Bluedog's 4 Do's of Car Insurance
Navigating the insurance world in 2020 can pretty much be considered an art form. From the sheer mass of choice, all the way to finding the relevant policy; it's a battle field ya'll! And just like every other aspect of being a successful adult - its a necessary, annoying evil.
1. Do - Bare Minimum
I can't stress this enough. Always have a third party policy on your vehicle, at the very least. Let me tell you a little story about a 19 year old Sophie*. Sophie drove a 1998 Ford Laser, with faded paint, a temperamental sunroof and one of four working speakers. Sophie's Laser was just barely worth a couple of bucks on a good day. Because of this, Sophie decided she didn't need to waste her very pitiful salary on car insurance, this was the first mistake. Second mistake came in the form of a Mercedes Benz, a round about and low visibility. Needles to say Sophie was paying off that Mercedes Benz for the next six years. Don't be like Sophie - always insure for third party. You can opt to pay insurance weekly these days so there really is no excuse not to cover your ass!
2. Do - Annual Review
Step two of being a real adult, set aside 15-20 minutes a few days before your policy is set to renew to have a look around at some other policies. Insurance companies can often be a little sneaky and make changes without notifying you; I was lazy and let my insurance roll over - I'd already done the hard work a year ago. Then I noticed my premium had almost doubled, when I checked into the price hike, the sales rep admitted that due to a series of hail storms and others making claims in my area, I was to pay the price. Which left me vowing to never again just let a policy roll over and also to never touch that insurance company with a ten foot pole. Talk with friends and family as well as googling it, chances are they will have a opinions on where to get the best deal.
3. Do - Check the Smash Repairer
Alongside sneaking a price increase in, lately we've been seeing a trend with some companies slipping a cheeky fee in for something called "choice of own repairer". Basically if you pay extra you can take your car wherever you like. Checking with your trusted repairer on who they do and don't work with can save you heart ache should it come to an accident and not getting final say. I know for myself, living in a small country town with only two smash repairers, it's super important that I get to decide where my car goes for repairs.
4. Do - Extras
Santa hook you up with a new spoiler? Dad upgrade your tint? Or maybe you forked out and put a big old bull bar on! Any item that is not a manufacturing standard counts as an extra, make sure you've itemised any big dollar extras on your policy because the fine print will catch you out if you don't. If you're unlucky enough to have your car in for repairs, at least you can rest easy knowing it's coming back exactly the same.
One last tip; imagine worst case scenario and your car is a write-off, can you afford to go out and get another one straight away? Do you want to spend the next six years of your life paying off a repair bill on a Merc? Insurance doesn't have to be black or white any more, from weekly payments to pay as you go instalments, possibilities are endless.
P.s. Opt for the hire car option - or get ready to relive your teenage years on the beast that is public transport.
*Sophie is me, I am Sophie :(
By the way, if anyone was wondering what a Lab dressed as UPS delivery guy in our cover photo has to do with car insurance; absolutely nothing! It's really hard finding imagery to convey insurance - so I went with something total irrelevant but too darn cute to scroll past. You're welcome.
Image credits in order of appearance: "ASS" - Caleb Stokes, "Calendar" - Plush Design Studio, "Advice" - Frame Harrak & "BUS" - Annie Spratt