There are people who go their whole lives with a specific ‘dream car’ in mind. Once they can afford to buy it, nothing will stand in their way! Even if they have enough money to purchase a more expensive, or ‘luxury’ vehicle, they will buy a car in the cheaper price range simply because it is the car they have always dreamed of driving.
For some, their ideal car may be a white Citi Golf. They are pleased with their purchase – its fuel efficient, small and nifty, and most importantly, it’s what they’ve always wanted. They are happy; until the day they apply for insurance for their beloved vehicle. The price they are quoted is exorbitant, an almost ridiculously high rate for a relatively inexpensive and simple vehicle.
This is because most people do not realize there are more ‘hidden’ risk factors that insurance companies take into consideration when determining the rate of your premium. There are a number of hi-jacking and car theft syndicates in South Africa. Many of their motor vehicle targets are cars that are in high demand by their cross-border contacts; cars that have parts which are easily replaceable and easy to sell. Unfortunately for some, their ‘dream car’ may fall into this category. In relation to this point, your car insurance premium can be lower than necessary, should you provide proof that you are using all the essential measures to protect your vehicle from theft or hi-jacking. These can include a car immobilizer, a vehicle tracking device, a car alarm and also providing a locked garage within to house your motor vehicle.
Another commonly recognized risk factor is age. Insurance companies don’t particularly like insuring an 18-year-old with their first car! Age equals experience and also a level of maturity that abhors recklessness, although there is an exception to every rule. Therefore the older you are the less your premium will be. This factor is amplified in the respect that there will be a longer driving history to analyze.
Logically, an insurance company will want to know your driving history before compiling a quote. If you have been involved in one or more car accidents in the past, your premium will rise as a result. If you have been involved in a car accident in the past they see you as high-risk, someone whom they are more likely to have to pay out for in the future. As a result, the premium will be higher than someone who has never been involved in a motor vehicle accident in their whole driving history.
In conclusion, there are many factors that affect the rate of your car insurance premium. Some are unavoidable – being age and previous motor vehicle accidents. After all, an accident is an accident, and an 18-year-old is going to need car insurance just as much as a 40-year-old. Some can be helped – choosing a car that is low-risk for hi-jacking and theft, and providing a locked garage and an anti-theft device for your vehicle. These preventative measures show that your car is less likely to be a target of crime. This will make you a lower risk to the insurance company and therefore lower your premium.