No matter how wacky your wheels, you must have insurance for old cars to protect your vehicle and yourself against theft, damage, or damage you cause to other people’s property. If you have taken out insurance, the company providing you with cover will compensate for any losses you suffer. Many countries actually stipulate that car insurance is compulsory; and although it is not legally binding to take out car insurance in South Africa, it certainly is recommended. Even if your car has been paid off in full, not having car insurance is just not worth the risk.
One of the benefits of insuring an older car is that you can pay lower premiums – because your car is older and less attractive to thieves, the risk of theft is lower. On the other hand, old cars can be easier to break in to and may be in demand for the harvesting of vehicle parts.
What can car insurance cover?
- Protect your finances: Even if you car is old, it can still cause injury or damage if it gets in an accident. If you car causes damage to someone else or someone else’s property, you could be liable to pay for damages. Body injury liability and property damage liability are some of the cheaper coverage options when it comes to insurance for old cars.
- Protect you and your passengers: If you or someone else in your car gets hurt your medical aid may cover some of the costs, but you may need extra coverage in the form of medical payments coverage or uninsured motorist coverage.
- Protecting your car: old cars may be worth less than the deductable, so comprehensive and collision coverage may not be worth it as you would receive very little payment from the insurance company.
- Protecting yourself from car breakdowns: Older cars are not always the most reliable, so it may be helpful to include towing and labour coverage in your car insurance scheme.
There are a number of car insurance companies out there, all with different schemes and different premiums so it is worth shopping around for quote to see who can give you the most appropriate cover for your older car at the most competitive price.
Tips to save on car insurance premiums for older cars
- Comprehensive insurance is often not worth it for older cars. If you car is worth less than 10 times what who are paying as a premium, it’s better to stick to fire, theft and 3rd party insurance. You can also carry out your own insurance by outing money away each month.
- Increase your excess. This will help you save money on monthly premiums and is especially effective if your drive and older or cheap car. With the money you save on premiums, you can open an emergency fund account.
- The market value of your car does not reflect its true value to you, so take care of your car to avoid accidents and mishaps. The money paid out from an insurance company will not be sufficient to buy you an equivalent car, so drive carefully to avoid anything happening to it. Keep you lock in a safe place and invest in a gear lock and immobilizer.
- Be a responsible driver. Your premiums are determined according to your claims record and if you don’t claim from insurance you can qualify for a no-claims bonus. Avoid claiming for insignificant amounts of money.
- Ask for a discount. Check with your insurance company if you are eligible for any insurance discounts; as a female or driver over 50, for example.
- Check your policy to see that you are not paying for unnecessary extras such as sound system insurance.
- If you combine your car and household insurance you may be awarded a discount on the premium. Consider sticking to one company to reap the loyalty benefits. It can also be easier to deal with one company. However, be sure to compare the quotes against those of other companies so that you can be sure you are getting the best deal possible.