Five Questions to Ask When Buying Car Insurance
Shopping for car insurance is not as exciting as shopping for a brand new set of wheels. Without motor insurance, you can’t drive your car on public roads. With coverage, you enjoy financial security and peace of mind. And yes, car insurance doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition, with many providers offering discounts and competitive deals.
Where do I start?
– It is vital to understand the kind of coverage offered by your car insurance policy. A comprehensive policy covers for loss of or damage to your vehicle caused by accident, theft or vandalism. It also covers the damages to others’ vehicle or property, or injuries sustained by them, resulting from your fault.
– Start by determining what coverage best fits your driving behaviour and requirements. See if the policy you like has add-ons, optional extras or bonus protection. They can drive up your insurance premium, so decide whether or not you really need them.
– Then, conduct an apples-to-apples comparison of coverage from different providers. To gauge the reputation of lesser-known providers, it is best to ask around or check online for customer reviews.
– Finally, don’t hesitate to get all your questions clarified by the insurance provider before signing on the dotted line.
How can I get discounts?
– The good news is the providers will offer you a discount if your spouse/partner is insured as a named driver on your policy, and also has a car insured in his/her name. Of course, your partner/spouse should have a clean driving record.
– Insurance providers also offer a discount on your insurance premium if you have no penalty points. The only requirement is that your driving license or permit must be issued in the Republic of Ireland. It is one of those instances where safe driving can save you money on insurance.
– You may be eligible for an additional discount if you another insurance product from the same provider.
Will an excess help lower my car insurance premium?
There are two types of excesses: compulsory comes at a set rate pre-defined by the provider, and voluntary, which is the amount you’re willing to pay upfront. If you increase your voluntary excess, then the provider may reduce your annual premium. However, it has been seen that increasing the voluntary excess doesn’t minimize premiums by very much for younger, inexperienced drivers. Even experienced motorists are advised to weigh the overall benefits of a larger excess before putting down their money.
What are my payment options?
You can have the premium debited from your bank account each month. Most drivers prefer this method as allows them to keep their down-payments low and spread out costs. The other option is to pay an annual lump-sum amount.
Insurance providers offer a cooling-off period during which you can cancel your policy if you wish. If you cancel after this period, you will be charged a fee to cover the cost of administration.
How long do I have to make my decision?
Insurance providers may give you anywhere from one to a thirty day quote guarantee period. Comparison shopping in advance can help you make an informed decision before the quote expires.