Do South African’s need affordable vehicle cover? We believe the answer is “yes.” Every South African should be able to buy car insurance from a selection of cheap car insurance quotes. South African motorists need innovative, tailored car insurance products that are affordable and cost-effective. However, you describe it, car insurance such as this could help millions of South African motorists. The South African Rand has depreciated by more than 60% in the last three to four years. Consequently, the price of imported vehicle parts has sky rocketed, steeply pushing up the cost of vehicle repairs and the average car insurance claim amount with it. In addition, the price of vehicle recovery and salvage has risen dramatically too with up to 40% of the average R20 000 claim going to the cost of getting the vehicle from the site of the accident to the repairer.
It’s no wonder then that comprehensive car insurance companies have been forced to increase their premiums materially each year just to keep their motor portfolios out of the red. Many are now also shifting their practices away from a “replacement of parts” approach to a “repair what can be repaired” approach.
This is not to mention the regular increases in car insurance excess amounts, meaning that car insurers are expecting their clients to carry an ever-increasing financial burden from their own private funds.
The poor state of South Africa’s roads has further aggravated the car insurance crisis with annual road deaths approaching nearly 20,000 people each year. Enormous potholes, faded road markings and signs, and faulty or broken intersection robots generate an enormous amount of otherwise avoidable car insurance claims.
Ineffectual traffic policing and general impunity to South Africa’s road traffic laws are another major contributor to otherwise avoidable car insurance claims. If only South African consumers could access innovative car insurance products that were affordable yet offered meaningful protection.
The fact that nearly 7 in 10 vehicle owners do not have car insurance is not that surprising. When one carefully considers the colossal cost of vehicle ownership and the princely price of comprehensive car insurance, the answer becomes abundantly clear.
Most of South Africa’s 10 million vehicles are financed by one of the major banks. Therefore, each vehicle owner needs to make a monthly debt repayment on their vehicle unless they wish to have their vehicle repossessed. This repayment often represents a significant percentage of the average South African’s income.
Fuel prices have been steadily rising with the State not passing on the savings from decreasing international crude oil prices to SA consumers. Instead, the fuel levy has been increased to fill this void with bigger taxes.
Vehicle servicing costs can also be high with many motorists not being able to regularly maintain the recommended manufacturer service cycles. This accounts for a large portion of car insurance claims that relate to mechanical or electrical failures.
And then there is the issue of insurance. After finance repayments, fuel and maintenance costs, vehicle owners still need to find room in their strained budgets for car insurance. To make matters worse, comprehensive car insurers apply what is called risk profiling.
What this means is that affluent South Africans living in safer areas with lock-up garages, who drive expensive cars with leading security measures get the best deal on car insurance. Ordinary South Africans living in the real South Africa, driving ordinary cars pay proportionately more for their insurance. It’s understandable then how short term insurance is almost always the first thing to be dropped during a tough month.
Are you looking for affordable car insurance for your car? Have you collected a few quotes? South African car insurance companies need to reinvent the wheel and come up with some new cheap car insurance options for real people with real financial constraints. The old suite of products is just not meeting the current needs.
Whilst the uptake has been slow, it seems that some car insurance businesses have already responded to South Africa’s car insurance crisis with sustainable solutions.
Imagine affordable car insurance that cost as little as half of what comprehensive car insurance costs. Imagine low-cost car insurance that guaranteed you a fixed premium for the life of the policy with no annual increases and no excess to pay when claiming.
Imagine cheap car insurance with no risk profiling and a one size-fits-all approach to policy pricing. Imagine affordable car insurance that could be masterfully flexed according to your needs and budget. Imagine. Sounds almost too good to be true. Strangely enough, all of these things are actually available right now.
Organisations like Prime Meridian Direct have developed innovative, cheap car insurance solutions that can fit just about any budget. With some options starting from as little as R149 a month and a guarantee of “Fixed Premiums for Life”, it certainly seems like they’re switched on to the problem. Perhaps there is hope yet for South Africa’s car insurance crisis.
How has the car insurance industry been affected by South Africa’s junk status, which was announced in April, 2017? “I have just heard that South Africa has been downgraded to junk status, whatever that means – but it doesn’t sound too good. The TV and radio are all going mad about this and I’ve also heard that there are going to be protest marches held around the country!” This was the kind of talk that many South Africans would have engaged in during the first week of April.
You may be curious, “Why do we need affordable vehicle cover?” With today’s economic climate in mind, living expenses are just increasing daily. In most cases the cost of car insurance will increase going forward. However, that is not the case with all insurance companies. For example, Prime Meridian Direct’s car insurance has fixed premiums for life regardless of any economic changes.
According to Herald Live, South Africa’s junk status will increase the cost of your car insurance through possible hikes in car insurance premiums. The South African Insurance Association (SAIA), which represents almost 60 short-term insurers, warned that the downgrade would have a serious impact on consumers. Vivienne Pearson‚ SAIA’s chief executive, said that the downgrade was expected to affect the short-term insurance industry in particular.
You may ask, “When should you start looking for affordable motor insurance quotes?” It may be a good idea to continually evaluate each of your monthly expenses as part of your monthly budget.
You may have made up your mind, so, now, where and how should you get cheap car insurance? We recommend that you only consider South African insurance companies that are registered FSPs (they have registered as Financial Service Providers with the Financial Services Board) and to avoid ‘fly by night’ companies. There are many leading South Africa car insurance companies to choose from, which are registered FSPs. A few insurers offer convenient online purchase platforms, which take the hassle out of getting quotes and switching insurance providers.
The idea of possible premium increases was echoed by Automobile Association spokesman Layton Beard. He said that the likelihood of premium increases could possibly result in the cancellation of car insurance policies.
Nevertheless, policy holders need to seriously weigh up the consequences of cancelling a policy. They need to realise that it is a great risk not to insure their cars, seeing that 65% of all cars on the roads do not have car insurance.
So, although at the time you may think it is too expensive to pay those premiums, just remember that if you are involved in a car accident, where both cars are not insured, the cost of repairing your car could well be beyond your reach.
Through leading innovation in the car insurance industry, PMD has pioneered a new class of affordable car insurance products that is able to achieve premium rates more than 50% less than those of traditional, comprehensive motor insurance. South African’s also don’t have to worry about increasing premiums because PMD’s premiums are fixed for life. That is extra peace of mind when most other household expenses are on the increase.
Prime Meridian Direct offers a wide range of car insurance products to suit all budgets, such as our Prime Motor Thrift and Prime Motor Cover Grow car insurance products; with the cheapest being our Prime Motor Assist car insurance product.
We stand by our car insurance products as a solution to South Africans’ car insurance needs. Don’t just take our word for it, below is a customer review via HelloPeter Samson Samuel Khoza who wants to rate PMD 6 out of 5, had this to say about PMD’s car insurance:
“Had a car accident in March 2017 and I am done with all required steps of my claim. Every single person in the process has been good with me and I am asking myself, "why such a wonderful courtesy to me?". I have mentioned specific and wonderful persons that assisted in my previous reviews but to this end I have to mention Lynette Jacobs and her colleague Anna. The two finalised my claim to my advantage without annoyance. This brings me to a conclusion that it is a culture at PMD to employ people who don't know how to do the wrong job. I wish I could rate PMD and its staff with a 6th star.”
Car insurance policies mentioned are distributed by Prime Meridian Direct (Pty) Ltd, an authorised Financial Services provider. FSP 41040 and policy benefits are underwritten by Santam Structured Insurance Limited. FSP 1027.
If you want to buy a car, but would like to “shop around” online for affordable car insurance quotes from reputable companies, then read further.
Car insurance is obviously not just “car insurance” – there are several types of car insurance that you need to know about, there are just a few of the types of insurance you get. Even if you did know all these types of insurance before, you may well need to be reminded about them and research them in more detail.
This type of insurance covers any damage caused to your car in an accident, or loss through fire and theft. The third party, which comprises the driver and passengers of the other car involved in the accident, are covered for any injuries sustained, as well as any damage to their car. Hence the name “comprehensive” is used, as the cover is pretty comprehensive.
This is a cheaper alternative to comprehensive cover. This type of cover does not insure your car for any damage caused in a car accident, but your car is covered in case of loss through fire and theft. The third party’s car is covered for any damage to it that is caused by the accident.
This is what is sometimes called basic cover. This is the cheapest type of car insurance. Your car is not at all covered for any damage when in an accident, but the other car is. The value in this must not be understated, it is still very helpful, because, although your car may be written off in the accident you caused, can you imagine having to pay R200 000 worth of damage done to the latest Mercedes model on South African roads?
The above is a brief general description of a few types of car insurance out there. Remember that when getting quotes to compare against each other, it will be meaningless if you compare apples with pears, for example comparing a comprehensive policy quote with a third party quote as they provide totally different cover options to you. You need to compare cheap cover quotes that offer the same cover option in order for the comparison to be worthwhile.
So what’s the next step?
You need to do a bit of homework if you want to get hold of those quotes. This information is vital to insurers because all their calculations on how “risky” you are, is based on the details you supply to them. Examples of these are:
You are wanting to buy some car insurance for the new car that you will get next week. Naturally, no one just knocks on the door of any type of car insurance company. There’s no point going to a website, enter your relevant personal details, and then receive quotes on comprehensive insurance from six insurance companies, four of which you have never heard.
You need to find out which are cheap and reputable. You will need to look at and consider which companies have a good record, and get praised in surveys conducted by independent researchers? Which ones have a well-known and reliable track record? Etc. You can also confirm and verify your choices with family and friends, and if they have heard any bad reports about the companies you have selected. Once you have approved of a group of car insurance companies that you feel comfortable with, you can then move on to the next step, which involves two options.
One option would be to phone or go online and contact say six companies, and spell out to each company what you are looking for, and then obtain a quote. This process may well be quite time-consuming to find the cheapest quote.
The second option is to go online and obtain quotes from different car insurance companies by using websites that specialise in providing a variety of cheap car insurance quotes free-of-charge. Remember that there are always certain safety precautions you should take when you go online.
Before you even start comparing car insurance quotes online, you must think of general online security.
There are websites out there that are secure. How can you tell? Well, look for both the “https” or the lock icon at the beginning of the website address. The website is not secure when:
The Auto Trader website can provide you with affordable quotes and is a secure website - you will notice the little padlock icon near the website address. This website provides you with two options – the first is that you leave your name, and contact details and they will get back to you for a “quick” quote. If you want an online quote, they ask you for your car’s details such as the year of manufacture, make, model, and colour. Also requested is the annual mileage done with your car, and whether you are the owner of the car, or you are thinking of buying this car. Finally, they want to know what is the car used for – mainly business? Finally, where is the car parked at night and under what kind of security?
The InsureAcar website is another secure website that can provide you with quotes from different insurance companies for any particular car insurance plan.
You’ve read about how to compare car insurance quotes online. Why not contact PMD online and compare the cheap car insurance quotes with the ones you have already received? PMD has designed a new Online Insurance Purchase Platform to make your online purchase of car insurance as convenient as possible.
PMD’s new Online Insurance Purchase Platform is second-to-none in providing you with easy and short steps to purchase your affordable car insurance package, which you are able to arrange according to your specific needs by being able to add or remove options on the cover package you select. Going online is really convenient, because you can do so any time of the day or night, without having to talk to anyone. However, should you need or want more assistance over and above the audio and video material available on the site, you can use the call-back facility and talk to one of PMD’s agents.
‘What should I look out for?’ is one of the questions that immediately comes to mind when asked why you should compare car insurance quotes to find the cheapest option. It’s not only the best price that counts.
How can you compare insurance quotes if you don’t know what you want covered? What, for instance, are the minimum boxes that should be ticked before you can be satisfied that you are safely covered? You may sign up for a cheap car insurance quote, only to discover that they have massive excesses.
Let’s read on and find out what boxes should ticked when comparing quotes to find the best option which is both cheap and what you need from a car insurance offering.
According to the Ombudsman for Short-term Insurance, top 2015 complaints for car insurance was 48%, compared to 18% for homeowner insurance (natural disasters, burst geysers and so on), and 8% for householder insurance (household content and building).
In stressful times, households tend to first cut back on car insurance payments, and for this reason car insurance companies are doing everything they can to keep their clients.
You have made several enquiries from various secure websites that provide a number of cheap quotes from different car insurance companies. Each company says they are the best value for money but somehow you need to know what to look out for with each quote. In this way you are able to establish which car insurance policy qualifies to provide you with the right cover. By the way, you also need to filter the quotes by considering only those companies that have been rated as among the best. These insurers are well rated for a reason.
You need to do some research to establish what kind of cover you need for your specific situation. If you need extra assistance to understand a particular policy, a qualified financial advisor can help you. You will begin to discover what you want by going through various quotes and policies. This will also help you identify what you don’t want. You are establishing your insurance plan that fits your situation the best by doing this. After that, you are in a position to examine the insurer’s website for what is on offer. Another issue to look at is how well the insurer works through claims – are the claims done fairly and reasonably quickly? This kind of information can be obtained from the Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance (OSTI).
Never choose an insurer only because the premiums are nice and low. You need to determine that the cover provided fits your risk profile. If you are counting your pennies, at least start with very basic cover such as third-party.
This is very important and you need to be sure you have examined the policy benefits carefully as described in the policy. Are most or all of the benefits shown in the policy acceptable to you? For instance, if you want to have road and medical assistance, are they included in the policy or can they be included into the policy as an optional item? After you have signed up for a particular policy, you don’t want to find out that there is no roadside assistance when your car breaks down at night in some unsafe area. You need to know what you can claim for, well before it comes to claim time.
This is something that some insured people may forget to enquire about it. A car hire benefit cannot be underestimated. It is common knowledge that after you have crashed your car, it seems like your ‘legs have been removed for the next 2 weeks.’ You have to arrange for a lift to work, or may be borrow your neighbour’s car. For an extra small additional premium every month, a hired car is made available to you for a specified period of time or under certain sets of circumstances. The impact of this is something to be experienced. Even though your car is out of action, it is almost as if nothing has happened and life just carries on as normal. It is always a good idea to find out if this option is ticked on your policy and decide whether you want to include it.
It may be very important in your particular situation to ensure that the insurance quote being offered you covers your car when it is driven by an appointed alternative/nominated driver. Some company quotes won’t require you to specify who is the regular driver and who else will share the driving, but when it comes to claim time, they will charge you extra if your boyfriend drove the car. Other companies require you to specifically nominate a second driver and you will not have cover unless it is noted on your policy schedule beforehand. It is important for you to find out what your policy requires and make sure you appoint or nominate an alternative driver if it is an option that you want to have cover for.
It is a standard practice that an excess is part of car cover. This is where some cheap car insurance doesn’t become affordable any longer due to large excess payments that are required if you want to claim. This is the part that comes out of your own pocket when submitting a claim. You need to establish if the excess is fixed or does it form a percentage of the total cost of the claim? Decide if you are comfortable with the risk of having a high excess and low monthly premiums. If that is the case, you would want to ensure that you have some cash saved somewhere that covers that large excess, so that you will be able to pay it in the event of a car accident. You never know when an accident might happen so you need to be prepared at all times. Another consideration for your policy is to be sure about whether the premium will go up after a claim or not, or whether it is fixed for a certain amount of time or not.
The company that provided you with this amazing, affordable quote has placed certain exclusions into the policy. You need to study the exclusions. They say prevention is better than cure – you don’t want to discover at claim time that you can’t claim for a specific situation because it is part of the exclusions and you didn’t take the time to read your policy. An example could be of a tow truck owner who can’t claim on that damaged car he was towing because one of the truck’s chains was not properly locked into position and this is an exclusion that his policy included.
You suddenly get invited to join your friends on an exciting fishing trip in Mozambique. Off you go, and then your car unfortunately hits a goat in an isolated rural area, and the car can’t go any further. What now? Will there be any roadside assistance available from South Africa? You will have to ask your insurance company for a certificate that clearly states that your car is covered after you have crossed the South African border. This certificate will have to be presented to the customs officials. Some policies do not cover you outside of South African boarders, it is a good idea to check your policy for this.
Car insurance companies will usually either insure your car based on its retail value or market value. Retail value is often said to be the best option but you should decide on this for yourself. You can lower your car’s premium if it is insured based on its trade-in value. This value is usually lower than the retail value, and is the amount that car dealers pay out when you trade in your car for the purchase of a new car.
In the event that your car has been modified the insurance company will request that you provide them with a written valuation certificate of the value of the car. Some companies don’t cover modified cars or charge an extra premium because of the modifications. It is important that you disclose modifications and don’t not say anything because the insurer would need to consider this as a factor when assessing your risk and not disclosing it could lead to your claims being rejected.
You will need to supply the same information to every website that will provide you with a quote. This is because you are then providing them with the same risk profile. You can’t present different risk profiles to different companies. After you have studied several quotes / policies, you will begin to have a ‘feel’ for what is made available to you in terms of cover. From that kind of research you can draw up a list of boxes that you feel should be ticked for your particular situation. When you have done that, you will be in a strong position to compare the quotes and select the best one for you.
The new Online Insurance Purchase Platform has been designed by PMD to take the stress out of buying car insurance. It is convenient to follow the steps, and can be done at any time that suits you the best. It can be done from the comfort of your home or office. You can tailor-make the policy to suit your needs, and should you require any assistance during the process, you can access audio and video materials made available online. Even though the process does not require you to talk to anyone, should you want or need to speak to a PMD agent, a call-back facility is also available.
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