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The debate about whether New Zealand should have compulsory third party car insurance has been…...

The debate about whether New Zealand should have compulsory third party car insurance has been…

The debate about whether New Zealand should have compulsory third party car insurance has been going nowhere fast for a while now –in the meantime, it’s vital that you make sure you’re covered, if only to protect yourself from all those uninsured drivers on the road beside you.

Here are some tips for negotiating the best deal possible:

Know your cover mutual savings life insurance company

There are three types of car insurance policy and you’ll pay progressively more for each type. Always read the small print to check exactly what your policy covers but in general you can expect Third Party Insurance to cover the cost of damage you do to someone else’s vehicle or property.

This is usually the least expensive option and you shouldn’t let anyone you love on the road without it. Third Party, Fire and Theft Insurance should give you everything that’s included in third party cover with the addition of cover in the event of your vehicle catching on fire or being stolen.

The best car insurance companies generally cover you – not only for any damage you do to another person’s vehicle (regardless of who’s at fault) – but also damage done to, or accidental loss of, your car. It will often also cover additional costs like towing from the scene of an accident, and a temporary replacement vehicle while yours is being repaired.

Have a regular check-up mutual savings life insurance company

There are several variables that will affect the annual premium you pay and one of the most important is your car’s value. Market Value will cover what your vehicle is worth just before the damage occurs – this is determined by the insurance company at the time and may differ from your own expectation. With this type of cover, listing a higher value than your car is actually worth on your insurance form won’t do you any favours – you’ll just pay a higher premium, which then won’t make a difference when the insurance company actually pays out.

By comparison, Agreed Value covers you for an amount agreed by you and your insurance company annually or when your policy comes up for renewal.

Which ever type of approach you choose, make sure you revise the figure regularly – as your car depreciates the cost of your insurance should come down (remember new cars lose about 20% of their value the minute you drive them off the car seller’s lot). If you’re unsure about your vehicle’s worth check out the price of equivalent models in your local paper, on www.trademe.co.nz or get an estimate from a car dealer.

Choose the right excess mutual savings life insurance company

This is a careful balancing act – the higher the excess, the lower the premium you’ll pay, but if it’s too high, it may defeat the purpose of having insurance. As a general rule, pick an amount that is right on the edge of what you could comfortably cover without dipping into your savings if an accident occurs.

Be older than 25 mutual savings life insurance company

There are a few upsides to having wrinkles – and one of them is paying less in car insurance. That’s because young drivers are higher risk and therefore attract higher premiums. If you do allow young drivers to drive your car make sure they stick to the conditions of their restricted license or you won’t be covered if they have an accident.

Nominate drivers mutual savings life insurance company

Many insurers will reduce your premium if you restrict cover to just one or two nominated drivers – especially if they’re over 25. Just make sure you remember this when a friend offers to drive you home – if they crash you won’t be covered at all!

Don’t drink and drive mutual savings life insurance company

Even comprehensive insurance won’t cover you if you have an accident and are found to be over the legal limit. In some cases your insurer can also refuse to cover you if you are under the legal limit but your consumption of alcohol is found to have contributed to the crash.

Don’t drive while disqualified mutual savings life insurance company

No surprises here – if you or anyone driving your vehicle is a disqualified driver and they crash, your insurance company won’t pay.

Fix faults and keep your warrant of fitness current mutual savings life insurance company

If your car crashes and an obvious fault – like poor steering, soft brakes, worn tyres or a broken headlight – is to blame, you may not be covered.

From the very start, it’s essential to buy a car in good condition to avoid running problems with your car insurance. How is this possible? Is it better to get a new car or a second-hand car? 

When buying a car, you have an option to purchase a new or used vehicle. Purchasing a new car provides the warranty benefit and even free auto insurance coverage for one to three years when financed by a car loan. 

Some people buy used cars from individual or private sellers or local second-hand car dealerships. While you can save on the upfront cost of buying a second-hand car, it’s also possible that you might spend more money in the long run because of costly repair and replacement of worn-out parts.  

If you want to purchase a second-hand car without repair and maintenance complications, you might want to consider buying a bank-repossessed vehicle in an auction. For instance, you can take advantage of participating in bank repo RV auctions to save money in buying a second-hand but “like new” vehicle or a car in perfect condition. 

It’s crucial to be extra careful when buying a used car to avoid costly long-term expenses. You have to ensure that you check the vehicle’s engine and paperwork properly before you sign anything and pay. Hiring a qualified auto mechanic pays off when buying a used car. In this way, you’ll prevent long-term financial problems associated with the maintenance of the second-hand car.

Read the small print if you use your car for business mutual savings life insurance company

Some insurers will provide automatic cover under comprehensive insurance if you use your family car for occasional business purposes, but it pays to check.

Bundle

Combining all your insurances with one company will usually give you the best deal.

Pay your premiums annually mutual savings life insurance company

If you can manage it, save up and pay your annual premium off in one lump sum – it’s usually cheaper in the long run. And whatever you do, make sure you pay on time. Miss one payment and your cover stops, no matter how long your history with your insurer is.

Shop around mutual savings life insurance company

Ask for quotes from a range of insurance companies but make sure you’re comparing apples with apples and the excess and exclusions are similar. It’s also worth considering going through an insurance broker or adviser – a good one will not only get you great coverage at a good rate, they’ll also make sure any claims you make go through immediately and in times of stress that can be pure gold!

Start early mutual savings life insurance company

Whirlwind marriages may look romantic in the movies but a little planning will be much kinder to your bank balance in the real world. The earlier you start, the more negotiating power you’ll have with everything from venue hire to catering.

Think laterally mutual savings life insurance company

Weddings tend to attract a hefty mark-up so try to think laterally and even stay hush, hush on your impending nuptials when asking for quotes from suppliers if you can. For example, instead of going to a wedding cake specialist, ask your local deli about creating a stack of delicious cupcakes covered in pink and white icing.

And why fork out a fortune for a traditional white wedding gown when you could wear a gorgeous designer dress for a fraction of the cost – and best of all, get to wear it again!

Tie the knot on a weekday mutual savings life insurance company

Fridays are becoming an increasingly popular day to get married. Most people won’t mind taking a day off work to attend your happy event – and chances are you’ll get the same exclusive venue at a fraction of the price. Plus, the statistics show that it’s less likely to rain on a weekday.

Avoid Valentine’s Day mutual savings life insurance company

Leave it to celebrities and Lotto-winners to fight over the high-priced weddings on February 14.

BYO mutual savings life insurance company

Look for venues that will let you BYO and then stock up on supermarket and liquor outlet specials through the year.

Design your own stationery mutual savings life insurance company

Home printers and beautiful papers can be your friend – just stay away from the clip art. Even a hand-written invite tied in a scroll with a simple ribbon can be beautiful.

To identify tables at the after-match, write each guest’s name on a smooth garden pebble with a silver or gold pen – or inscribe a meaningful quotation on a card for them.

Limit your guest list mutual savings life insurance company

If the pressure’s on to invite all your partner’s second cousins and their clan, consider asking them to be present at the ceremony itself – just not the sit-down dinner afterwards. Alternatively, welcome them to the shindig once the plates have been cleared away.

Swap a bridal register for something you really need mutual savings life insurance company

There are only so many platters and decanters a couple can use. If you’ve been living together and already have most things, ask your guests to contribute towards the cost of your honeymoon or a piece of furniture you’ve been coveting. You can set up an account with the store concerned so people can just gift an amount of their choosing anonymously.

Don’t scrimp on the stuff that will be with you forever – like photography mutual savings life insurance company

After saving so hard for this special moment, you want to ensure the memories are worth reliving, so choose a reputable photographer. Scrimping will just be a false economy if you hate the double-chin and shiny nose that bad lighting and poor angles have brought out in all your photos.

And finally mutual savings life insurance company

One of the smartest pre-wedding investments of all? A “pre-nup” or Property Sharing Agreement as it’s called in New Zealand. Sorry to put a downer on festivities but with the current Kiwi divorce rate running at approx 10,000 every year, it’s just good sense to make sure your assets are protected if the “I dos” ever turn to “I don’t”.

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