It’s always been a good idea to compare car insurance discounts, excess amounts and cover before you buy. But recently, some of the biggest insurance companies have started to identify customers who are sticky” – people that do not move their business when premiums rise. This means that people who regularly change insurers will get lower renewal quotes than people that don’t. In effect, loyal customers are penalised for their loyalty just like the preferential new customers only” deals offered by banks. Not taking the time to compare car insurance will cost you…even if you are keen to remain with your current car insurer for reasons other than price, having a few competitive quotes in hand can help you negotiate a better deal on your renewal premium.
This is not an exhaustive list, but here are some tips from TheRateTart to bear in mind when you compare car insurance providers. By making changes in a few areas you could save yourself a lot of money.
Fully Comprehensive Car Insurance is the option chosen by the majority of car owners. This cover ensures that repairs will be paid for no matter who was to blame for an accident. So if you were to blame for an accident or if the other person was not insured, you do not need to pay out anything other than the excess amount. This also means that the risk to the insurer of having to pay out more in claims is higher, so premiums are highest for comprehensive insurance.
If your car isn’t very valuable, it may be worth considering “Third Party” or “Third Party, Fire and Theft” insurance.
Third Party Insurance provides cover for the cost of repairing other cars if you are in accident for which you are to blame and is the minimum legal level of car insurance in the UK. This cover is cheaper because any damage to your own vehicle is not covered by the insurance company. But any damage to your car may have to be paid for by you.
Third Party, Fire and Theft adds in cover in case your car is stolen or if someone sets fire to it. This cover still may not pay for damage if your car is involved in an accident that was your fault.
As ever, check the terms and conditions to find out exactly what is and is not covered.
Before you buy a new car, work out what insurance group it is in, and get two or three quotes to make sure that you can afford the insurance. If you already have a high risk car, check to see whether fitting alarms, tracking devices or going on an advanced driving course would reduce your premium.
Find specialist providers if you need to compare performance car insurance or compare classic car insurance. Firms that specialise in these cars will often be able to offer a lower quote than a mainstream car insurance firm.
The post-code lottery is frequently used to describe variations in quality of public services between different areas. The ‘quality’ of your post-code as perceived by the car insurance companies can also make a big difference to your premiums, even if you have an impeccable driving record. If you are moving house consider checking with your car insurance company how your new post-code is rated.
Having off-street or in a garage, and fitting an approved car alarm and immobiliser can help reduce the effects of living in a higher risk area. Whatever you do don’t lie about where the car is kept. If you need to make a claim insurance companies will always check this out. If you get caught out you may find it difficult or impossible to obtain car insurance in future.
Consider getting quotes from the specialist car insurers who focus on the needs of specific driving groups. Students, young drivers, women and the over 50s have all been targetted by insurers wanting to provide competitive quotes.
How much and how well you drive affects your car insurance premium. If you drive 50,000 miles a year, have nine points on your license and made numerous claims, your insurer might consider you a higher risk than your neighbour who drives 3,000 miles a year. Having multiple drivers with different risk profiles could also drive up your premiums.
Excess is a fixed amount payable by the insured (i.e. you) rather than the insurer (i.e. them) from any claim. If you have an excess of 100, and you have an accident that costs 1000 to repair, this means that your insurer will pay 900 of the claim and you the remaining 100. The majority of insurers will impose a compulsory excess on any policy. Increasing the amount of excess payable (‘voluntary excess’) could result in a significant reduction to your premium.
Your no claims bonus. Protect it well. A driver with six years of mishap free motoring could be in line for a 65% discount on the premium. Many car insurers will now allow you to pay an additional amount to protect your no claims bonus in the event that you need to claim.
TheRateTart.com provides comparison tables containing the best offers on the market. We provide a host of information to enable you to compare car insurance discounts from the leading UK insurers, plus a number of niche providers. In addition you can read our detailed car insurance guide to learn how to reduce your home insurance quote.
Last but not least, to ensure you don’t get caught out at renewal time, remember to use the free reminder service at TheRateTart.com. You can set up an email alert to remind you shortly before the renewal date so that you have time to compare car insurance quotes and get another great deal.