Car Insurance 101

3 MIN READ November 13, 2019
Most of us probably have a car, and most of us probably have more insurance for that car than we do for ourselves! But do you actually know what kind of insurance you have and what it covers? 

Types of car insurance in New Zealand

Comprehensive Cover

Comprehensive car insurance is what it says on the box – comprehensive. This means that it covers your car for a variety of things, including theft and damages to your car or damage you’ve caused to someone else’s car. 

Comprehensive cover also can have extra benefits involved, such as covering the cost of towing and alternative transport.

Third-party Cover

Having a third-party insurance policy means you’re only covered if you damage someone else’s car – this won’t cover damages to your own car.

Third-party policies are often much cheaper given that you don’t get as much cover, and you can also be eligible for cover in the event of theft or fire damage if you take out a third-party policy that also has fire and theft cover built in. 

Third-party Fire & Theft Cover

With this cover, your vehicle will be covered against fire and theft as well as standard Third-party cover. In an accident with an uninsured vehicle, there may be cover of up to $3,000 for the repairs to your car.

Agreed value or market value – what’s the difference?

Agreed value

With this kind of policy, you and your insurer agree on a number value for your car. This is the amount that you’ll get paid if your car is written off as long as you’ve met the policy’s Ts and Cs.

Because agreed value policies give you a specific value, you can be certain about how much you will receive in the event of a write-off.

Market value

Market value policies cover the cost of your car at what it was worth just before it was damaged. It’s based on the value of a similar car in the current market which your insurer will determine.

If you take out a market value policy, it will likely be cheaper, but you may not get as much as you’d hoped for if your car gets written off.

Tips for saving on premiums

Check for a no-claims discount

Most policies offer a no-claims discount on your policy premiums that you can take advantage of – usually the more years without a claim, the more of a discount you can get.

Even if you have to make a claim, depending on the circumstances, it might not affect your no-claims discount.

Choose to increase your excess

Some insurance providers might be able to lower your premium if you choose to raise the amount of excess you’ll need to pay in the event of an accident. Make sure that you don’t make your excess higher than you would be able to afford however.

Other policies

If you also have other insurance policies with the insurance provider, such as medical or life, you might be able to get a discount if you take up your car insurance with them too.

If you’re thinking you could be getting better bang for your buck with your car insurance or you’d just like to explore your options, get in touch with us today!

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