Car insurance can be a false economy if you don’t have your wits about you. Here’s how to avoid the pitfalls that can leave you paying more than you should.
1. Take care
Drive safely, maintain your car and tuck it away in the garage at night to reduce your chances of having to make a claim.
2. Accuracy is everything
The quote you receive is a product of the information you enter into your application form. For instance, how you define your occupation may have a bearing on the insurance risk rating you’re assigned. A journalist, writer and editor may do the same work but be perceived to carry different levels of risk, which could impact on the quoted premium.
3. No-claims discount
Build that no-claims bonus as early as you can to reduce your premium by up to 60%. Look into no claims protection and consider paying for small repairs etc. that are only slightly pricier than your excess.
4. Young ones
Bad luck if you’re a 17 year old man – many insurers will be unwilling to cover you or will charge a prohibitively high premium. Consider driving a low-risk car, limiting your mileage or enrolling on some additional driving lessons. Instead of driving your parents’ car, buy a clapped out banger and insure it in your own name, adding Mum on the insurance as a named driver – she’s considered lower risk than Dad and will help lower your premium.
5. Golden oldies
Bad luck if you’re over 80, even if you’re in the pinkest of health. Half of insurers will refuse to cover you or will quote an astronomically high premium. Choose an insurer like Saga which specializes in mature drivers.
6. Curb your usage
Be selective about who drives your car, limiting cover to named drivers only. Restrict your mileage – providing it’s similar to what appears on your MoT certificate you’ll fall into a lower mileage bracket and lower your premium.
7. Small is beautiful
Your household bills are rocketing left, right and centre, so why not make some savvy savings and move to a smaller engine? Beware of modifying your vehicle – your insurer is likely to penalize you.
8. Increase your excess
Always read the small print to make sure you know where you stand on liability in the event of an accident. It may be worth agreeing to pay a larger proportion should you have to make a claim, in return for a lower premium. Make sure you understand policies which include voluntary and compulsory excesses – this type of cover can be confusing and expensive.
9. Pay annually
Paying in installments is always more expensive, so try to pay for your insurance in a lump sum every year.
10. Compare online
Don’t just swallow the sky-high renewal quote from your insurance company. Use a price comparison website, as they may give you a better quote than a local agent if you’re out of state. Search for car insurance quotes and compare quotes from multiple insurers. It’s often worth picking up the phone and asking if your insurer will reduce the quoted premium too.