Shopping around for a car insurance policy? Make sure you are asking the right questions to get your money’s worth. Below are just a few questions you need to be asking your service provider before signing the dotted line.

Why is my policy for 13 months, not 12 months?

As you must have noticed, car insurance policies are valid for 13 months – even though your car registration is valid only for 12 months.

If you are wondering why, the additional month is a grace period to keep your car insured even if your registration has expired.

Remember to get your policy renewed and your car registered before the end of the 13-month grace period to prevent getting fined, or incurring costs in case of an accident because your insurance has expired. The police will fine you for every day your car is not registered.

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How will my car insurance premium be calculated?

Your premium is calculated based on a number of factors, such as age, the year in which your car was manufactured and the number of months your policy is valid for.

Ask your insurer if your premium will be calculated based on 12 months or 13 months. Most insurance companies will calculate your premium based on 12 months, not 13 months. Technically that means the 13th month is free, let’s say if you then changed insurance companies.

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When should I renew my policy?

The additional month is to ensure you are covered for the window of time you need to renew your car registration. You can renew your policy before the end of the 13th month, especially since you need to register your car for the following year. But your provider will start reminding you about your policy expiring before the (12-month) year is up.