GOLDEN RULES

Manukau Courier - - EDUCATION & TRAINING -

Keep­ing the wheels turning is an ex­pen­sive busi­ness.

Cars are sec­ond only to houses when it comes to suck­ing money from your wal­let.

Which is why I wasn’t best pleased at an at­tempt to get me to buy tyre in­sur­ance.

Yes, in get­ting two new tyres for the car, the bill (a bit sneak­ily) in­cluded a sur­prise cost of $8.50 per tyre for Road Hazard Tyre In­sur­ance.

This un­wel­come form of in­sur­ance wasn’t dis­cussed when ar­rang­ing for the tyres to be re­placed (naughty, naughty), and the tyre shop re­moved the $17 ex­tra when asked.

Now in my book, real in­sur­ance cov­ers the costs of un­fore­seen events that you can­not man­age your­self.

Ex­am­ples in­clude: your sud­den death leav­ing your fam­ily at risk of los­ing the house, a fire that de­stroys the home­stead, or the ur­gent need to fly you home by air am­bu­lance af­ter a fall on hol­i­day. Real in­sur­ance cov­ers catas­tro­phes Tyre in­sur­ance is a lux­ury

Save your money

In the ab­sence of in­sur­ance, all of these are events plunge fam­i­lies into im­me­di­ate fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

Get­ting a punc­ture in my new tyre is not on this list.

When you buy tyres they are covered by the Con­sumer Guar­an­tees Act. If they fail be­cause they are faulty tyres, the man­u­fac­turer, or re­tailer, has to re­pair or re­place them.

So the road hazard tyre in­sur­ance must ex­ist to cover some­thing else.

I read the pol­icy. It would re­pair or re­place the tyres in the first 12 months af­ter I bought them, in the case of some­thing ter­ri­ble hap­pen­ing to them dur­ing or­di­nary use, with a few caveats.

I couldn’t claim in the event of van­dal­ism, or a crash with an­other ve­hi­cle, or a fire, or dam­age from snowchains, or in­cor­rect wheel align­ment.

It also doesn’t cover dam­age caused when the car was op­er­at­ing with in­suf­fi­cient tyre pres­sure, or was off road, or the re­sult of a brake lock-up.

Now, I have searched my mem­ory for the num­ber of times in the last 15 years when I got a punc­ture.

I re­call only once, an ir­ri­tat­ing slow punc­ture caused by a nail. That’s a fairly low in­ci­dence. Clearly, road hazard tyre in­sur­ance is some­thing you could claim on. It is not en­tirely worth­less.

But all in­sur­ance is priced to ben­e­fit the seller. The pre­mi­ums charged are far more than the ex­pected claims.

While I feel the ne­ces­sity for pay­ing pre­mi­ums for life and house in­sur­ance, I’m not will­ing to pay a pre­mium to in­sure my­self against a mi­nor in­con­ve­nience like get­ting a punc­ture and hav­ing to pay to re­pair it, or re­place the tyre.

Now my $8.50 a tyre in­sur­ance was ex­pen­sive, but some poli­cies are even dearer.

Bridge­stone, for ex­am­ple, charges $13.50 a tyre.

Trans­port is a big cost in a fam­ily’s bud­get.

Just un­der 11 per cent of the Con­sumer Price In­dex bas­kets of goods and ser­vices which is (roughly) sup­posed to rep­re­sent the pur­chases made by house­holds, is spent on pri­vate trans­port- namely cars, mo­tor­bikes and bi­cy­cles.

That’s an aw­ful lot, so I’m not about to vol­un­teer to pay even more for a form of in­sur­ance I don’t need.

123RF

An­noy­ing, for sure, but not some­thing you need in­sur­ance to cope with.

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