Hi, my name is Adam Stewart, Debt Collection Expert and owner of ADC Legal Litigation Lawyers.
We do a lot of recoveries against un-insured drivers for motor vehicle accidents. We feel for them sometimes, since some of these debts can be pretty big if you hit someone else and it’s your fault. We also know how cheap car insurance is, since we work with a lot of car insurers. So, we are well-placed to offer you some great tips on how to save money on car insurance. Review your coverage at renewal time to make sure your insurance is in step with your needs, and follow these practical steps to reduce the bottom line on your car insurance policy.
Here are my top 10 tips to save money on your car insurance:
- Maintain a good driving record.
Your driving record and claims history all help to determine your risk level, and therefore, how much you will pay for your car insurance. If you have a good driving record, your premiums may be less. Be kind to your car, keep it maintained in good conditions. Insurers may penalise you or even refuse your claim, if your car is not in tip top condition.
- Shop Around
Get at least three quotes. Use some of the insurance aggregators, like Iselect or Compare the Market. Ask friends and relatives for their recommendations based on their experiences, and do your own due diligence by researching the company before committing. Have a look at online reviews and forums. Cheap insurance is great, but what is their claims handling like? Find out all this before you commit.
- Look for policies that reward good driving
Not all drivers and not all car insurance premiums are created equal. Driving is a learned skill and some drivers are naturally more skillful, or safer, than others.
Car insurance companies like Progressive Direct focus on facts and statistics to identify safe drivers who earn the right to a lower premium. They assess how likely you are to make an insurance claim in order to determine the appropriate price.
Consider a new insurance from the Hollard group called Huddle. They offer fixed kilometre discounts. It can save you money because it’s based on how much you drive. If you spend less time behind the wheel, you’ll spend less money on insurance. Car insurers will also consider other factors when quoting for your premium, such as where you live, how congested it is in your area, what time of the day you drive, where you drive and even how fast you drive.
Essentially, if you’re in a densely populated area or driving when there are more cars on the road, you’re more likely to have an accident. If you’re younger, or have less driving experience, they know there is a higher risk of scrapes and bumps.
- Consider insurers that give discounts for no claims and/or low kms.
Consider a new insurance product from the Hollard group called Huddle. They promise to give back part of your premium if you don’t make a claim. They also offer a fixed kilometre discount. It saves you money because it’s based on how much you drive. If you spend less time behind the wheel, you’ll spend less money on insurance.
- Maximise your discounts with your current insurer
Check your policy and your current insurer as a lot of insurers provide discounts that you may not be aware of. Consider the following options and if your current insurer does not provide them, consider changing to someone that does:
- No claims bonus. A no claims bonus is a discount based on the number of years you’ve gone without a claim.
- Unadvertised discounts. If you’re a long-term customer, pensioner or over the age of 50, you may qualify for additional discounts. Many insurers don’t advertise these discounts, but don’t be afraid to ask.
- Multi-car discounts. If you’re a multi-car household or have teenagers or adult children living at home, you could save on premiums by combining all the cars under one policy.
- Home owners. Owning a home demonstrates responsibility and some insurers will offer lower car insurance rates to home owners as a result.
- Lower premium for a higher excess. Ask your insurer if they provide a premium discount if you raise your excess.
- Cut out young drivers. If you are the only one driving your car and you are over 25, ask your insurer for a discount.
- Consider paying your premium in an annual lump sum.
Some companies will charge you additional fees if you select to pay by the month either by loading the premium or charging additional fees. Paying annually may reduce the overall cost considerably.
- Consider a safer, economical car that’s easy to insure
Yes, it’s great having cars as a hobby, but specialist vehicles, including vintage, modified or over-sized vehicles, are much more expensive to insure. We know that some people want the fastest car possible, or the lowest ride, or the loudest engine. But the unfortunate fact of the matter is that Australian insurers tend to take a dim view of modifications. This means that while they won’t refuse or withdraw cover for your modified vehicle, they may increase your premiums or reduce the amount you’re covered for. When buying or upgrading your car, consider a safe, economical late model vehicle that will be easy to insure.
- Watch out for policy add-ons
Additional options on your insurance policy (for example, no-excess windscreen replacement) cost extra, so you need to ask yourself whether the available bells and whistles are really worthwhile, and whether or not the individual components are worth the dollar values they each add to your policy. An easy way to figure out whether the various add-ons are worth it is to figure out what they’d cost if they weren’t covered on your insurance policy.
- Go High Tech
Everyone wants cheaper insurance – but how do you get it? Thankfully, many insurance providers in Australia are providing a high tech answer that does not only lower your premium, but is designed to provide a better customer service and make life easier for drivers. Consider Insurance Box by QBE, Hail Hero by Budget Direct or NRMA’s discounts for fuel efficiency. Consider your own dash cam or car tracking device, so you can at least prove liability in the event of an accident.
- Prevent having an accident, so you can retain your rating one
Some insurers will reward you with a lower premium and even money back, if you do not claim, so here are some ways to avoid having an accident altogether:
- Plan ahead and allow time to get to your destination. This will encourage safer driving, as you won’t be in a rush.
- Be considerate of other drivers and other people on the road. Stay calm, check your mirrors often and treat other drivers as you wish to be treated.
- Remove distractions when driving (such as your mobile phone) and stay focused on the road.
- Park your car in a concealed garage. You may also consider moving to a safer, quieter area.
- Consider your travel options and possibly use public transport to get to work during peak hour periods.
If you can be safer when you drive, you’ll save money on your car insurance premium, and most importantly you could prevent serious injury or save lives. Good luck and I hope I have saved you some money!
ADC Legal Litigation Lawyers is a legal practice specialising in commercial advice and litigation, debt recovery and insurance claims recovery disputes. For more information, email us at email@example.com or call 1300 799 820. Talk to us about your litigation or dispute concerns via Skype at adclegal.
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