Money mat­ters PLUS We talk small busi­ness

PLAN­NING a trip to the coast this fes­tive sea­son? Tak­ing the scenic route and driv­ing?

People (South Africa) - - Contents - BY VANESSA PAPAS

WHILE we know fuel costs are a pain in the back, did you know that the way you drive can also rack up the bills? Ever-in­creas­ing fuel prices are push­ing South Africans to ex­plore ev­ery av­enue to re­duce their costs. Ac­cord­ing to the Au­to­mo­bile As­so­ci­a­tion (AA), the cost of petrol is pre­dicted to go up to R17.90 by the end of the year. But by us­ing telem­at­ics tech­nol­ogy and soft­ware ap­pli­ca­tions mo­torists could help re­duce the pre­mi­ums on their car in­sur­ance.

We chat to Vera Nagte­gaal, the ex­ec­u­tive head of Hippo, on ways you can drive smarter and save money.

Is There Any Tech­nol­ogy That Can Save You Money?

FOR con­sumers wor­ried about the ev­er­in­creas­ing costs of fuel, in­stalling a telem­at­ics so­lu­tion could as­sist in de­creas­ing the cost of your in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums. Th­ese apps are a rel­a­tively new tech­nol­ogy that driv­ers could in­stall on their smart phone to track their driv­ing be­hav­iour. Telem­at­ics tech­nol­ogy has evolved over the years, and nowa­days it sim­ply means down­load­ing an app on your phone in or­der to ac­cess the tech­nol­ogy. In us­ing your cell­phone, cer­tain met­rics are fac­tored in to track driv­ing be­hav­iour. Th­ese in­clude track­ing your cell­phone use while driv­ing, ac­cel­er­a­tion, speed­ing, dis­tance, route risk in­dex, time of com­mute and brak­ing.

How Can This App Change My Car In­sur­ance Pre­mi­ums?

IN some in­stances, in­sur­ers could re­quest you to en­able this tech­nol­ogy to re­ceive in­for­ma­tion that can be used to as­sess your driv­ing habits and ad­just your pre­mium in re­sponse to your driv­ing be­hav­iour. From this, your in­surer can es­tab­lish your risk pro­file, which gives them an idea of how likely you are to have an ac­ci­dent. Some in­sur­ers could of­fer you ei­ther an up­front dis­count on your pre­mi­ums or cash back re­wards based on good driv­ing be­hav­iour. This ben­e­fits any driver who de­cides to use a telem­at­ics app to mon­i­tor driv­ing be­hav­iour, but can be par­tic­u­larly use­ful to driv­ers who are usu­ally con­sid­ered to have a high-risk pro­file. For in­stance, men who are 25 years old and younger are sta­tis­ti­cally con­sid­ered to be more prone to risky driv­ing be­hav­iour. The use of telem­at­ics could prove that they are driv­ing re­spon­si­bly in or­der to re­duce their loaded pre­mi­ums.

Can Go­ing Green Save You Money?

APART from lower emis­sions, go­ing green by driv­ing a hy­brid or elec­tric car not only saves you money but saves the planet too. While th­ese types of ve­hi­cles can be pricier than reg­u­lar cars, it’s an in­vest­ment that’s good for your wal­let and the en­vi­ron­ment. Lower emis­sions are also linked to reg­u­larly ser­vic­ing and en­sur­ing your car is road­wor­thy. When a ve­hi­cle has to work harder more harm­ful emis­sions are re­leased into the en­vi­ron­ment. A road­wor­thy car im­proves the chances of ap­proval of your in­sur­ance claim. This is a com­mon rea­son why claims are re­jected but is sim­ple to avoid.

Will A Road­wor­thy Car Cost Me Less?

THE Au­to­mo­bile As­so­ci­a­tion has com­piled a guide on de­ter­min­ing if your car is road­wor­thy. They ex­plain, for ex­am­ple, that the tread for all tyres (in­clud­ing the

spare) should be at least 1.6mm deep, and brakes must be in good work­ing or­der. Ne­ces­si­ties like pur­chas­ing new tyres is of­ten a grudge pur­chase but can help you avoid the risk of ac­ci­dents or mishaps re­lated to hav­ing a di­min­ished tyre tread. This not only en­sures your safety and the safety of other road users but also saves you money in the long run. This is ben­e­fi­cial for Mod­ern tech­nol­ogy can sav­ing you funds when it help you drive safer – comes to your in­sur­ance and save money! pre­mi­ums claims. Prac­ti­cal things like en­sur­ing your tyres have the op­ti­mum amount of air in them means less work for your ve­hi­cle. Proper tire­main­te­nance shouldn’t be over­looked, since it’s a sim­ple way to in­crease your fuel econ­omy.

Can An Ef­fec­tive Gps Save Me Money?

WHEN you drive to a new part of town or go on a road trip it’s not un­usual to get a lit­tle lost along the way. To make sure you don’t clock any un­nec­es­sary miles, plan ahead and map the most ef­fi­cient route. A good GPS will en­sure you find your way, the first time.

Do Diesel En­gines Re­ally Save You Costs?

YES and no. Diesel is more ef­fi­cient and uses 15−20 per­cent less fuel mean­ing cheaper run­ning costs, but it is also sub­jected to hikes, just as petrol is. The petrol price, how­ever, is kept in check, be­cause con­sumers largely use petrol to com­mute to work. Ex­perts still main­tain a petrol car is of­ten the bet­ter choice – es­pe­cially if you’re driv­ing around town and not reg­u­larly plug­ging away long dis­tances.

Other Ways To Save Money:

• CLEAR the junk out of your boot to lessen the load.

• DRIV­ING 100 km/h in­stead of 120 km/h on the high­way could re­duce petrol costs by up to 20 per­cent.

• WHERE pos­si­ble, tryand limit the use of the air con­di­tioner as this could re­sult in a 13 – 21 per­cent de­crease in petrol costs.

• IF your ve­hi­cle has an auto stop-start sys­tem, make sure to en­able it to help save fuel and de­crease emis­sions.

• MAIN­TAIN a con­stant speed and avoid speed­ing to cir­cum­vent sud­den brak­ing.

• AN­TIC­I­PATE and avoid traf­fic – there are use­ful apps such as Waze and Google Maps to help driv­ers

• SER­VICE your ve­hi­cle reg­u­larly.

• CON­SIDER go­ing green by driv­ing a hy­brid or elec­tric ve­hi­cle (when it be­comes more ac­ces­si­ble on the South African mar­ket).

Vera Nagte­gaal, ex­ec­u­tive head of Hippo

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