If you’re choosing insurance purely based on price, then it may pay to think again. While cost is often a motivating factor when considering home, contents and car insurance, it’s important to get the right level of cover to suit your needs.
Choose the right insurance policy for your circumstances
In New Zealand, most insurers offer a selection of covers to choose from. Your choice will determine what types of claims are covered, how much you pay towards your premium and how your claim will be settled. It’s important to consider all these factors when purchasing a policy and to make sure you fully understand what you’re covered for.
At AA Insurance, we have different levels of car and contents cover to suit your needs and budget. Third Party Car Insurance covers the damage you cause to someone else’s car or property in an accident, but it won’t cover any damage to your vehicle. If you’d like additional cover, Third Party, Fire and Theft covers your vehicle if it is damaged by fire or stolen. Although our third party policies do not cover your vehicle in an accident, there is a standard benefit on our policies that applies in some circumstances called ‘Accidents with an uninsured third party’. This benefit provides cover up to $4,000 in an accident that has been caused by an uninsured third party. For this benefit to apply, the uninsured third party must admit fault, you must be able to provide their correct name, registration and contact details and we must agree that the driver of your car was not at fault.
With regards to contents insurance, our Limited Contents policy is our most basic level of cover and provides new-for-old replacement cover for the bigger events like burglary, fire, storm, flood and natural disaster. There are also options to cover accidental loss, accidental damage and theft for your mobile phone and/or laptop and tablets. Check out our contents insurance comparison page to find the cover that suits your needs.
Choose a higher voluntary excess
Voluntarily choosing a higher excess is one way of reducing the cost of your premium in the short term. An excess is the amount you pay when you make a claim – you pay a contribution towards the claim and your insurer pays the rest of the costs if your claim is accepted. You’ll pay an excess each time there is an event or instance of loss or damage you make a claim for. You can choose to set a higher excess, which will lower your overall premium (the sum you pay fortnightly, monthly or yearly for your insurance), but you will need to pay this higher excess amount at claim time. Before deciding on a higher excess, it’s important to make sure you can afford to pay for any smaller accidents that may cost less than your excess, such as a small carpet stain in your home, or a broken phone screen.
Having multiple policies with the same insurer may also help you save on your insurance. At AA Insurance, if you have more than one policy with us, you’ll only pay one excess per event, so, if you accidentally back your car into your garage door and cause extensive damage to both, you will only need to pay one excess for both claims – the higher excess of the two.
Review and exclude the policy benefits you don’t need
If you’ve already got insurance, review any additional benefits you’ve chosen to see whether there are any opportunities to cut your costs upfront. For example, if you’re an AA Insurance customer you may want to remove optional benefits like the excess-free glass cover options for your Home, Comprehensive Car or Third Party, Fire and Theft policies, or the $100 excess on eyewear cover for your Contents policy, in exchange for a lower premium. It’s worth remembering that, although these changes may save you some money in the short term, it does mean that you will have to pay your policy excess should, say, your damaged windscreen need replacing in the future.
Secure your property from theft
Another way to save is to make your property more secure from theft. For your contents, using a security alarm, whether audible, monitored or smart, will help you save on your premium. Did you know the type of car you drive and the place you reside can be factors that affect how your premium is calculated? Our claims data tells us how often each vehicle type is involved in a claim, and how much that claim costs. Our claims data also tells us that some regions and suburbs are more susceptible to burglaries than others. So, if you’re in the market for a new car or home, then a quick online insurance calculation before you sign on the dotted line could help save you hundreds of dollars in premium.
Check you’re receiving the discounts you’re entitled to
Whether you’re buying insurance or already have it, it’s worth checking if any discounts are available to you. Sometimes, the more insurance policies you have with one insurer, the more discounts you may be able to accumulate, such as AA Insurance's Multi Policy Discount for customers who have more than one eligible policy. Did you know that we also offer discounts for personal AA Members? Our Discount Terms and Conditions offer more information on the discounts available to our customers, as well as information on what you need to do to receive these discounts.
Now’s a great time to review your insurance. We recommend checking your details are up to date and ensuring the policy and cover you’ve chosen is right for you and your insurance needs.
If you have any questions about your insurance, need to update your AA Insurance policies or would like a quote, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re open from 8am to 8pm weekdays and from 8am to 6pm weekends and public holidays.
This blog provides general information only and is not intended to be a recommendation or personalised financial advice. Excesses, terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply to AA Insurance Limited’s policies. Please check the policy wording for details of cover. The provision of cover is subject to the underwriting criteria that apply at the time.