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5 ways to save money on your car insurance

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Insurance offers drivers a valuable safety net in a number of ways. Not only does it help protect your vehicle against theft and damage, but there are also policies that can help cover your repayments if something happens to you, or even cover damage to your tyres and rims. But having good insurance cover doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are five things you can do to potentially save on insurance premiums.

1.    Focus on being a good driver

Being a good driver means you’re less likely to be involved in an accident. Plus, as well as keeping you safe and ensuring you avoid fines or losing your licence, this can also save you money on your insurance premiums.

Taking extra measures to improve your driving, such as enrolling in a defensive driving course, may also help you qualify for a discount on your insurance, so it pays to be safe behind the wheel.

2.    Look at the car you’re driving

Older cars don’t have all the latest safety features that newer models have, which could mean they’re less safe in an accident. So if you’re thinking of updating your car, make sure you check whether your insurance company will give you a discount for having the latest safety features. Vehicles in Australia are rated under the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) system, which lets you compare the relative safety of the vehicle you’re looking to buy. You can check your vehicle’s rating on their website here.

3.    Choose a higher excess

If you’re applying for a new policy or about to renew an old one, it could be worth thinking about increasing your excess. Some insurers allow you to vary your excess, and the higher the excess the lower your insurance premiums. But remember, you’ll need to pay more if you have to make a claim.

4.    Take good care of your vehicle

Visit your mechanic regularly to maintain the condition of your car and protect it from any deterioration that could depreciate the value of the vehicle — and potentially affect a claim. Good maintenance habits can also reduce the likelihood of having an accident in the first place as well.

Your insurance policy is not likely to cover you for mechanical faults or tyre damage resulting from old age or neglect. Coverage may be lost altogether if your car is deemed unroadworthy.

5.    Keep your car safe

While you can’t control external circumstances — there are plenty of things you can do to protect your car from being stolen, broken into or vandalised, or damaged in an extreme weather event, such as a flood or storm.

By putting your car in a locked garage, and installing safety devices such as a car alarm, you can help prevent damage or theft. This could also mean you could get a reduction in your premium payments.

Remember too that certain areas are deemed safer than others. So if you move house, check whether your new area is considered to be less of a risk for theft or break-in, and what impact it would have on your premium.
 
While it’s good to look for ways to save money on insurance, don’t be tempted to skimp just to save a few dollars here and there. Otherwise, if you do have an accident, or your car is stolen or damaged in a storm or flood, you could find you’re not covered.

It also makes sense to take out cover for your car loan too, just in case you lose your job or get seriously ill. After all, a small, regular payment is a small price to pay for peace of mind.

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