Car Insurance: Tips for a smooth ride

Car insurance covers your vehicle in the event of an accident or theft, and may protect you from certain liabilities as a driver. Depending on the type of car insurance you have, it will even cover the cost of repairing or replacing your car if it’s also damaged in the accident. But how do you find the best deal for your needs?

In assessing your premiums, car insurance companies will look at the primary way you drive your vehicle and how many miles you drive annually. Prices vary according to many personal factors, as well as the fact that car insurers weigh risk factors differently and therefore calculate their premiums differently. so compare to make sure you get the best deal. Use the Pocketwise free car insurance comparison tool to compare deals to find out your best options, saving you time, money, and the headaches of navigating the policies!

Types of cover

  • Comprehensive: Comprehensive car insurance is a premium level of cover that is able to help you out when you’re in trouble. Out of the 3 broad categories of car insurance policies, comprehensive is the only category that covers damage to your own car and provides additional perks!
  • Third party only: Third party car insurance is the minimum level of car insurance you can get. It provides you with cover against damage you may cause to other vehicles or property. It also covers the cost of compensating others that may have been injured during the accident.
  • Third Party, fire and theft: These policies are similar to third party car insurance but include additional coverage for fire and theft. This means you will get compensated if your car ever caught fire or is stolen or damaged by a third party!

Independent insurance consultants who have years of experience in the market can help you design a car insurance plan to protect your vehicle and everyone around you, so it might pay to have a discussion with them if your situation may not be as straight forward.

Agreed vs. Market Value

When you take out comprehensive insurance for your car, different policies use different methods to work out the value that your car is insured for.

  • Agreed value: Value of the car is fixed when the agreement is signed. Insurers generally give you a range to pick from. When your car is written off, you will get exactly the sum that was agreed when you signed the agreement.
  • Market value: This is the average value of your car in the local car market. When your car is written off, this is what you will be paid for your car.

Excess vs Premiums?

Since car insurance excesses and premiums are inversely linked, you can reduce your bill by increasing the excess. Increasing the excess means you owe more if you have to claim for a major collision, but it is a safe way to get cheaper car insurance.

Providers: Big or Small?

Even though the bigger providers might be able to spread out their discounts over a larger customer base, bigger doesn’t always mean better when it comes to customer service. Car insurance, like any other type of insurance, is not only about comparing the numbers (premiums, excesses, market value, etc), but it also includes comparing the non-financials, such as response times, customer ratings, etc. So shop around to ensure that you’re partnering up with a company that provides an all-round experience.

Compare Car Insurance Plans in NZ

PocketWise makes it easy to compare car insurance providers and their plans, as well as any specials that are on offer. To find out more about a specific policy for your needs, compare the best NZ car insurance plans on PocketWise, where you’ll find all the information you need. The choice you make largely depends on your budget and your individual needs, and there are a number of options available to you in terms of prices and services.

Make sure to read the insurance details to find out exactly what your commercial car insurance does or doesn’t cover. Most providers provide an online quote, which is a great way to start thinking about your driving behaviours and insurance needs. Check your car insurance regularly so you know what you paid for, and continuously compare online quotes to make sure you’re always getting the best bang for your buck.