AN URGENT NEED FOR CHEAP CAR INSURANCE QUOTES
Are you looking for a cheap car insurance quote? Do South African’s need affordable vehicle cover? We believe the answer is “yes.” Every South African should be able to buy car insurance via browsing 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 skyrocketed, 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.
Many people are looking for cheap car insurance in South Africa and for good reason too. 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. What this means is that car insurers are expecting their clients to carry an ever-increasing financial burden from their own private funds. So, in effect, cheap car insurance could turn out to be expensive car insurance due to large excess payments.
POOR ROAD MAINTENANCE AND INEFFECTUAL POLICING – CAN CHEAP CAR INSURANCE SAVE THE DAY?
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, cheap car insurance products that were affordable yet offered meaningful protection.
POOR ECONOMIC CONDITIONS AND MOUNTING FINANCIAL PRESSURE – CHEAP CAR INSURANCE IS ESSENTIAL
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. South Africans need cheap car insurance.
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, car 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?
Are you looking for cheap 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.
CLEVER PRODUCTS WITH GREAT BENEFITS – CHEAP CAR INSURANCE IS A REALITY
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 cheap 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 R165 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. Cheap car insurance is the solution for ordinary South African motorists, which they can budget for too.
SOUTH AFRICA’S CAR INSURANCE INDUSTRY IN 2017
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.
HOW WILL SA’S CURRENT ECONOMIC CLIMATE AFFECT CAR INSURANCE?
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 cheap car 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.
WHAT SHOULD CAR INSURANCE POLICY HOLDERS CONSIDER?
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.
HOW TO COMPARE CHEAP CAR INSURANCE QUOTES?
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.
WHAT KIND OF CAR INSURANCE TYPE ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
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.
THE COMPREHENSIVE TYPE
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.
COVER FOR THIRD PARTY, FIRE AND THEFT
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.
THIRD PARTY INSURANCE
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?
HAVE YOU COLLECTED YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR GETTING QUOTES?
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:
- The age of your car – the year and model. Some car makes are famous for their expensive spare parts. The premium is also based on how old your car is. The insurance premium should be cheaper if the car is an older car.
- Your age – the older you are the less risky a driver you are considered to be because you will have obtained many years of driving experience.
FIRST THINGS FIRST – WHICH COMPANIES ARE REPUTABLE IN SELLING CAR INSURANCE?
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.
CONTACTING BY PHONE OR EMAIL EACH CAR INSURANCE COMPANY FOR A QUOTE
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.
GOING ONLINE AND CONNECTING WITH A WEBSITE THAT PROVIDES MULTIPLE QUOTES FROM VARIOUS CAR INSURANCE COMPANIES
The second option is to go online and obtain cheap car insurance 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.
MAKE SURE THAT THE WEBSITE COLLECTING QUOTES FOR YOU IS SECURE
Before you even start comparing cheap 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 “s” is missing, and that’s when you only see “http”
- you see for instance a small “earth ball” showing longitude and latitude lines, and which is situated just before the website address starts. Rest the cursor on that ball, and click on it. It will tell you something to the effect that your connection with this website is unprotected, which means that you must not release any password or credit card information, as this could be stolen by cybercriminals.
YOU HAVE SELECTED A SECURE WEBSITE THAT PROVIDES YOU WITH CAR INSURANCE QUOTES
Many websites can provide you with cheap car 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.
WHY COMPARE CHEAP CAR INSURANCE QUOTES?
‘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.
COMPARING CAR INSURANCE QUOTES
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.
CHECK EACH CAR INSURANCE POLICY TO SEE WHAT IT COVERS AND WHAT IT DOESN’T
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).
WHAT ABOUT COMPARING MONTHLY PREMIUMS?
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.
MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE CAR INSURANCE POLICY BENEFITS
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.
THE CAR HIRE BENEFIT
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.
DOES THE POLICY COVER ALTERNATIVE DRIVERS?
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.
WHAT ABOUT THE EXCESS?
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.
YOU NEED TO KNOW THE EXCLUSIONS OF THE POLICY
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.
IS YOUR CAR COVERED OUTSIDE SOUTH AFRICA’S BORDERS?
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.
INSURE YOUR CAR FOR ITS RETAIL VALUE OR TRADE-IN VALUE
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.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR CAR HAS BEEN MODIFIED?
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.
COMPARING INSURANCE QUOTES MEANS YOU MUST SUPPLY THE SAME INFORMATION TO EVERY WEBSITE
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.
IS SOUTH AFRICA READY FOR A FULLY-ONLINE CAR INSURANCE EXPERIENCE?
Although no information about trends in buying car insurance online in South Africa could be obtained, we can take a look at local trends in e-commerce.
e-COMMERCE IN SOUTH AFRICA – WHAT IS THE TREND?
Buying cheap car insurance online forms part of e-commerce, and thus looking at the growth trend of e-commerce in South Africa will give you an idea of how likely online shoppers will buy online car insurance.
e-COMMERCE IS GROWING AT A PHENOMENAL RATE
A Fin24 article of 22 February 2017 says that e-commerce in South Africa is growing at an explosive rate. A large increase in e-commerce was attributed to entry of cell phones into the market place, as well as much cross-border shopping. Car insurance is part of this revolution, which has made it much easier to find cheap car insurance deals.
SOUTH AFRICAN ONLINE SPENDING FORECAST FOR 2018
South Africa’s online spending is estimated to exceed R53 billion by 2018.1 Much of this will be spent on cross-border buying, involving the US, China, and the UK.
AFTER SOME INITIAL SLOW GROWTH, ONLINE SHOPPING IS SET TO SOAR
According to a Fin24 article,1 online shopping in South Africa was growing slowly, but over the last few years, all indications are that growth will soar beyond expectations. Research has shown that 58% of all online adults in South Africa spent a staggering R37.1 billion on online shopping during 2016.
WILL THE INCREASED MOMENTUM IN ONLINE SHOPPING CONTINUE?
It is predicted that the recent growth trend will continue. In a survey, 53% of interviewed online adults have indicated that online spending in 2017 will increase even more. Of these 53%, 84% ascribe the continuing rapid growth to the enjoyable ease of shopping online. Another 38% say that this growth is due to people wanting to save more, and another 36% attribute this growth to increases in their disposable income.1
2018 TREND IN CELL PHONE COMMERCE
More and more South Africans are using their cell phones to shop online, resulting in a spend of R9.5 billion between 2015 and 2016. This spending trend is expecting to continue, resulting in an estimated increase of 123% by 2018.
SOME ADVANTAGES OF BUYING CAR INSURANCE ONLINE
Online purchasing of car insurance is made available by many insurance companies in Kenya.2 The article asks what can persuade traditional buyers of cheap car insurance to go online instead?
BUYING ONLINE CAR INSURANCE IS CHEAPER
Buying car insurance online saves you time, as you don’t have to make an appointment and physically drive to an office. Online car insurance can also be also cheaper because no insurance agent is involved. 2
EASY TO COMPARE ONLINE QUOTES
By going online, it doesn’t take long to compare different cheap car insurance deals. You can obtain reviews on online purchases of car insurance, as well as consider any views expressed by clients. 2
ONLINE BUYING MADE EASY BY A CUSTOMER-FRIENDLY INTERFACE
The process for obtaining online quotes is made easy by following a straightforward procedure. All financial transactions are safe and secure.2
YOU CAN BUY ONLINE CAR INSURANCE AT ANY TIME THAT SUITS YOU
Everyone is so busy these days, so there is little time left for buying car insurance. It’s so much easier to buy car insurance online from the comfort of your own home. And you can make a purchase even at midnight, if you want to.3
IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO INSURANCE DOCUMENTS AND TO MAKING CHANGES
Buying car insurance online means you can print documents straightaway. Any changes you would like to make to your policy can also be done online. 3
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS?
When in the process of buying online, you may have some questions. Car insurance companies provide good telephonic support for any such queries.
SO WHERE IS PURCHASING OF ONLINE CAR INSURANCE GOING IN SOUTH AFRICA?
The way online shopping is exploding in South Africa, is a good indication that it bodes well for online purchasing of car insurance. At the moment, the car insurance industry is ‘stuck’ with 30 – 35% of insured motorists. Once third party car insurance is made compulsory in South Africa, growth in both traditional and online purchasing of car insurance could explode. The one of the restrictive issues for buying insurance online in South Africa is that not everyone has a computer and access to the Internet, although just about everyone has a cell phone.
It would be interesting to see what percentage of the total of 30- 35% of insured South African motorists 4,5 have bought car insurance online.