Whether you’re taking out car insurance for the first time or considering your options when it’s time to renew your policy, there are several essential factors to consider to ensure you get the perfect cover for your budget, lifestyle, and needs.
With so many different types of insurance packages and insurance companies on the market right now, selecting the most suitable ones can seem like a tricky task. And it’s an important decision to make – having the right policy in place could make a profound difference if you’re involved in a prang or more serious accident.
We can help. Here are the key things to take into account before signing on the dotted line of a new insurance policy to give you peace of mind that you have the protection you need on the road.
No matter your budget, getting value for money from your car insurance provider is crucial. Before searching for the best plan, have a clear idea of what you can afford to pay; as well as make a determination as to the value of the policy you’ll be able to take out; this will also mean you can plan to pay it in either one lump sum or in monthly (or quarterly) installments. Making one payment for the entire amount will usually unlock a discount. However, the ability (or otherwise) to pay incrementally could make a difference to the range of policies you can afford.
It’s important to be aware, too, that some factors will affect the cost of your coverage across the board: gender, and age, for example, will affect premiums: new teenage drivers will find their coverage universally more expensive.
The Coverage You Want
Next, think about what you want your car insurance policy to cover. The purpose of car insurance is to pay for damage incurred to a third party’s vehicle on your own; certain types of policy, however, will extend this cover. Collision insurance, for example, means that the damage to your own car by an accident you’ve caused could be covered.
It may also be a good idea to consider Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance to cover medical costs incurred as a result of an accident if your health insurance doesn’t extend to this. If PIP is something you’re interested in, check carefully what’s covered and what isn’t in the policy. Online therapy with insurance, for example, may now be accessed to help drivers recovering from an accident, but look to see if this is included in the specific policy you’re considering if you would like it as part of your package.
Most insurance providers will offer ways to tailor your car insurance to your unique needs, so consider this factor when taking out a policy.
If you are a multi-car household, look for insurance plans that allow you to add additional drivers to your policy so the whole family can save on their premiums. Similarly, if you also ride a motorbike, certain providers may not only be able to offer you cover for both vehicles in one plan, but this package could also include cover for extras such as your leathers and helmet. Depending on your personal circumstances, some providers may also be able to extend the cover so that you can drive other cars while remaining covered.
Consider the Excess
This is a really important element to consider. The excess is the amount of money you’ll be required to pay in the event of needing to call on your policy – for example, if you have an excess of $200 on your policy, this means that in the event of an accident that has caused $1,000 worth of damage, you will need to pay $200 while the insurance company (if the claim is allowable) will pay the remaining $800.
In general, the higher the excess, the cheaper your premiums are likely to be. However, a high excess could leave you significantly out of pocket if you’re involved in an accident, so you’ll need to weigh these things up carefully when making a decision.
If you’ve narrowed it down to a few providers and are struggling to make a choice, then thinking about any perks offered by the companies on your list could help. Some providers will offer new policy-holders their first month of cover free or will throw in other benefits, such as added breakdown cover or cashback.
Choose a Trustworthy Provider
Finally, choosing a reputable, trustworthy insurance provider is essential. Taking out cover that seems like an unbelievable bargain could turn out to be just that: unbelievable.
If the provider isn’t a well-known name, then take some time to check that it’s licensed to provide insurance, and look carefully through its website to see if everything looks legit. A reputable company will have its head office details, and customer service information clearly displayed on its site.
It’s also important to look at a wide range of reviews from past and present customers to get an idea of the kind of service you can expect to receive.