“How can I save money on car insurance?” is probably one of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to renewing or buying a new car insurance policy. Everyone wants to save money - but when it comes to securing car insurance coverage, its jargon and pricing complexities can make finding the best value policy an ordeal for many Hong Kong drivers. So, in an effort to bring transparency to the world of auto insurance, our team of experts at Kwiksure have compiled the following top tips for managing and reducing your car insurance costs.
1. Have a clean driving record
Besides protecting your own well being and that of those around you, driving safely can help ensure that you pay a lower rate for your car insurance. This is because your driving history is one of the most crucial factors influencing how auto premiums are calculated in Hong Kong.
If you do not have a clean driving record (i.e. you have a history of accidents and/or a high number of driving offence points), you can expect that your premium will increase or be higher than someone with no driving offence points. That said, in Hong Kong many insurers will only increase or charge a higher premium if you have acquired over a specific number of demerit points (usually six).
2. Know this about your No Claims Discount
The importance of driving safely also brings us to the topic of No Claims Discounts (NCDs), which many insurers in Hong Kong offer. As discounts given to policyholders who go claims free for a set period of time, driving accident free can result in significant cost savings. In fact, the maximum amount of NCD for private cars in Hong Kong is 60%, representing five years of claims free driving. The good news here is that most insurers (but not all) in Hong Kong will allow you to take your NCD with you if you decide to switch providers.
Comprehensive car insurance and NCD protection
Many comprehensive car insurance policies also provide the benefit of NCD protection, which ensures that your NCD record carries forward when it comes time to renew in light of previous claims made. There are, however, a number of stipulations attached to this benefit. For example, many insurers will only carry the policyholder’s NCD forward if the claim submitted does not exceed 15% of the vehicle’s insured value.
3. Adjust your excess
Another tip for reducing your auto insurance premiums is to increase your excess, which is the amount you need to pay if you make a claim. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the excess, the lower your vehicle insurance premium will be - and vice versa. Take care however, and try not to go overboard in selecting a high excess just to save money on your premiums. After all, issues could arise further down the road should a costly accident occur and you are left with a large excess to pay.
4. Pick the right car
The value and make of your car also has an impact on how premiums are calculated. For instance, premiums for a new Toyota Corolla will be far lower than a brand new Porsche 718 Boxster. This is because the cost to repair or replace a vehicle is much higher if the car is worth more. Another thing that’s worth noting here is that insurers will tend to charge a lower premium when insuring drivers with more commonly driven vehicles vs cars that are less common/ rare. This is because, simply put, auto insurance providers tend to pool policyholders with the same make of vehicle together when underwriting plans.
5. Weigh your options carefully
What many drivers make the mistake of doing in an effort to save money on their car insurance coverage is to buy the cheapest motor insurance policy on the market. Though the temptation of purchasing the least costly option is understandable, it can also be misguided. This is because cheaper policies will in most cases have lower coverage limits and benefits, and may also lack in other areas such as their quality of claims service.
For instance, some cheaper plans require policyholders to submit their claims within three working days after an accident has occurred, while plans that cost a little bit extra may be more relaxed and offer a claim submission period of 15 days to one month. If a claim is not submitted during this period, the insurer will have the right to decline reimbursement.
6. Brush up on your Hong Kong car insurance knowledge
Car insurance can be confusing. As such, however dull you may find it, spending some time to brush up on your Hong Kong auto insurance knowledge and lingo can ensure that you better understand which type of policy fits your needs best. If you’re not sure where to begin, be sure to take a look at our blog, which is updated by our team of experts weekly and dedicated to answering the most commonly asked questions about motor insurance.
7. Get help from a Hong Kong car insurance expert
Last but not least, it often pays to get impartial advice from an established car insurance broker like Kwiksure. With almost two decades of experience matching drivers with the best value insurance policies for their needs, our team of experts (and drivers!) know the ins and outs of the auto insurance industry. By taking the time to get to know you, your driving needs, and your expectations, our advisors are able to provide the best options for reducing your car insurance costs.
Contact us today to learn about how our advisors can help.