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Consider the following scenario that really happened recently on a busy highway in Johannesburg. An elderly gentleman was in the fast lane of the highway with a string of cars behind him. He was driving at around 75km per hour and the younger guy just behind him was getting increasingly frustrated and impatient. When he finally managed to get into the lane just left of the elderly man, he slowed down and with arms waving tried to indicate to the older man that he must move out of the fast lane. The elderly man didn’t even move his head, he just held on to the steering wheel and continued driving in the fast lane. He was clearly concentrating and didn’t even give other drivers a thought.car-insurance-over-60

The actions and reactions of other drivers on the road in this scenario raises a few questions. Are older drivers a bigger danger on the road than younger drivers? Should older drivers be penalised for their age when their car insurance premiums are calculated? Or could we argue that they should pay less for car insurance than younger drivers because they have the benefit of experience behind them?

If we look at the facts around this subject, we know that car insurance companies favour females above males as far as calculating car insurance premiums go because females are known to be better drivers than males as they are more patient and often have children as passengers. It is also a fact that young males – usually those under 25, are known to be high risk drivers because they are prone to speeding, drinking and driving and in general not very attentive on the road. Males and females over 40 are seen as drivers with lower risk as they are more experienced and not as impatient as younger drivers and therefore their car insurance premiums also tend to be lower.

It is, however, also a fact that as people age, factors like impaired vision, mental and/or physical deterioration, slower reaction times and a lack of confidence on high speed roads can severely impede their driving skills. The question is how do car insurance companies determine at what age car insurance premiums should increase, and is it fair to assume that all people  reaching that specific age would automatically qualify as high risk?

If looking at statistics that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the USA released, drivers between 64 and 69 are the safest drivers on the road, no doubt, because they have years of driving experience behind them and also because they have learned the art of being patient. Unfortunately, many people in that age group are already suffering with age related disabilities and car insurance companies could argue that even though that age group was proven to be the lowest risk for them, they should be paying more for car insurance because their physical deterioration turn them into high risk drivers.

This issue could be debated and discussed and pulled apart, argued for and against charging senior citizens more for car insurance and setting an age at which this should happen for whatever reasons are decided. The question, however, remains. Can a specific age be determined at which senior citizens should be charged more for car insurance?

 

One of the biggest benefits of car insurance is to have peace of mind. You know that should your car be stolen or should you be involved in an accident, your car is covered for the cost of the repair or the replacement value of the car.

Even if you have paid cash for your car, it needs to be insured as the cost of repairs or replacement of the car is astronomical and can more often than not, not be afforded. If the accident was your fault, it’s even worse to not have car insurance because you will be held liable for the repair or replacement cost of the other car involved. What do you do if the other car is a very expensive car and minor repairs cost as much as your entire car and you don’t have car insurance? It could ruin you financially and it is therefore simply too risky to not have car insurance.cheap-car-insurance

How do you know which car insurance package is best for your needs? The secret is to shop around and compare benefits and price of the premiums. Insurers know which types of cars are more prone to having problems or which types of cars are more prone to getting stolen. The premiums for these vehicles are higher than other cars that are not prone to getting stolen. It is therefore a good idea to find out which types are on the list of most popular cars to be stolen and avoid buying that brand to ensure cheap insurance premiums.

Cheaper insurance premiums are usually given when you insure more than one car, but if you only have one to insure discuss possible discounts for an accident free record, and/or extra security like alarms, immobilizers and tracking services. Most car insurance companies gladly give discounts for these extras and it is well worth installing them.

The distance you travel per month could also be used to negotiate a cheaper insurance premiums. Many car insurance companies will give you a discounted rate if you live close to the office or if you are part of a car pooling club. It is an option that is well worth investigating as it will not only save you on fuel and services, but also on car insurance costs.

To negotiate the best possible price for car insurance on a used car, there are a few very important points to take care of. You will be required to take the car to an approved inspection centre before the inception of the car insurance policy. This is for the car insurance company to establish the exact condition of the car before they commit to insuring it. If there is minor damage or the tyres are not in a good condition, it will be a good idea to have it repaired and/or replaced before the inspection as this could impact the price of the premium you pay for car insurance greatly.

Another important point to consider before obtaining car insurance, is the value of the car. Here three values have to be considered. The Auto Dealers Guide is a guide listing values for cars of a specific make and model. Mileage and condition are also considered to determine the Retail value of the car. This is the value that the dealer will be most likely to sell this vehicle at. Trade value is what the dealer will be willing to pay you to buy your car and he uses the Auto Dealers Guide as a guide to determine this amount.

Market value is an average between the Retail and Trade values. If you decide on car insurance at Retail value, you will receive a settlement that will be based on the value at which that specific car is currently sold, less the relevant excess. This will most likely enable you to replace your vehicle with a similar one. If you, however, decide on car insurance at Market value, you might not be able to replace your car with the exact same one.

By keeping just a few important points in mind, you could negotiate a cheaper car insurance rate and make your insurance work for you.

The age-old argument over whether women or men are better drivers has reached a stalemate: just as many studies proving that the former is better behind the wheel prove the same about the latter. Surprisingly, a new standard by which good drivers can be judged has emerged: the overall state of your health.

The research was conducted by Discovery Insure, the short-term insurance division of the Discovery Group. The data came from their Vitalitydrive program, which offered members cash back on their fuel and enabled them to save on their car insurance as an incentive to drive better.discovery vitality

The research pointed toward the fact that members who visited gyms more often, ate better and utilised the travel and lifestyle rewards that their Vitality membership offers them are often the most careful drivers, and also tend to submit less hail damage claims after a storm.

This, Adrian Gore, the Group Chief Executive of Discovery Group, was probably due to people fitting this profile being more cautious as a general rule. As a result, they were a much lower risk for the insurer.

If you are a Discovery Vitality member, you might be able to save on your car insurance premiums as well through signing up for Vitalitydrive. You could even earn up to 50% back on your fuel expensive as a reward for driving carefully.

But how does Discovery Insure keep track of your driving habits? The age of technology enables us to do amazing things, and Discovery exploits this fact to its fullest by installing a tracking module called DQ-Track in your vehicle.

“Your DQ-Track will measure your braking, acceleration, cornering, speeding, distance and late night driving,” according to the Vitalitydrive website. What’s more, Discovery Insure does not charge you anything extra to install the DQ-Track module. It is all included in your Vitality membership fee.

The DQ-Track (DQ stands for Driver Quotient) enables you to earn points every time you drive safely. But in addition to that, Discovery offers DQ points if you correctly complete driving safety questionnaires, take driving courses, keep your vehicle’s service history up to date and pass Tiger Wheel and Tyre’s annual Multipoint Check. The more points you have, the greater the rewards (ie. the cheaper your car insurance).

DQ-Track also allows your vehicle to be tracked anywhere in South Africa should it be stolen, as well as a whole range of other safety features. Discovery Insure is hasty to offer assurances that no DQ-Track data will have any bearing on a claim you file, though. The only details verified through DQ-Track is the time and the place of the incident.

Fuel rewards on the program relate specifically to BP fuel and you can start claiming rewards almost immediately after joining the Vitalitydrive program. If you take into account how much fuel costs these days, indirectly saving on your car insurance through this mechanism is an invaluable way to get your premium down.

Save on your car insurance premium, your fuel costs, become a better driver and live a healthier lifestyle. It seems like a win-win situation, no matter which way you look at it, especially seeing that you can join the Vitalitydrive program for as little is R40 per month.

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