The most obvious first thing to do in order to reduce the cost of your car
insurance, or get a good deal in the first place, is to shop around. We've
already covered this in detail in a previous section, but it's worth repeating
Keep your insurance mindset current
Allied to this is to develop a mindset of continuing to shop around. Because
of the tedious nature of acquiring insurance, and the fact that it's a grudge
purchase, most of us tend to find a good deal, and then forget about it, and
just keep paying our premiums.
But just because you've gotten a great deal at the outset doesn't mean that
it will continue to be a good deal. Your insurer's costs might not keep pace
with market trends, and other insurers might introduce better deals. As a
general rule of thumb, check out if your insurance deal is still giving you the
best value for money every year - perhaps on the anniversary of your policy,
which can serve as a reminder to you.
Watch those extras
Extra services on your policy, like a courtesy car in the case of an
accident, might be very nice to have, and might make you feel like you've scored
a good deal, but bear in mind that you're actually paying for this as part of
your monthly premium. So if you're looking to decrease your insurance payments,
these are the kind of things that you might want to give some second thought to.
While it's nice to get a good courtesy car for a week or so, perhaps you could
borrow a car from someone instead. Have a look at all your car policy extras and
decide if you truly need them.
Check your excess
It's all very well to have a nice low excess built into your policy, but you
are inevitably paying higher premiums for this. Your circumstances may have
changed since you took out car insurance, and you may well have more capital
now. In which case you can afford to pay a higher excess and have your premiums
reduced accordingly. Remember that you might never even have to pay any excess,
if you never have an accident, so that increased premium may very well be just
Doubling up on value-added services
Your insurance policy may come with all kinds of value-added services, like
medical assistance and breakdown assistance. But then these days, when everyone
and his dog is tacking on extra value-adds to entice customers, so does your
cell phone contract, your medical aid and who knows, even your Woolworths credit
card account! And while your aren't ostensibly paying for this in your monthly
insurance premium if it's being given to you as a free value-add, rest assured
that it's been factored into the financial equation somewhere. You may well find
that if you change to an insurer that doesn't offer all of these extra bells and
whistles, you'll pay less for your insurance. And you'll still have these extra
services, courtesy of someone else.
Beef up your security
As we mentioned before, the better protected your car, the less you'll pay on
your insurance. So if, for example, you don't have a tracking device, consider
having one fitted. This should not only reduce your premiums, but it will also
add peace of mind, and help to ensure that your car is recovered if stolen.
You can also change the security where your car is parked at night.
Installing laser beam tracking in your driveway will not only help you to feel
more secure at home, it could also reduce your premium.
Improve your driving skills certification
Most insurers offer a discount if you have passed an advanced driving course.
So take the course, and become a better driver to boot. This might not only save
you money on insurance premiums - it will also make you a safer driver and could
save you a lot more than just money.
Watch your mileage
If you were a sales rep on the road when you took out your car insurance, but
now you have been promoted to a desk job, make sure you let your insurer know
this. You will be travelling less, and hence your car will not only undergo less
wear and tear, but your chances of having an accident are also less. This could
very well be good grounds for reduced car premiums.
Pay your insurance annually
If you can afford to, consider paying all your premiums for a year in one
lump sum, instead of monthly premiums, and then negotiate a discount from your
insurer in return.