Next, we offer tips and guidance to improve your risk profile, which means insurers will want to charge you lower premiums because there’s a reduced likelihood of you making a claim.
So here are five quick wins to help you take the heat out of your car insurance costs…
1 -Shop around!
We can’t say it often enough: whenever you buy car insurance (whenever you buy any kind of insurance, come to think of it), you should shop around. Don’t simply accept the renewal quote your current insurer offers you, and don’t let your busy schedule and long “to-do” list mean you neglect to interrupt the automatic renewal journey they’re hoping you’ll complete.
Insurers don’t reward loyalty. They save their best prices for new customers, not those renewing their policy. So it makes sense to act like a new customer every year and see which company is willing to offer the best quote. And this is something you can do in 10 minutes or less on our site.
Our figures show that 30% of drivers could save over £400 on the cost of their annual cover by shopping around.
2- Boost your discount
Drivers talk in hushed terms about their no claims discount – hardly surprising, since it can knock 75% or even more off a premium after five years of claims-free driving. So it makes sense to look after this discount – and there are three main ways to do it:
- Pay an additional premium to ‘protect’ your NCD so that you can make one or even two claims in a year without losing it
- Refrain from making a claim for relatively minor bumps and scrapes
- Driving as safely as possible to reduce the likelihood of having to make a claim for an accident.
Few of us drive recklessly, but then few of us are perfect drivers either. So it’s worth thinking about speed limits, distances, weather conditions, possible distractions behind the wheel…
Accidents will still happen, but we can play a part in reducing their frequency and severity. The reward will be fewer incidents (a good thing in itself), which should in turn lead to lower premiums at future renewals.
3- Increase security
If accidents are one main source of car insurance claim, theft is the other. Insurers look at your car and where you live and work out the risk of it being stolen – and charge more if you’re in a high risk area. But if you fit approved security devices (such an immobiliser) and park your car off-road overnight – or, even better, in a garage – you should make a dent in your premium.
4 - Manage your policy
There are various elements of your car insurance policy that provide money-saving opportunities. For example, you’ll be asked your expected annual mileage – and the more miles you say you’ll be driving, the more you’ll be charged. So if you can commit to driving fewer miles, you should see a reduction in premium.
Whatever number of miles you pick, however, make sure you stick to it – bust your self-imposed limit and your insurer might start playing hard-ball if you make a claim.
You should definitely avoid paying by instalments if you can avoid it, as insurers charge interest in return for spreading the cost. Paying several hundred pounds or more in one chunk can be unpalatable, but remember it could be costing you £80 a year for the pay-monthly option.
Increasing your voluntary excess is another option that can trim your premium, as is adding an older, more experienced individual as a ‘named’ driver on the policy.
5 Consider ‘telematics’
Telematics is the use of satellite technology within your car to monitor your driving (Les Roberts’ article explains how it works).
Essentially, you pay less for cover if you drive safely on low-risk routes at less busy times of the day. And you risk paying more if the data gathered by the black box under your dashboard shows you to have the driving style of a heavy-footed boy-racer who haunts the highways of the night.
Such policies aren’t for everyone – not least because they usually restrict your annual mileage to 6,000 miles – but if you’re struggling to find affordable insurance, telematics is definitely an option to consider.