Insurance companies to look out for in 2018
There was a time, long ago, when car manufacturers built vehicles to be solid, so that if a car crashed it would not break. Then they realized that if the crashed car did not break, the people inside the car were more likely to break. So they designed crumple zones, and made it easier for the car to break, so that the car would absorb the impact instead of the passengers. The result was that crashes were easier to survive but more likely to total the car, so you, the person lucky to be alive, were in a position to file vehicle insurance claims. You will want a good insurance policy that pays out when you crash your car. But how to find a policy that fits you?
Determining how much coverage you need
Driving a car in New Zealand does not require motor insurance. But most residents decide they want some anyway. According to the 2009 report from the Ministry of Transport, only 7.6 percent of drivers go without insurance. You are likely to feel the same way when you consider the possibility of a crash. Yet even if accident coverage proves unnecessary, you can get an insurance package that includes comprehensive coverage for repairs and broken glass.
let’s say you want cheap coverage. An insurance quote from ANZ Bank for $5000 covering a 2003 Fiat Brava, paying $400 of excess and with an address in Auckland, has the customer paying $1476 annually.
Then again, you might want more comprehensive coverage, for the sake of a more expensive vehicle. Let’s say you’re insuring a Tesla Model 2017 wagon for $62,700, and living at the same address as before. To pay for $62700 of coverage, and paying $400 of excess, you would pay $3335.
Then again, maybe you want REALLY cheap coverage because you don’t care overmuch about the car. Let’s say you are insuring a 1992 Yugo 55A for $1000. Paying the excess of $400, you would pay $740 annually.
In other words, you should probably spring for the larger amount of coverage. Paying less for coverage gets you less value for your money. Paying more for your coverage gets you more value for your money.
Trustworthy insurance companies
Having determined your desired amount of coverage, you will want to find an insurance company you can trust. Total vehicle insurance claims in NZ incurred $1,023,576,910 in 2016, and the loss ratio was 74%. If something bad happens to your car, you want to be part of the statistic that had their claim pay out, instead of being denied by some arcane stipulation. Likewise, you want to know that your insurance company is solvent from one year to the next. How to find an insurance company you can trust?
The first thing to do is to check with the authorities on the subject. ANZ bank, for example, has a list of the insurers it rates highly , though its assessments stop following a standard criteria halfway down the page. Canstar blue has a page full of car insurance ratings and explains its ratings farther down the page.
The company rated highest by ANZ and Canstar Blue is Vero. ANZ Bank has given Vero a stability rating of A+. Canstar Blue puts Vero at the top of the list for quality of service, claims outcome, claims process, claims lodgement, communication, policy clarity, and value for money. AA insurance, Ami, and ASB have ratings pretty close to Vero, and all of the companies listed on Canstar Blue besides Vero offer multi-policy discounts.
Shopping around for quotes
Having decided which company you find trustworthy, you will want to see which one gives you the best value for the lowest price. You will have to get quotes and compare prices. For example, with AA you pay $720 for $9400 of single-driver comprehensive coverage compared to paying $740 for $1000 of coverage at ANZ. On the other hand, AA only covers up to $12,000. So if you want good value for coverage of small amounts of money, you would pick AA, and if you wanted good value for covering large amounts of money, you would pick ANZ. Or you would keep looking, because there’s plenty of other insurance companies to choose from, and you may have to look for a while to find the one that fits your needs. Keep in mind that the search will take a while; some companies like Vero do not offer instant quotes online. Do not hesitate to call the company if you want a quick quote.
Finding a policy that fits
Not all policies you find will be right for you. You may look at the policy a company offers and discover that they do not cover crucial aspects of your car. For example, body modifications. AA insurance has a list of specific mods and accessories that they don’t cover. You might also find that the policy allows aftermarket parts to be used for repairs, instead of requiring original manufacturer parts for repairs, and you will discover that your repair service person does not want to pay for original parts even if you do. Look through your policy carefully before you sign to see if there’s anything you might have trouble with later.
Even after you’ve done all that homework, you may still want to find an insurance agent to help you navigate the policies. Independent insurance agents are very well trained, and understand the complexities of the insurance market, so having one working for you will help you avoid policy pitfalls. There are plenty of insurance agents to find in New Zealand, and plenty of companies recruiting for NZ insurance jobs, so your search for a qualified professional who’s on your side will not take long.
Better some than none
It will not be easy to find a policy that fits you. It will take some time, and it will take some consideration of what you need, how you drive, and how much you are willing to pay. But if you have a car, it’s always better to have vehicle insurance than to have none. You will be glad you took the time to find some.