As I’m purchasing a new car tomorrow, I had to look into insurance coverage before picking up the car. Here’s a few things I discovered.
A bit of perspective first, though. Here in Australia there are several types of insurance:
Type 1 – Compulsory 3rd Party.
Everyone with a registered motor vehicle pays a 3rd party accident premium as part of their registration cost. There’s no choice if you’re vehicle’s to be registered. This covers the medical costs associated with any accidents you might have. It doesn’t cover property – it’s medical only, and it’s a no-fault system.
Type 2 – Non Compulsory property
This is the stuff that covers your car, other people’s cars and property. You can get 3rd party property (covers the other guy’s car and property), 3rd party fire and theft (same as third party but with fire and theft cover for your car too) and comprehensive, which covers your car and property as well as the coverage provided by the other policies.
Discovery no. 1 – Insurance companies will rip you off wherever they can.
I’ve been restricted in where I can get insurance cover due to a 3 month licence suspension back in 2001. Most companies don’t like to touch a previously suspended driver within 5 years of the suspension. The few that do will charge you a premium for doing so – especially if you’re trying to insure a turbocharged car like a Saab.
Tip number 1, if you’re in a similar situation – shop around!
Even though you’ve been suspended, it’s wise to call a few places, or contact a broker and get them to do some legwork for you. If you’re like I was, you’ll be so glad to find a company that WILL insure you at the end of all the running-around that you’ll pretty much pay whatever price they quote. Well, shop around and find a few more. They know you’re not in a great bargaining position, but whatever competition you can create will help.
Tip number 2 – if you’re getting further into your post-suspension period, then shop your clean record around to a few places. It’s been four years since my suspension and I haven’t been booked for a single offence since the end of 2001 (Gold star for me!!). I’ve just been pushing that fact to a few places and I’ll be cutting a hefty chunk from my premiums – starting today! What’s annoyed me is that there wasn’t any action from my insurer or my broker to alert me to the fact that I could do this. They just sat back and took my money (until today).
Discovery no. 2 – There’s insurance companies, and then there’s CAR insurance companies.
I’ll be insuring my Viggen, as well as our 1994 model 9000CS AND our home with a company here in Australia called Shannons Insurance. Shannons are car specialists and whilst they’re owned by a big insurer, they’ve maintained their specialisation and enthusiasm for cars. They sponsor car shows (pictures here) and run regular auctions for veteran and vintage cars in the big capital cities here in Oz.
What’s really impressed me is that I was able to explain to them that I’ll be fitting the Viggen Rescue Kit to the car and they were OK with it. They understood torque steer and the parts that were being fitted and classified them as accessories, rather than modifications.
That makes for a biiiiiiig difference when you’re talking premiums.
The ditz at my old insurance broker, some 25 year old blonde-sounding secretary, took down the names of the components and just classified them straight away as mods and whacked an extra $300 on the premium.
End story: I cancelled my old insurance policies this morning and I’ll be paying about the same premium for comprehensive insurance on a 1999 Viggen, a 1994 9000CS and our home with Shannons as what I was for home insurance, comprehensive on the 9000 and third party on the 1979 99 turbo.
Now THAT’S a BIG DIFFERENCE.
For what it’s worth, check around when you get your next premium reminder and find someone that’s as interested in cars as you are. If you’re here in Oz, check out Shannons.