File picture: Pexels.
File picture: Pexels.

Why it's the right time to call your car insurer to update your vehicle cover

By Pritesh Ruthun Time of article published Jun 4, 2020

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Johannesburg - We contacted Telesure Insurance Holdings (TIH) this week to find out what's going on across South Africa from a vehicle theft and hijackings perspective now that lockdown is easing and more businesses kick into gear. 

According to the company's data insights team, vehicle hijackings have returned to levels experienced pre-lockdown. 

"It's spread all across the country and we're noticing a pattern where the majority of the hijackings are taking place in the afternoon or early evening between 4 pm and 8 pm," says TIH spokesperson, Nondumiso Mpila.

She adds that 77% of the hijackings involve male targets, however, female motorists shouldn't let their guards down.

"There are two distinct tactics being used by hijackers. They are either targeting people who arrive home after work or a trip to the shop or they corner victims at traffic lights and stop streets using other vehicles.

It is noteworthy that hijackings and car thefts that were reported to have taken place after 8 pm curfew during national lockdown level 4 are being investigated with a fine-tooth comb, as the insurer believes that only special circumstances would have warranted a motorist being on the road during the curfew. 

Not the time to cancel insurance cover

Putting the politics and circumstances surrounding lockdown levels aside, considering the rapid return of vehicle-related crime in South Africa, insurers are urging consumers not to cancel their vehicle insurance in an effort to save money under challenging economic conditions. In fact, with more and more South Africans working from home it remains worthwhile to contact your insurer to let them know that you are using your car much less these days and that it's parked at home for most of the day.

We attended the virtual launch of King Price's new chilli insurance plan earlier this week; a pay-as-you-drive car insurance product that offers fully-comprehensive cover for much less money, they say.

Speaking at the event, King Price CEO Gideon Galloway said: “We don’t believe that many South Africans will be going back to their ‘normal’ commute any time soon, and as people are driving less every month, we don’t think it makes sense that they’re paying the same for their car insurance every month. At the same time, we don’t think that simply discounting premiums is a sustainable solution. So, we put our heads together – remotely, of course – and came up with a product that does make sense.”

Cheap comprehensive monthly car insurance

With the chilli product, Galloway says monthly premiums start at R299 and this includes protection against everything that ‘normal’ comprehensive insurance covers, including accidental damage, theft and hi-jacking, and third-party liability.

He also shared some interesting stats from car recovery companies (in line with TIH data) that confirmed that while most South Africans are driving less, the risks are on the rise.

“We saw a reduction in kilometres driven of around 75% during the first few weeks of lockdown. More recently, this figure is around 45%. Recent stats also show that car theft incidents – having dropped dramatically when the lockdown was first implemented – are back up to 60% of pre-lockdown figures.”

How to (possibly) save money on your insurance

“Approved telematics tracking devices feed chilli clients’ mileage straight into our systems. It’s a ‘no mess, no fuss’ solution,” says Galloway.

"Clients who opt not to have an approved tracking device installed can simply upload their mileage on the King Price app. Technology makes getting chilli just as easy. Simply download the King Price app, get an instant quote and also buy without even talking to an agent."

It's a known fact that usage-based car insurance isn’t a new concept, however, Galloway notes that chilli is the right solution for the times.

“We listened to what our clients, and in fact, all South African consumers, are saying and developed a product that addresses the specific car insurance needs and concerns that have arisen since Covid-19 started affecting our lives. Using our advanced data and statistical analytics and capabilities, we developed super affordable ‘pay-per-k’ insurance cover. And then we made it super easy to use,” he concludes.

It's interesting to note that chilli was developed within five weeks, during lockdown restrictions.

Regardless of who you are insured with, insurers are asking South Africans to ensure they have vehicle cover in place, particularly as government provides very little clarity on how long it plans to keep the country on lockdown and criminals become more brazen under increasingly challenging economic circumstances. 

Drive360

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