Not all car insurance is the same and many of us buy a policy without understanding the ramifications of just hopping online and buying the cheapest policy we see!
Many times, we’ve heard the stories, ‘I didn’t realise that my policy doesn’t let me do this or that, and ‘why can’t I have my own smash repairer?’
All insurers must provide you with a PDS or product disclosure statement, in a hard copy or on their websites and in recent times insurers have had to make these policy documents easier to read and understand. This is the first place you need to spend some time, because as we’ve said earlier not all insurance policies are the same, and this should be read long before you reach for your credit card.
We all need to read these documents carefully to be sure that the money you spend gets you what you expect….your preferred smash repairer and your vehicle fixed the correct way, not at the price level.
If it is a choice you would like, some insurers will charge you extra for the privilege of having the right to choose your smash repairer, while many of us would cringe at paying an extra 100 bucks, but it is a small price to pay to give you peace of mind that your vehicle is headed to your choice of repairer.
Many vehicle owners drive into their local smash repairer only to find they are not allowed to fix your vehicle because your policy doesn’t give you the freedom to choose who you want.
If you buy the wrong policy, some insurers will tell you, you don’t have the right to pick your own repairer, others will dictate where you must take your car, and when and how your vehicle is repaired. Some insurers will even instruct the smash repairer what parts will go on the car and at what price, and it’s not always what you expect as the owner, or if the parts will be new from the local dealer or from another source?
It may seem onerous but reading all insurance company PDS policies is not difficult and may take an hour of your time, but it will save you a whole lot of angst in the long run if you know your rights as the policy holder, and remember as the owner of the vehicle and the policy you have the right to challenge what you are being told over the phone by your insurer.