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1. List an older or female driver
Insurers may have a mind-set that older drivers have more experience and will drive safer when driving on the road. It is better to list your wife or an older family member as the main driver. There is no guarantee but in general, if the main driver is 40-50 years old it is believed that the premium will be lower. Besides this, the premium will also be slightly lower for female drivers as these people are believed to be safer drivers on road.
2. Compare and contrast
While different insurance company have their own quotations of premiums for car insurance, it is also known that in general, the premiums depend on your age, claims history, model of vehicle etc. Thus, it is important to do a comparison and get the best premium for your car.
For example, say you’re 30 years old, and you wrapped a Honda around a lamp post 10 years ago.
Company X might decide that older is wiser, and what happened 10 years ago is trivial. They’ll raise your premiums for the accident, but not by much. But company Y might decide “Once a speed freak, always a speed freak”, and file your premiums under the Beyond Insane price band.
On top of that, insurers have sales quotas. Premiums go down when they’re trying to recruit more customers, so those are the best times to buy.
3. Be choosy about the coverage
It is important to be choosy when getting the right coverage for your car. There will be extras that your insurers may ask if you are interested in taking and these extras are windscreen damage, damage arising from riot or strike and floor or windstorm etc.
You will have to pay for these extra coverage every month. However, your windscreen will only crack once like after 5 years or more of driving. And the replacement cost compared to the extra you pay every month, is it worth it? Thus, please remember the premium costs over a few years might greatly exceed one-off repair cost.
4. Always check with your insurer before modifying your car
Always remember to consult your insurer before modifying your car. It is unpredictable when it comes to driving and met an accident on the road. Because if you ever get into an accident, and they found out about it, they will have the rights to scratch off your policy immediately. And all that money you spent on premiums will all be gone in vain.
As known, Insurers in Singapore are always strict: Even minor cosmetic tweaks, like switching to sports rims or using a body kit, might count as “modification”. Most insurers insist anything outside a manufacturer’s “defined specifications” is a mod. Note that the LTA (Land Transport Authority) tolerates changes that’s within manufacturer recommendations, not just “defined specifications”. As such, changes to your car can be LTA compliant, but still result in policy termination.
5. Decline preferred workshop options
All insurers have a list of authorized and agent workshops. When you want to make a claim, these are the only ones you can go to. If you want other options, you need the insurer to include preferred workshops. That’ll let you use a workshop “off the list”, and still get your claim. But this option means higher premiums, and higher excess (the amount you’re liable to pay in an accident).
If you insist on a particular workshop, ask the mechanics for the insurers they work with. Pick the lowest premiums amongst that list of insurers. It’s usually cheaper than paying for preferred workshop options.
6. Bargain the excess
The excess is the amount you’re liable to pay in an accident. Depending on your driving record, it’s open to negotiation. Most insurers will lower your premiums if you accept higher excess. In other words, you’ll pay less per month, but more during an accident. Overall, this favours the motorist: Most people pay much more for premiums (every month) than for accident repairs (once every few years). Most insurance agents will don’t raise the option, so ask for it. Assuming you’re a decent driver, this could save you big sums in the long run.
By Ryan Ong
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