Lower Car Insurance

Lower Car Insurance

If you want to get some cheap car insurance then ideally you want to be a 55-year-old married schoolteacher, living in a low risk area, with a clean license and full no claims discount.  You should drive a Kia picanto fitted with a Clifford Avantgaurd Alarm system, park it in your garage at night and only do about 3K a year.  If this sounds like you then don’t bother ringing directline ring me, I’ll personally underwrite that for a fiver.  If you, like the rest of us don’t fit this profile then read on to see how you can at least trim the costs.

Firstly there are certain things that will have a large effect on your premium that you can’t really change.

The main factor to cost will be the car you are trying to insure. There is an industry database that shows insurers the highest risk vehicles and categorizes them into groups, the higher the group the higher the premium.  You can find your cars insurance group in Cap or Glass guides or in magazines or websites such as what car and parkers.  If you are still looking to buy a car then have a look through thatchams category tool www.thatcham.org/abigrouprating/index.jsp?page=343 you will find that some similar performance cars can have varying insurance groupings and this may influence your purchase.

Your Age and Insurance History.  Not much you can do to change that I’m afraid.

Your Demographic.  If you live in an area that’s considered high risk then you will have to pay a premium.  Usually city centres or areas with higher crime rates than normal. Even wealthy suburbs can be loaded if car theft is noted with the crime register. There is nothing you can do about this, don’t try and insure the car at your uncles address, Insurance companies will find out and hunt you down like a dog !

Okay so these are the things you can’t change you can however vary your level of cover and you can shop around with every company in the country.

Use one of The Insurance Aggregator or comparison websites. I use confused.com but I have been informed that they are not always the most competitive so I will list the others at the end of the article.

Once you have spent 10 minutes entering all your details into the website then you can tweak the details and get multiple quotes depending on slightly different circumstances. Here is what you should be looking for.

Get Quoted for Fully comprehensive cover.  This doesn’t make sense but it can be the cheapest option.  Insurance comes in three categories.  Third Party (You cover the other party if you crash, but you stand alone beside the wreckage of your car).  Third Party, Fire and Theft (as before but with the addition of cover if your car is stolen and burnt out).  Fully Comprehensive (as it says, all eventualities covered).  In the past when you couldn’t afford it and just wanted to be legal, you took out third-party for £500 a year knowing that generally adding fire and theft would bring it to about £700 and fully comp would be more like £1000-£1200.  Now fully comp can actually be cheaper than third-party.  Recently I was looking for a quote on behalf of a friend; money was a bit tight so we looked at third-party  which was coming in at £800 after much thinking my friend decided he couldn’t handle the stress so was willing to pay the extra for fully comp. We resubmitted the proposal it came back £200 cheaper. Always look for fully comp.

Keep your mileage as tight as you need to. Don’t enter 30K a year if you actually do 25K. Again when you enter your details into an aggregator website you will get a quote, you can then up or down the mileage and keep re-submitting, you may find little difference but sometimes there can be a bit of a jump.  Obviously don’t under estimate your mileage but there is no point paying extra for miles you are not doing.

Up your Excess:  One of the biggest ways to lower your premium is to up your excess. This is the money you will contribute towards a claim.  I probably wouldn’t bother claiming for a small prang that would cost me £200-£300 to repair; therefore I am happy to have that as my excess if it knocks a lump off my policy.  Again with the websites you can submit the same quote as many times as you like with as many different figures as you like so you can see the saving and weigh it up yourself.  You can get a big discount by taking a huge excess for example £500-£1000 , but realistically all you are doing here is buying a piece of paper to stay legal, and I don’t recommend going over £300 worth of excess.

Change your Job Description:  Obviously is you are a stunt man you would expect an Insurance loading but you would be amazed what, seemingly sober professions get charged extra.  Obviously don’t lie, for example entering something that does not approach what you actually work at is not to be done.  However most people can give four or five different titles that cover what they do,  for example if you work in an office you may be a personal assistant, secretary, consultant or administrator etc, try them all its like playing insurance bingo.

Depending on the type of car, you will get some discount for having an alarm fitted.  If you have a decent motor you should have an alarm anyway. The reduction is usually not huge so there’s no point in fitting an alarm just for a discount.

You will get discount for off street Parking. If you park your car on a drive then you can expect 5-10% reduction. You could also get a bit more off if the car is garaged but I find the discount is not worth it. I haven’t garaged my car in years and if I was to lie to get a very small discount I would risk voiding the policy.

If you modify your car you need to inform your insurance company.  I think I’ve made the point enough but unless you are some ex SAS/Legion/Ninja Secret agent don’t think you will get away with lying to Insurance companies.  They will quiet happily find reason to prove you have made false claims and refuse to pay out.  If you make any changes to your car even putting new alloys on, you better let them know.  If you are young and your policy is expensive in the first place then talk to them before you make any mods, as you should know in advance before you waste money on new rims.  Don’t think about modifying your car and carrying the stock items in the boot just in case, The Ambulance man will not have the time to swap over your airbox as he carries you into the back of the ambulance. If you are serious about modifying your car there are a couple of specialist companies that can look after you, with Adrian Flux being about the most established.

The Insurance aggregator websites will give you a choice of policies for your needs.   You shouldn’t necessarily pick the cheapest one, check through to see if a slightly more expensive policy is offering you considerably more cover for the money.  As with all Insurance you should get the level of cover that you need.  Personally I am happy to have fully comp and be legal but if you need anything specific make sure its included, do not presume.  This category would include Legal Aid costs,  Use of a hire car, cover to drive other cars on the policy,  protection of your no claims bonus.

You can still pick up the Phone.  If you have something specific you want to discuss with the company or if something is not straightforward, for example you have Ten years no claims bonus but some of them were through your company etc, then pick out the 3 best quotes you have got back on the net and ring them direct.  If you have a thick neck you can even ask for a bit of extra discount.  Motor Insurance brokers, like high street travel agents and record shops are going the ways of cobblers unfortunately, however they are still professionals with contacts and expertise and if you have complicated circumstances or are looking at a large premium then let one of these guys have a look.

That’s the round-up on what you can do, I think the message is shop around as much as you can, be flexible and explore your options.  Don’t lie, but massaging the facts is not a crime. It should be noted that Women’s Insurance is due to rise in 2012,  as a fine piece of reverse discrimination has ruled that women have to pay the same insurance as men.  As much as young men were being hammered on insurance and needed some help this was a lazy piece of legislation that took from one pot to balance another. Gender had nothing to do with cheaper insurance for women,  it was just a fact that statistically they were a lesser risk than men.  This means Women’s premiums will increase in 2012 and I’m surprised there hasn’t been more of an outcry, but I am hopeful the industry will self regulate to pass savings back as soon as they can.

For young Drivers you really need to be nicer to mom and dad and get named on their policy.  Realistically this is the cheapest way to get a foot on the ladder.  There was a scheme launched In Ireland a few years back where for a large reduction in your premium the insurance company would fit a tacho/gps unit in the car. This would trigger if the speed limit was exceeded resulting in comical 0-40 sprints from the lights for urban warriors. The scheme was generally well received and I think some companies are looking into it over here. Extended pass systems such as pass plus may have some benefit but can cost up to £150 to get in the first place.  Talk to an insurance company before you sign up to something that might not have the benefit you expect.

For Uber Mavens that have an hour or two to search for the absolutely best deal you can play on Google and find a raft of comparison sites, although the main ones are:

confused.com, gocompare and moneysupermarket, beat that quote, uswitch and bewiser.

The two main car insurance companies that won’t quote on comparison sites are directline and Aviva and you will have to visit their sites individually although it can be worth the effort

Happy Hunting.