Car Insurance: How to Choose the Best in 2020
Anyone who has a car knows the risks to which they are exposed. In addition to the often inevitable traffic accidents, there is the possibility of vehicle theft and theft, for example. To protect that asset, there is car insurance.
The coverages vary a lot according to the chosen product. There are also a number of extra services that can be added to the contract. All of this has an impact on the price, of course.
Understand below the main characteristics of car insurance, the options available and the criteria that must be observed when researching this product.
First, the most important
- The process of taking out car insurance basically involves three characters: the insured, the insurer and the broker.
- The insured is the one who contracts the insurance, while the insurer is the company that charges a value (premium) to assume the risks related to the vehicle. It is she who pays the indemnity to the car owner in the event of an accident (theft, theft, fire, accident, etc.).
- In turn, the broker is the agent who makes the intermediation between the insured and the insurance company. It is with him that you get in touch to make quotes and contract insurance.
- It is important for a broker to quote from several insurers to find the most cost-effective product for your needs.
The Best Car Insurance: Our Recommendations
The automobile industry is among the largest segments of the insurance market in the country. Thus, there are a large number of companies that sell this product. You can start your search by looking at what the biggest insurers offer. See below the three largest vehicle insurers, according to a ranking prepared by the union that brings together insurance brokers from the State of São Paulo, Sincor SP, based on 2018 data. ( 1 )
- Largest auto insurance company
- Group with extensive sales network
- Benefits reference
Hiring Guide: What You Need to Know About Car Insurance
Although car insurance is one of the most popular
, a study by the National Confederation of General Insurance Companies (CNSEG) shows that more than 70% of vehicles in the country do not yet have this protection.
The problem is that insurance adds to a series of other expenses that vehicle owners already have, such as the car financing portion, fuel and maintenance expenses and the Motor Vehicle Property Tax (IPVA). And it all weighs in on the budget.
But there are less expensive insurance options and there are also ways to make the more traditional product cheaper.
What sets the price of car insurance?
When you are looking for a broker to take out car insurance, the first thing you will need to do is fill out a form with personal details and the vehicle that will be insured. That’s because this data will be used by the insurer to set the price of your insurance.
A number of factors impact the price, such as the car model, the driver’s profile and the region in which the vehicle is used.
For example, the higher the value of your car, the more expensive you will pay for insurance, as the greater the indemnity to be paid by the insurer in the event of theft, fire or collision. In addition, the younger or inexperienced the insured, the greater the likelihood of being involved in a traffic accident and the more expensive the insurance.
Did you know that women generally pay less than men? That’s because statistically they are less involved in serious collisions.
Still in relation to the driver’s profile, married people tend to be more careful than singles and, therefore, also pay a lower amount. Singles tend to go out more at night and go to parties, which increases the risk of claims.
The city and the neighborhood where the insured person resides can also count a lot in the insurance amount. If a neighborhood has high crime rates, for example, the insurer may choose to increase the insurance amount. The opposite can happen in more policed places.
Insurance for those who live in large cities is more expensive.
Those who live in large urban centers tend to pay more than those who live in smaller cities. In addition, those who live far from the workplace may have an increase in value, as they will have to travel more with the car, running a greater risk of accident or theft.
Can any car have insurance?
In theory, any car can be insured. However, those who own old vehicles may have difficulties in finding a product and, when they do, it can be very expensive, making it financially unfeasible.
Many insurers refuse to insure old cars.
This is because most insurers prefer to avoid insuring older cars, which are more than ten years old, as they understand that these involve higher risks.
One reason is that, in case of repair, it is much more difficult to find original parts to repair old cars than new vehicles. And these pieces tend to be much more expensive. Therefore, the cost to the insurer is higher.
In addition, these cars tend to have more mechanical problems, which can increase the possibility of accidents and use of services such as a tow truck, for example. Some models are also highly targeted by the bandits, because they can be used for cutting, so that their pieces can be resold.
But there is still an alternative. Since 2016, the so-called “popular insurance”, which is more flexible, which mainly serves cars with more than five years of travel, has been in effect. An important difference is that it allows the use of “generic” and used parts, from authorized cuts, for vehicle repair.
Another point is that, with this alternative, the full indemnity paid by the insurers is usually only between 80% and 90% of the Fipe Table (read more below), while traditional insurance generally pays between 100% and 110%. The deductible, a portion paid by the consumer to repair the car in the event of an accident, is usually more expensive in this type of product.
All of this aims to make cheaper and make insurance for a larger number of cars, including older ones, viable. See below the main differences between traditional and popular insurance.
If someone else crashes my car, will I be compensated?
Since the driver’s profile generally has an impact on the insurance price, it is likely that when requesting a price simulation you will have to indicate everyone who will usually drive your car. This means that the insurance will cover problems that occur during the use of the vehicle by any of the people listed in your insurance policy.
You need to let the insurer know if other people use your car regularly.
For example, if you only have one car at home and your child uses it, even if only once a week, you will have to list him as a regular driver. This may raise the price, but it will also ensure that you have no problem getting compensation if a claim occurs when he is using the car.
But what if the accident occurs when the car is being used by someone else? Generally, the loan of the vehicle to someone on a clearly casual basis, that is, that has no fixed periodicity, does not result in the negative payment of the claim. If the loan was for someone who regularly uses the vehicle and was not listed in the insurance proposal, the insurer may refuse to pay the claim.
Did you know that drunkenness is one of the exclusion clauses for compensation provided for in the general insurance conditions? To refuse compensation, the insurer needs to prove that the driver was drunk.
Can installing security devices make insurance cheaper?
There are some ways to make car insurance cheaper, and one is to install a safety device. The car alarm, for example, is one of the devices that can reduce the risk of theft and theft and thus help with the insurance price.
Installing a tracker can also make insurance cheaper, as it can allow stolen cars to be located before they reach illegal dismantling. So, as the risk of the insurer losing the vehicle is less, the insurance price drops. Many insurers offer installation of this system free of charge.
Another way to make insurance cheaper is to leave your car in the garage or parking lot when not in use. Anyone who leaves their car all night on the street or does not use parking when working will pay more for insurance. The reason is that a well-kept car is less likely to be targeted by bandits.
What is the difference between partial and full compensation?
Indemnity is the amount that the insurer pays the vehicle owner when a claim occurs, such as a car accident, theft, theft or fire. The indemnity can be full or partial, depending on the type of problem.
The full indemnity is paid when the loss resulting from the claim reaches or exceeds 75% (or lower percentage when provided for in the policy) of the amount contracted by the insured. In case of theft or theft of the vehicle without it being recovered, there is also full compensation.
In the case of full indemnity, the insured must, in the event of a claim, immediately notify the insurer, fill out the claim form and submit the necessary documentation, as defined in the contract.
It is necessary to wait for authorization from the insurer to repair the car.
Partial compensation is paid when material damage to the vehicle does not result in full compensation. In the event of a claim, the insured must immediately notify the insurer, fill in the claim form, take the vehicle to a repair shop and wait for prior authorization from the insurer to carry out repairs.
The workshop can be freely chosen by the insured, but it is possible that the insurer offers some advantages for using its accredited network.
After triggering the insurance, how long does it take to receive the compensation?
According to Susep’s rule, insurers have a maximum period of 30 days to indemnify their clients in the event of an accident, counted from the date of delivery of the documentation.
Among the documents required are documents from the driver of the vehicle at the time of the accident, the vehicle itself and a police report, for example.
It is important to be aware if the insurer requests additional documentation. In such cases, the counting of the deadline is suspended, starting from the delivery of the missing documents.
Hiring Criteria: What to Consider When Hiring Car Insurance
Once you understand the characteristics of car insurance, you need to know the aspects that must be analyzed before closing the contract.
We made a list with the main criteria:
- Coverages offered
- Extra services
- Value and type of franchise
- Amount of indemnity
Check each criterion in detail below.
The coverages can vary a lot depending on the insurance chosen. And they will have an impact on the price. There are basic and additional coverages.
Protection against theft, theft and fire is the most basic of car insurance and tends to be the cheapest. There are insurances that only cover this minimum coverage.
The most common, however, is comprehensive coverage, which also protects against collisions and damage caused by nature, such as flooding, flooding and flooding. This is usually preferred by consumers because it involves traffic accidents, which are a big risk for those who drive.
It is also quite common, although not mandatory, coverage for damages to third parties, called civil liability coverage. This covers material, bodily or moral damages caused to third parties or their property. If you are required to pay compensation for an accident, for example, the insurer will bear the expenses up to the contracted amount.
But there are still other coverages that can be added to the contract, such as personal accident per passenger (APP). This protects those in the insured car, not third parties. In a traffic accident, the injured driver and passengers, or their beneficiaries, receive compensation for medical and hospital expenses, for death or permanent disability.
It is worth remembering that car insurance is complementary to DPVAT, which is mandatory insurance by law to guarantee compensation to victims of traffic accidents, when death, disability or when there are medical and hospital expenses in general. DPVAT is paid by car owners once a year, together with the IPVA, and the amount of indemnities has an established ceiling.
To attract consumers’ attention and differentiate themselves from the competition, insurers also offer some extra services. Before closing your contract, consider whether you need or want these “extras” because they are likely to increase the price of your insurance.
One of these extras is 24-hour assistance, which may include technical assistance or a tow truck in the event of a vehicle breakdown and tire and key ring replacement service, for example. There is also the possibility of hiring a package that offers a reserve car, which can be used when the insurance is activated and for a limited or unlimited period of days, depending on the contracted option.
Another possibility is the glass cover, which guarantees the replacement or repair in case of damage to the car windows, headlights, lanterns and mirrors. In addition, there are packages that have coverage against damage to gas kits, multimedia devices and adaptation equipment for disabled people, for example.
Value and type of franchise
The deductible is the amount paid by the insured and agreed in the policy in the event of a vehicle accident. That is, when you crash your car and need repair, you need to activate the insurance and pay the deductible. Only then will the insurer pay the amount for the damage.
Those who do not activate the insurance receive a discount on the renewal of the policy.
If the cost of repairing the car is less than the deductible, it will not be worthwhile to take out the car insurance. You must pay this amount yourself. It is worth remembering that policyholders who do not activate insurance during the year usually receive bonuses, that is, a discount for renewing insurance.
The deductible is responsible for increasing or decreasing the insurance price. So, if you have a history of a good driver and believe you have little risk of getting involved in accidents, it may be more convenient to opt for a higher deductible to lower the insurance value.
In the case of the normal deductible, you pay cheaper on insurance and spend more if you need to use it. When the deductible is reduced, you pay less to call the insurance company, but the insurance amount is higher. The ideal is to compare the prices of proposals with the same type of franchise to know which is more advantageous.
Amount of indemnity
When there is a problem that results in full indemnity (usually theft, theft or collision with total or almost total loss of the vehicle), the most common is that insurance companies pay the value that the car has on the market at that time according to the Fipe Table , from the Economic Research Institute Foundation.
It is possible to receive more than the value of the car in the Fipe Table.
It is also possible to negotiate an “adjustment factor”, a percentage that will be applied on the value found in the reference table. Thus, for example, it is possible to take out insurance that pays 110% of the Fipe Table or even more. If your car has optional equipment, for example, it may be interesting to negotiate this adjustment factor to better reflect the value of your asset.
Although this is the most common way of defining the amount of the indemnity, there are also insurance that pay, in the event of a claim, an amount stipulated in the contract. Thus, it is important to be aware of this criterion and compare insurance prices with the same indemnity value.