Casco insurance for older cars: to be or not to be?
Used cars are widespread in Europe, with 11.5 years being the average European car’s age. Estonia is among the countries with the oldest fleets, with the average vehicle age exceeding 16 years. Consequently, buying Casco for older cars is not uncommon in Estonia. But does your car really need Casco insurance? And what risks to pay attention to when choosing Casco for an older car?
Some owners think that buying Casco insurance for an old car is a waste of money because a) there’s a lower risk of theft b) repair expenses are not as high as for a new car. However, this assumption can be misleading. Very often older cars require extensive repairs, and owners without Casco have to pay from their own pocket.
This post will look at the pros and cons of buying Casco insurance for cars that are older than 8-10 years. We’ll also point out which risks to pay special attention to when choosing your coverage. And finally, we’ll suggest ways for finding midway like partial Casco to insure your older car.
Why buy Casco for an older car?
The mandatory Third Party Liability (MTPL) insurance will only cover the expenses incurred for causing damage to someone else’s car. This means that Casco is the only way to insure your car in case of an accident. In addition, Casco will be indispensable in case of animal collision or weather-incurred damage to your car.
Based on this reality, many old car owners choose Casco to have peace of mind and an extra safety pillow. Besides, Casco for a used car will cost less than for a new car, so it can be a sound investment.
Finally, Casco offers other benefits, not only insurance in case of damage to the car. If you happen to be stuck on the road due to some technical problem, Casco provides 24/7 roadside assistance and helps get your car to the service center. Such benefits can be extremely valuable no matter the age of your car. Many insurance providers offer free roadside assistance under their Casco policies, including Salva, PZU, and Swedbank, which provides this service across all of Europe.
What kind of coverage to choose?
When choosing the Casco provider for your old car, first check their policy for insuring old vehicles, as they can be very different. For example, Swedbank doesn’t insure vehicles older than 14 years; for Ergo 15 years is the maximum. Meanwhile, Poliis.ee insure cars that are up to 20 years old.
Then evaluate your living and driving conditions, and determine the essential coverages your car needs. For example, if you live in a rural area, you may want insurance against natural disasters or collisions with a wild animal. On the other hand, traffic accidents, theft, and vandalism may be your main concerns if you live in a city. Are you planning to keep your car in a closed territory or secure parking, or simply on the street?
When you’re clear about the risks that worry you the most, pop in your car license number in a Casco calculator and compare the premium prices and coverage types for different companies. The premium is determined by many different factors, like the age and value of the car, the purpose it serves (is it a personal car or taxi), driver’s experience, etc.
If you see that the price difference among Casco providers is minor, it usually means that their offer is very similar. However, if some providers offer a 20% or even 50% lower price, this is a signal that the cheaper policy probably covers significantly fewer risks (or has a higher deductible).
Looking for the halfway point
Cars indeed lose their price value with every year, and some vehicles even lose around half of their original price value after three years. If you take into account the car’s actual value, it may not be worth paying the – often high – premiums for full Casco coverage for an old car.
Very often partial Casco coverage is the happy medium. For example, Seesam Minicasco will give you additional insurance against traffic accidents without all the bells and whistles (and costs) of a full-blown Casco.
If Supercasco is also a light version of Casco that offers very decent coverage for all primary risks, including window insurance, animal collision, and 24/7 roadside assistance. It’s still worth paying for Casco that includes glass insurance because the cost of replacing certain parts such as the windscreen remains the same, no matter how old the car is.
Seesam insurance offers also MTLP Plus policies that cover not only the damages caused to third persons but also covers your car repair.
Finally, adjusting the deductible amount is a sound way to find a compromise between safety and lower expenses. Let’s look at an example of a man who owns a 10-year-old car. As the car is no longer new, he isn’t worried about scratches and other minor issues, but he wants insurance against fire, theft, and serious accidents. He’s also knowledgeable in cars and is ready to do basic repairs without taking the car to the service center. For this man, it makes sense to choose insurance with a 500 eur deductible and pay less for the premiums, as he only needs a safety pillow in case of severe technical problems or accidents.