Car Insurance? Why wouldn't you?
I must admit, when I was approached to write an article about car insurance for <<Hot 4s’ – Fast Fours – Performance Imports>>, I was a little hesitant. Let’s be honest now, insurance isn’t exactly the most exciting subject in the world. Fortunately, I have a unique perspective because although I work for a car insurance company, I live and breathe cars, just like you.
If you’re one of the lucky few, you’ll pay for your insurance and forget about it. Unfortunately accidents do happen and sometimes people take things that don’t belong to them, including your car.
I had a chat with my car friends to ask them what they would want an article to be about on insurance. So here it is. No preaching, nor corporate jargon, just some helpful facts that you should know.
Why should I have car insurance? I’m a safe driver
Insurance is about protection – plain and simple. You may be the safest driver in the world, however you can’t control what other drivers do out on the road, or what Mother Nature might get up to for that matter. Insurance gives you peace of mind that your pride and joy is properly protected. If you’re into cars – like me - you’ve probably invested a lot of time and money on it, so protecting it just makes good sense.
Let me give you some examples of what a typical comprehensive car insurance policy, such as Just Car’s, would cover:
- Hitting an animal – COVERED
- Hail/flood damage – COVERED
- Car stolen – COVERED
- Car accident – COVERED
- Car accident with someone who hasn’t been as smart as you and doesn’t have insurance – COVERED
- Vandalism – COVERED
So the question now is; why wouldn’t you take out car insurance?
Should I tell the insurance company about all my mods and my driving history?
All I have to say is, don’t risk learning the hard and costly way – being upfront with your car insurer from the get go means you won’t have to worry about a claim possibly being reduced or, worse, not paid at all. Not answering the insurance company’s questions honestly when you purchase your policy, or not telling them about the things they ask you to tell them about during the policy period, opens you up to your claim not being covered. If you’re at fault, that will mean you may need to fork out the costs not only for the repairs to your car, but for any other damage you’ve caused to other cars or other people’s property. There’s no point paying for insurance if you’re not going to be covered for a claim, so make sure you tell your insurer what they need to know – that way they can tell you whether they can offer you insurance and if so under what conditions. At Just Car – we don’t judge, we understand cars and we understand that nobody’s perfect, so being upfront makes it easier for us to look after you and your car the way you would expect us to in case of an accident.
Why are imports and modified cars more expensive to insure?
Imports, modified and high performance cars are often more expensive to insure as the cost of repairs is usually higher than for standard cars or cars sold locally when new. However, your premium isn’t just determined by the car you drive. Factors such as your driving history, age, whether you own your car outright, use it for private or business purposes and where you keep it overnight can all play a factor in determining the price of your insurance.
When you buy comprehensive insurance, it’s important to remember that what you’re paying for is not just to have your car covered. For instance, Just Car also provides up to $20,000,000 in legal liability cover (that’s cover for damage to other people’s property) should you have an ‘at fault’ claim. Now that might sound high, but trust me, it would come in handy if that ‘other property’ was a Ferrari, a traffic light or a shop front – and it does happen.
If you do find it difficult to come up with a 12 month lump sum payment for your comprehensive premium once a year (and let’s face it, your car renewal is often due at the same time as your rego) there may be other options available. For example, at Just Car I’ve been able to reduce some customers’ premium amounts by offering them a higher excess on their policy. Just Car also offers customers the ability to pay their premium month by month, by direct debit - so lots of choices are available.
If you haven’t bought your car yet, do your homework, and then the insurance premium won’t be a surprise for you. Just Car provides an online quoting service that’s accessible 24/7 – and there are no restrictions to the number of quotes you can get. Because we specialise in providing insurance for drivers of imported, high performance and modified cars, our quoting system let’s you see for yourself the impact on the insurance premium if you turbo charge your car or change its engine specs, or what a quote would be like on a Civic compared to a Skyline.
If I spend money doing my car up what type of value do I get back if it’s written off?
We can offer you an ‘agreed value’ when you buy a Just Car comprehensive car insurance policy. This means that we let you know upfront what we are willing to insure your car for and lock that value in for 12 months. If you’ve modified your car, like, added accessories, upgraded the wheels, or dropped in a new sound system, we will offer you an agreed value that reflects the fair value of your modified car. If your car has only done low kilometres and you have your service books, this can also add to the value an insurance company may be prepared to insure your car for. In any case, with an agreed value policy, you will always know what you will be paid out in the unfortunate event that your car is written off.
Need more information?
I could go on and on about the benefits of insurance, but the bottom line is make sure you know your stuff when it comes to your insurance policy. Claim time is not the best time to find out that you are not covered for what you thought you paid for – read all of the paperwork and, most importantly, ask your insurance company questions to ensure that you understand the level of cover your hard earned cash has paid for.
Because I work for Just Car, here’s the legal bit I need to tell you about – Just Car Insurance Agency Pty Ltd (Just Car) is an authorised representative of Australian Associated Motor Insurers Ltd (AAMI – AFSL 238173), who is the issuer of the insurance. In writing this piece, I haven’t taken into account your specific needs or financial situation, so before contacting Just Car, you should read their PDS for the Just Car product you’re interested in – view a copy online at justcarinsurance.com.au or call them on 13 13 26 for a free copy