What effect does your job have on car insurance?

It's well known that age and gender are major factors in determining the cost of motor insurance, but what about your occupation? Can your job affect the price of your policy? The short answer is, it certainly can! Insurers make major adjustments to their rates depending on a customer's stated occupation, job or profession.

Working out premiums

It won't surprise you that most accidents happen when roads are busy. As a result, insurance providers consider occupations that require people to drive during the 'commuter' rush hours as high risk. People who work during the night will also see their premiums shoot up due to the risk of leaving their cars overnight, which increases the chances of theft or damage. Insurers base their quotes on statistical models and past experience – and this tells them that a lot of accidents happen late at night, when people are tired or perhaps under the influence of alcohol.

What does your job say about you?

Many insurers make assumptions about the behaviour of people in certain occupations. For example, statistics show a student (who is typically young and inexperienced) has greater potential to be reckless than a 48-year-old librarian. There are some sectors that attract high premiums from insurers. Footballers, for example, have expensive motor insurance because they tend to be young males with high performance, expensive cars. Policies for journalists, publicans, athletes and people who work in the entertainment industry are also heavily loaded. Journalists are still seen as driving more than the average motorist plus they are thought of as high risk due to social drinking on the job. You can guess why publicans are charged more, while anyone who is in the public eye is deemed a higher theft risk – because if they are in a stadium, on a stage or on live TV, their car is probably unattended in a nearby car-park. Professions such as builders, electricians and salesmen are seen as jobs where people use their car for work and travel long distances – or at least rack up the mileage during the week. These occupations are charged at a premium because the more time spent on the road gives a greater chance of involvement in an accident. Also, those who rely on their vehicles for work will sometimes store expensive equipment and tools in them, meaning they can be a target for break-ins. Some professions are rewarded by insurers. People who work as teachers or in the police force are deemed to be safer motorists as they considered to be pillars of society and more respectful to rules and regulations.

Fill the form in correctly

Strangely, the same job can be priced differently according to the precise description. A publican would receive a more expensive car insurance quote than a landlord, for example, as would a newspaper reporter would over a correspondent. Another case sees a broadcast journalist paying a higher premium than if the same person declared they were a TV or radio broadcaster. These anomalies highlight the importance of filling your car insurance form out carefully. It’s essential to be accurate, since putting in the wrong information on the proposal form could lead to problems if you have to make a claim. Different insurers also charge differently for the same job or occupation – which makes it all the more important to run a quote at an online search facility such as MoneySupermarket.com, where you can obtain quotations from over 120 insurers and get the market’s most competitive rate.

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