractive the insurance industry becomes to the motorist in terms of “friendly” policies and companies, the greater the chance that the 65% of uninsured cars can be brought down in South Africa.
GOLDEN RULES OF CAR INSURANCE
There are some golden rules before signing up for car insurance:
- You need to understand the “promise” that the car insurance company is providing. Car insurance is essentially a “promise” to assist in a time of loss if the insured’s loss falls within the insurer’s terms and conditions
- Please ensure that you provide clear, up-to-date personal information upon which the insurance policy is based.
- Please provide honest and complete information. Failure to do so may affect the outcome of any future claim against the insurer.
Due to the lack of financial literacy, it is the duty of the insurer to ensure that the client understands what they have purchased. This will aid in managing clients’ expectations and provide a better platform for future engagements.
The extent of the cover from a car insurance product provided to the client should be clearly described in the policy’s terms and conditions. The insurance provider, as well as the client, has equal responsibility in ensuring that all details of the policy are in order.
It is important that all persons who are actively driving on the roads of South Africa abide by the National Road Traffic Act (Act 93 of 1996) and any of its regulations including, inter alia, the Road Traffic Regulations of 1999 (as amended).
CAR INSURANCE REVIEW
What do customers think about car insurance? I’d like to commend the service of Lerato Tlhoaele! She was excellent and made sure I understood every aspect of the cover I was looking for. She was very patient over several number of days it took for me to make up my mind. Thank you! Kagiso Korae, via HelloPeter.
HOW TO BUY CAR INSURANCE ONLINE?
Would you love to buy car insurance online, but you are a bit hesitant? Are you telling yourself that you need to be more computer savvy to be able to do it, or are you asking how to go about it all?
If that is you, then let’s explore it a bit further. Too many TV adverts are bombarding you with words such as ‘you must be paying far too much for your car insurance.’ Eventually, you want to actually find out if it’s true by obtaining several quotes.
GOING ONLINE OPENS THE DOOR TO ALL CAR INSURANCE
We can deny it or not, but going online is the only way you are going to find out all the “ins and outs” about the car insurance world.
CAN YOU BUY CAR INSURANCE ONLINE IN SOUTH AFRICA?
Buying car insurance directly from an insurer can be done online or via the telephone. However, in South Africa, buying car insurance online is still in its early stages, although it is growing. A 2011 survey showed that 20% of car insurance was bought online in South Africa, whereas 43% of sales are still done via a car insurance agent. What must not be forgotten though, is that online car insurance sales showed a 5% growth in 2011 compared to 2009, whilst sales conducted by agents went down by 6%. In another 2011 survey, it was found that 54% of all those who had car insurance had inquired for a quote online.
CHECK YOUR CAR INSURANCE PREMIUMS ANNUALLY
If you are buying car insurance for the first time, then this doesn’t apply to you. But for those of you that already have car insurance, you should take some time every year, and check what kind of cover you are still getting for the premiums that you are paying. You may find that with another car insurance company, for the same or similar premiums, you may be getting more cover.
So let’s follow the process of buying insurance online.
WHAT MUST YOU PREPARE BEFORE YOU BEGIN THE CAR INSURANCE SEARCH ONLINE?
You need to do sufficient research before you begin to search for car insurance online to acquire an accurate quote.
WHAT KIND OF COVER ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
Different types of cover are offered by various car insurers:
- Cover for damage caused to property by the insured driver
- Cover for any physical damage caused to the insured car
- Cover for injuries sustained by third parties (the other driver, passengers), which were caused by you.
- Cover for third party, theft, or fire
- Cover for damage to a car that you were renting
- Cover that includes towing costs of your damaged car
CAR AND PERSONAL INFORMATION
You are obviously looking for the best premium, but before you can manage to get hold of one, you need to consider what could affect your premium:
- The type of insurance cover you are wanting to get for your car
- Your age – if you are a teenager, you will have less driving experience, and thus the risk of accidents will be greater. This means the premium will be higher than for someone older and who has been driving for many years. It is very important to honestly disclose who the regular driver is to the insurer.
- The age of the alternative driver and if you are nominating an alternative driver – what if you are sharing the driving of your car with someone else? Some policies require that you to nominate another driver in order to be covered while someone else is driving your car, if you don’t nominate the alternative driver and have them listed on your policy schedule then you won’t have cover for when they are driving.
- Your driving record will describe how you have been driving over many years. If you have a history of reckless driving, the premium may be higher than normal.
- Your car – higher premiums will be for faster cars that are at much greater risk than standard cars, and for popular car models that are much sought after by criminals.
- Your profession – if you are a sales representative, who travels many kilometres every month, your premium may differ from an old lady who uses her car once a week.
- Your credit rating – this is used by some insurance companies as a gauge of how responsible you are, and how financially sound you are.
- The area where you live, and where your car is parked at night. Is it quite secure or is there little security?
- Does your car have an alarm system, immobiliser or tracking?
PAYING EXCESS OR A DEDUCTIBLE WHEN CLAIMING
Your premiums can also be affected by what excess you pay – this is the amount that comes out of your own pocket when you put in a claim to the insurance company. The higher the excess, the lower the premiums.
HOW DO YOU COMPARE DIFFERENT CAR INSURANCE QUOTES ONLINE?
Instead of contacting each car insurance company yourself and finding out what premium goes with what policy, you can go onto a car insurance aggregator website such as InsurAcar and obtain different quotes. All you have to do is provide information about you, your car, driving history etc. and the website in turn provides a series of quotes from various car insurance providers. Quotes are usually sent by emails and your details are often added to their database. Just be really careful to check that the website address you are about to send your information to is a secure site (https or look out for the lock icon).
CHECK THE REPUTATIONS OF CAR INSURANCE COMPANIES INVOLVED IN THE QUOTES
You can check if the companies that have provide you with the quotes are of good repute. You can also establish whether they are registered with SAIA (South African Insurance Association), which represents the short-term insurance industry in South Africa. Speak to your family and friends to see if they have had any experience with Company X. You can also visit hellopeter.com, and study the complaints levelled at various car insurance companies. Be sure to stay objective though, and establish whether the complaints are legitimate. Sometimes, the client, for example, didn’t follow the correct claim route, resulting in a rejected claim. Then the client goes onto hellopeter.com with a complaint, just because he or she wants to somehow hit back at the company.
DON’T JUDGE A COMPANY JUST BY ITS LOW PREMIUMS
Low premiums may be advertised but that doesn’t mean that you should not understand the policy fully and know what you are covered for and how. Have a peek at the company’s policy documents and be sure that it provides the cover that you need (for example specific risk insurance is cheaper and this is not comprehensive). Premiums may also be lower because the policy may contain terms that say that cars can be repaired perhaps with cheaper parts, and it does not need to be original parts. This is a common term in most insurance policy documents. Make sure you understand the policy document you have a quote on.
BUYING CAR INSURANCE ONLINE FROM PMD IS QUICK AND EASY
You’ve read about how to get car insurance online. Try and contact us online and ask us for a quote. PMD’s new Online Insurance Purchase Platform has been specially designed so that you can buy car insurance online conveniently, quickly and effectively.
PMD IS OFFERING GREAT CAR INSURANCE – COME AND USE THE CONVENIENT NEW ONLINE INSURANCE PURCHASE PLATFORM
Once you have had a taste of our new Online Insurance Purchase Platform, you will realize how beneficial it is when buying car insurance online from PMD. The whole process doesn’t take much time, it’s easy to follow the steps and really convenient when you consider you can do this any time that is best for you. You don’t have to try and call an insurance agent, unless you want some extra help by using the call-back facility. Assistance is also provided by audio and video materials that are available online. Finally, you can arrange the policy in a way that suits you the best by adding or removing options you either want or don’t want.
WHY BUY CAR INSURANCE ONLINE?
Maybe you have never tried to buy car insurance online and have always gone into an office, the ‘old school’ way, where you met an insurance official who explained everything to you about the policy you are interested in. Things have changed somewhat since those ‘old days’, and today, car insurance is available online. You may want to say ‘give me a good reason why I should buy car insurance online!’ Well, read on, and you’ll see.
JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING IS ONLINE THESE DAYS
You look everywhere, and people are transacting online, whether it involves ordering food items from an online shop, or a book from an online bookstore. So why not buy car insurance online? Many car insurance companies have gone online in South Africa.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF BUYING CAR INSURANCE ONLINE?
Some of the advantages are spelt out below:
- You have the freedom to choose any policy you want
- You can pay directly
- No paper work is required, which is a win-win for everyone
- You can buy car insurance at any time of the day that suits you
- The process of buying car insurance is done by the client, and not by some official in an office. This may result in a saving that is indirectly passed onto the client who ends up paying lower premiums as a result
- You might find special discounts on offer
- The process is faster, and more convenient compared to going the offline route
- Accurate information is required to be submitted
- Any questions the prospective client may have, can be cleared up through consulting any online audio or video material, or the prospective client can request that the insurer call them back through an online call-back facility
SOME DISADVANTAGES OF BUYING CAR INSURANCE ONLINE
- A call-back facility may feel impersonal.
- If you need considerable help completing online forms, and use the call-back facility, you may well get a different person to help you every time you dial. This is not be the same as having one person who has been assigned to help you.
- You also need to be computer-literate.
SOME MAY PREFER TO DEAL DIRECTLY WITH INSURANCE AGENTS
For those who need reassurance when buying car insurance, they may well prefer a ‘human touch’, and would rather see an insurance agent in his or her office. However, even though there are different methods of delivery, the insurance information that is given out by the agent should be the same as what is available on the website.
THE TIME SAVED BY GOING ONLINE
Convenience is what attracts most people, especially when time seems to be so short in everything we do. It is convenient to be able to browse through various car insurance options, and see which one suits you the best. This is all done at your own leisure, probably from the comfort of your home, and without having to talk to anyone. You can complete all the ‘paperwork’ online yourself, and make sure it is accurate. It is not convenient when you have to fight traffic jams, and eventually arrive at the insurer’s offices, wait to be attended to, then complete the actual paperwork, and fight the traffic jams all the way back to the office or home. You are spared all that by buying car insurance online.
The insurer’s website to purchase online car insurance must be a secure website. In other words, the website address should start with “https” and not just “http”. You can also look out for the ‘lock’ icon that shows as part of the website address, this icon indicates that the website is secure. Car insurance companies, of good repute, will have this all in place.
RENEWING YOUR POLICY
It is convenient to be reminded on time that your policy might lapse.
CHOOSING THE CAR INSURANCE POLICY YOU WANT ONLINE
This is where the online facility comes into its own, by enabling you to browse through the different policies available, and allowing you the opportunity to decide which one is best for your situation. On online website usually allows you the freedom to customise the policy according to your specific needs by selecting or deselecting the options you want, and that is why you don’t really need anyone to talk to unless you have specific questions or want to find out more.
BUYING CAR INSURANCE FROM BROKERS, AGENTS, OR ONLINE – WHAT IS BEST?
Each broker, agent or the online company will try and convince you that buying car insurance from them will be the best. Let’s compare the pros and cons of each one.
BUYING FROM A BROKER – PROS AND CONS
A broker can save you a lot of time and effort when finding the right car insurance for you, and that is what the broker gets paid for. You go to a broker with all the requirements that you want – the amount of cover, the premiums must not be higher than so much, and so on, and then the broker will proceed to obtain quotes for you from various insurance agents. A broker usually knows all the ‘tricks of the trade’, such as where to get certain discount prices and so on.
The cons are that a broker can make mistakes, and there is a commission payable. This usually will inflate the car insurance price slightly.
BUYING FROM AN AGENT – PROS AND CONS
Agents are not as prominent today because most car insurance companies are online.
An agent works for a specific insurance company, and knows all about the policies that company has available. The agent will know which of their products would suit you after meeting with you and listening to your needs from the product, which discounts are available, and can answer any questions you may have about the product. A con about using an agent is that an agent can only provide you with one quote and it is from their own company, so to get a few quotes can take a long time.
BUYING ONLINE – PROS AND CONS
The pros are really great, and buying online has become the norm these days for many things. Although it is mentioned by some that you can’t talk to anyone when buying online, this is not true, many companies have a call-back facility. The huge pro is that there is no middle man and so no commission for that service. Going direct can create savings that translate into lower premiums. A con would be that you have no idea of what other car insurance companies would quote and in order to find this out you would have to go and search other companies for their quotes.
BUYING CAR INSURANCE – WHICH WAY IS THE BEST?
Buying car insurance online wins hands down.
WHAT’S STOPPING YOU FROM BUYING CAR INSURANCE ONLINE FROM PMD?
Now that you have read that the pros of buying car insurance online, what are you waiting for? In fact, PMD’s new Online Insurance Purchase Platform is inviting you to log in and follow the quick and convenient process to purchase the car insurance just made for you.
BUYING CAR INSURANCE FROM PMD – RAPID AND EASY USING THE NEW ONLINE INSURANCE PURCHASE PLATFORM
Just take a look at the new Online Insurance Purchase Platform that was created by PMD. Buying car insurance online has many benefits – it is rapid, and convenient, you can buy it any time that is suitable, you can arrange the policy in a way that addresses your needs, and you don’t need to talk to anyone unless you want to. And, if you need more information, there are audio and video materials available online, and if you need to speak to an agent there is a call-back facility is available.