5 Easy Steps to Buying Car Insurance
How Do I Renew My Car Insurance Plan?
Do you dread the thought of renewing your car insurance plan? We hear you!
Between the cost and potential tediousness of insuring your car, it may feel like something you wished you didn’t have to do.
But in Malaysia and in most parts of the world, it is compulsory.
There’s good news nonetheless, as renewing a car insurance policy can be quite easy and affordable – when you have the right information.
Thus, we’ve gathered all the important stuff you need to know and put it into a step-by-step guide to make it as easy as possible for you to renew your car insurance policy! If you're already one beary smart cookie and ready to do it now, we've got you covered too.
Here are five steps to getting your car insurance plan renewed:
1. Decide on the type of car insurance you need
There are three main types of car insurance plans choose from: ‘Third Party’, ‘Third Party, Fire and Theft’, and ‘Comprehensive’.
Each of these insurance plans provides different levels of coverage and will differ in costs as well.
Of the three, a Third Party plan will generally cost the least, while the Comprehensive will cost the most.
Here’s a look at what each policy type covers:
- Third Party. This is the most basic of all three plans; it provides coverage only for third party claims.
For instance, if you get into an accident with another vehicle and driver, a third party plan is meant to pay for the damages claimed by (or on behalf of) the other driver.
If your car also sustains damages from the accident, you won’t be able to claim from your insurance.
If there is fire damage to your car or if it gets stolen, this plan will not cover it either. Usually, people with much older cars will opt for this type of plan.
- Third Party, Fire and Theft. This plan covers third party claims (as explained above) with the addition of coverage for fire damage and theft of the car as well.
But just like a Third Party plan, it will not cover your car for repairs if any accidental damages are sustained.
- Comprehensive. As its name suggests, this type of plan provides the most complete coverage available.
It covers fire, theft and third party claims as well as coverage to your own vehicle in case of accidents, whether or not you are at fault (it is advised not to admit fault).
Those with newer cars typically opt for Comprehensive coverage.
For brand-new cars purchased with bank loans, a comprehensive plan may be insisted upon for the first year.
2. Consider who to buy insurance from
Once you’ve decided on the type of plan you will buy, the next step is figuring out if you should buy insurance from an agent, online or direct.
Each of these options comes with its own set of pros and cons.
Here’s a general idea of what each purchase avenue entails:
- Buying from an agent. If you don’t have the time to renew your policy yourself, then renewing your plan through an insurance agent is a convenient option.
An agent will typically take care of all your needs from documentation, to suggesting a plan and even getting your road tax renewed.
However, such services often come at a slight cost. Buying with an agent can be more expensive when compared to buying online or direct.
Also, you may not have as many plan choices with an agent as opposed to a comparison site like GoBear.
- Buying direct. Some insurance companies and Takaful operators provide direct purchase options through their website, phone, email or overthe-counter.
You’ll typically have to supply required documentation i.e. the previous policy and registration card to receive a quote, which could take anywhere from one to three days.
Also, if you’ve settled on buying direct, note that you’ll usually have to renew your road tax yourself, unless additional services are offered.
- Buying online. A comparison site like GoBear offers one of the easiest, most costfriendly ways to get your insurance renewed.
All you have to do is enter your details and our comparison tool will suggest the best plans for your budget and needs in a matter of seconds.
Moreover, all plans featured on the site are rated unbiasedly and reviewed to help you make the right decision.
You can use our tool to compare car insurance plans very soon! In the meantime, be sure to sign up for our free car insurance e-guide and be alerted the moment it is up and running.
Other ways to buy online are through banks and agencies like MYEG.
For more information on how to decide, check out our think piece on buying car insurance through an agent.
| See also: Your Ultimate Guide To Comprehensive Car Insurance |
3. Get quotes
Premiums are based primarily on the sum insured, which is grounded on the value of your car, among others. Thus, when asking for a quote it’s best to know the current estimated value of your car.
Over insuring, or paying for coverage that is much higher (above 5%) than the value of your car is a waste of money.
On the other hand, if you underinsure your car, which is to purchase coverage for much less than its value (below 5%), then you may only receive partial compensation for claims.
But how do you find the right figure so you aren’t underinsuring or over insuring your car?
Well, you can check for free via MyCarInfo, a site that provides a general estimate based on the make, model, year, and engine capacity of your car.
A more thorough valuation is available as well but for a fee.
The level of convenience for getting quotes depends on how you decide to renew your policy.
For instance, if you choose to go through an agent, you’ll have to make a request and wait for them to come back to you with a price.
How swiftly you receive your quote depends on your agent; some will have it ready in lightning speed, but the same can’t be said for all, even when buying direct. So, how patient are you?
When using a comparison site like GoBear however, estimates can be received almost instantly.
But more importantly, you can compare and choose one that is most affordable, which leads us to our next point: making a choice!
4. Make a choice
Once you’ve received the quotes (be sure to source for at least three), do check on the coverage and benefits offered carefully.
Look at the extras available with the policy as well, like complimentary towing and roadside assistance.
Also, do find out if your policy is based on an agreed or market value.
Agreed value policies are generally preferable because it promises to pay claims based on the sum insured that was agreed when it was purchased.
A market value policy on the other hand, will pay claims based on the value of your car at the time of the incident and not when the policy was purchased. Isn’t that interesting?
5. Make payment
Now once you’ve studied all the details, and opted for the most affordable plan with the best benefits – all that’s left to do is make payment.
Depending on how you choose to buy your policy, whether through an agent, online or direct; payment options will differ.
When buying online or direct, your options typically include secure online transfers or credit and debit cards.
With agents, Takaful operators or insurance companies (for over-the-counter payments), a cash option may be offered, along with credit and debit cards.
After payment has been successfully made through authentic channels, you should receive your policy within 24 hours to 72 hours.
Can I renew my car insurance for only six months?
In short, yes you can.
In most situations, the need to renew for only a period of six months coincides with road tax renewal for the same period as well. This is almost always because the car owner has plans to sell off his or her car and would like to minimise the expenditure involved.
Therefore, a six-month car insurance renewal will be considered an extension to your ongoing car insurance policy; and seeing that it’s an extension, you will need to continue with your current insurer. For example, if you are being insured by AXA, then the additional six months will also fall under AXA.
Seeing that it’s not a common option, it is best advised that you speak to a representative from your car insurance company and share your situation to ensure that your needs are met.
Keep in mind that when renewing road tax, motorists have the option of choosing six or 12 months.
Now you know how to buy car insurance, happy shopping!