Before you drive away from in your set of new wheels, it’s imperative you plan ahead and get insurance in place to cover you from the second you leave the car dealer.

Car insurance is easy to put in place. So long as you have the registration number, make, year and model, you will be able to set up the whole thing over the phone or online.

Question is, what type of cover do you require? It is not a legal requirement in NZ to have vehicle insurance, however if you have your car financed, it will be a requirement of the finance.

Third party, fire and theft: This cover is good for those people on a strict and tight budget. Perhaps a student driving a 1998 Corolla or someone driving their Nanas old car that was left to them in the will. It will cover you for damage you do to someone else’s vehicle. If you rear end a brand new Audi, don’t fear, your third party insurance will cover the cost of the repairs on the other person’s car. It won’t however cover damage to your car. A risk you take and a popular option for low value cars. If your car is set on fire or is stolen, you will be paid out the agreed replacement value for your vehicle.

Comprehensive insurance varies from company to company. It covers damage done to other vehicles or property (caused at the fault of yourself), damage to your own car, theft, fire and often added extras such as windscreen cover.

All insurance claims will come with an excess. You can usually choose the amount of excess you would be required to pay in an event of a claim. Higher the excess, lower the premiums. Lower the excess, higher the premiums. The decision is yours as to whether you pay a lower premium each fortnight/month/year and pay a higher excess at claim time or vice versa.

Most insurance can be paid in full for the year or broken down and paid fortnightly or monthly. The latter option is often good for those on a budget; however a discount is often given if it is paid for as a lump sum for the year. Something to consider.

The majority of insurance companies offer insurances for other assets too; house insurance, contents insurance and even health and life insurance. If you get policies for more than 1 type of insurance then again, you are often given a discount.

It’s not worth the risk of not having insurance for your vehicle. If you cause damage to another person’s property or vehicle without insurance cover then you will be up for a pretty heavy bill.