In the market for a new car? Congrats, that’s so much fun! But choosing car insurance is kind of a bore. Treating yourself to new wheels is always an exciting purchase. It’s easy to get lost in all the excitement of test driving, wheeling and dealing, all the mod cons and fandangled features; The COLOUR!! Oh the colour is so important. The places you’ll go and the things that you’ll see in your new vehicle!
Hate to dampen the daydream and be all sensible; but you really should sort out your car insurance policy before you even get your new car keys. I know…how boring. But there’s a lot of peace of mind to be had and dollars to be saved if you choose the car insurance that’s just right for you; and shop around…always shop around.
The importance of choosing your car insurance early
All too often, insurance is a last-minute thing and we rush into choosing a policy. If you take your time and compare the market (not the meerkat, they’re literally all the same) before you get your new vehicle, you can make significant savings, and you’re more likely to pick up on some things that you otherwise might have missed.
The weather is unforgiving all over the country, call it climate change, call it bad luck for too many uninsured drivers. Either way, you take a risk every time you get into your vehicle. Geez, in Australia, your vehicle could be at risk even parked in the garage!
With seemingly constant outbursts of mother nature – hail, storms and forceful winds…in recent years there has been a spike in car accidents and car damages as a result of weather events. This could be due to us experiencing higher than normal weather incidents OR simply because there are more people (and vehicles) on our roads. You should take this into consideration when organising your car insurance policy. Make sure it’s very clear what damages are covered, if you have an existing policy in place, you should check your storm and flood cover on that too! Knowing your cover off by heart and updating your insurance can save you from paying hefty repair costs.
We often feel like we have little to no control when it comes to our insurance policy; but you’d be surprised what you can negotiate, particularly when you’ve been loyal to the same company for many years without a significant claim. As long as you have a great driving record, you’re a very sought after customer for an insurance company; but don’t be surprised if you have to work for it.
Tips on how to save on your car insurance
Car insurance is certainly one of those ‘grudge’ expenses. You definitely need it; but you might spend a small fortune before you ever put it to use. Being that the insurance industry is VERY competitive, the good news is that more often than not, you don’t need to pay full price. Here are a few tips to keep your car insurance premium to a minimum.
- Don’t make any claims! The longer you can go without making a claim, the more of a “no claim bonus” discount you could get on your premium
- Multi-policy discounts. Typically larger insurance companies will offer discounts for existing customers on any additional policies for family members
- Driver safety courses. Some insurers will offer a discount if you undergo a driving skills or driver safety course – particularly new drivers who will usually attract a higher premium due to their lack of experience and track record
- Pay your premiums annually if possible – monthly payments are more costly
- Choose a higher excess; but keep it at a level that you can afford
- Purchase a car with only the features that you need. Vehicles that are easier and less expensive to repair are cheaper to insure. If you don’t needevery electronic feature under the sun – don’t go overboard on the extras
- Shop around! You would think that sticking with the same insurance company for many years would see you rewarded as a loyal customer. Well, unfortunately it doesn’t unless you ask. Other insurance companies however, will work hard to get a new customer and will often beat your existing policy to gain your business.
Windscreen damage is one of the biggest insurance claims
Windscreens occupy a large area of your vehicle. They are one of the most common parts to experience damage, and that can stem from a wide variety of causes. During extreme weather conditions they are prone to flying debris, and hail which can very easily cause cracks and chips.
In the event of an accident, regardless of the severity, your windscreen glass experiences tremendous unexpected pressure, if it manages to hold itself together, you could see problems appear ‘out of nowhere’ in future if the glass has been stressed.
Is the windscreen covered as standard?
Most insurance policies include windscreen cover as a standard part of their policy; but it’s important to check the conditions of the cover. While you might be covered, there could be an excess payable. We see many cases where a car owner is shocked to find a large excess on a windscreen replacement. One lovely customer recently had a large crack, too extensive for repair and required a full replacement. Her windscreen was worth approximately AUD$270 to replace; but she had an $800 excess on her insurance! Needless to say, she adjusted her policy.
It’s important to understand everything when it comes to your car insurance, so you don’t get caught weathering the storm!
There are three types of non-compulsory car insurance:
Comprehensive car insurance
Comprehensive car insurance is the most extensive policy and the most common in Australia. It covers you for most damages including that resulting from collision, fire, flood, storm and theft. It also covers you for damage to other people’s car and property, that occurred as a result of an accident deemed your fault.
Third party property damage
Covers you for the damage caused by your car to another’s property. You really really want this coverage in place if you accidentally bump into a BMW. $$OUCH!
Third party fire and theft cover
This covers you for damage to your car as a result of theft or fire, as well as damages caused by your car to other people’s property.
With car insurance it’s better to be safe than sorry
A cheap car insurance policy may seem like a great upfront saving until you discover you are wasting your hard-earned cash on a useless policy with a long list of hidden T&Cs…and you’re not really covered. What? An insurance company could be that sneaky? Yes, unfortunately some companies might take advantage of those who don’t do their research. If you’re paying for coverage, it’s your responsibility to make SURE you are covered.
If you’ve been with an insurer for a while, depending on your age and your driving record on the road, you may be eligible for a discount on your insurance – it doesn’t hurt to ask! And sometimes this information is not given freely.
Making an insurance claim on your windscreen
We can’t stress how important it is to contact your insurance straight away – as soon as you notice the damage to your car. If your windscreen has sustained damage, you can contact a trusted national repairer like Novus who are certified national windscreen repair and replacement specialists for many insurance companies. A good majority of insurance companies will only cover a repair by one of their listed reputable certified repair companies. Never try to have the problem rectified yourself before bringing it to the attention of your insurance company. And certainly, don’t attempt DIY repair and then try to submit a claim, take the professional approach every time.
Once you’ve reported your problem to your insurance company, you should arrange some quotes from a company like Novus, ready to present to your insurance company once your claim is approved.
There are at least three parties involved in a windscreen damage insurance claim, yourself, your insurance company and the repair company. If there was another vehicle involved, their claim needs to be taken into consideration as well. Following the right protocols for an insurance claim speeds up the process and makes everyone’s life a lot easier! For windscreen repair and replacement in modern vehicles, keep in mind there’s a world of technology stashed in windscreen glass today such as tiny sensors and cameras. When you’re facing a replacement – especially under insurance, you should be certain that your repairer chooses the right windscreen for your particular make and model, and expertly fits it to your vehicle – testing that everything is in good working order.
We hope you don’t have to make a claim in the near future…or ever! But if you do, we’re here to help you deal with your insurance company on a timely and lasting repair – so lasting in fact, that it comes with a lifetime guarantee! Insurance companies love that kind of assurance as much as our customers do.
Novus Auto Glass specialises in windscreen repair technology and strive to provide you with the best possible care for your car. Services include windscreen repair and replacement as well as restoration, polishing and windscreen glass cleaning and protection products. Arrange a quote online, or call us to see how we can help you on 13 22 34.