Car insurance is one of life's essentials that nobody enjoys paying for. BillBuddy users are often concerned that they have been paying too much in the past. We are happy to share with you our 10 essential car insurance tips to ensure you never feel that way again.
As consumers, we tend to forget that one of the greatest benefits of insurance
is peace of mind. Knowing that you have a good policy that will protect you in the event of an accident
is essential when you are looking to switch insurance providers. Cheapest is not always best and our car
insurance tips will focus on getting value for your hard-earned money.
Association of British Insurers (ABI) figures tell us that the average cost of a comprehensive car insurance policy in the UK is £485 (2019). For drivers under 25, this figure increases to £865. Consequently, it is no surprise that consumers are keen to ensure they are getting the best for their money. Follow these essential tips to save money and ensure you get the right policy for you.
1 - Shop Around
The car insurance industry is very competitive. It is always a good idea to compare prices and spend some time checking the benefits of different policies. Drivers who automatically renew their policies each year could be missing out on up to £300 worth of savings.
2 - Pay a Higher Excess
Every insurance policy has an excess - this is the amount you have to pay in the event of a claim. There are two types of excess - compulsory and voluntary. Compulsory excess will vary from policy to policy and will be a lot higher for younger drivers under 25. For all drivers though, opting to pay an additional voluntary excess will reduce your premium. It is important to only choose an amount that you will be able to afford to pay if you do have to make a claim.
3 - Avoid Modifications To Your Car
If you choose to make cosmetic or performance-related modifications to your car,
this will increase your premium. It is always important to be honest about any modifications that have been
made to your car. This is to make sure you avoid problems with any future claim. Safety or security related
modifications are always a good idea. In contrast, other types of modification, such as customising your
wheels or changing the exhaust system will result in a higher premium.
Be sure to check for non-standard modifications to any car you are thinking of buying, it could save you money in the future.
4 - Avoid Added Extras That You Don't Need
All insurance policies, apart from the most basic, will offer additional benefits. Most noteworthy is the use of a courtesy car if your car is written off or needs repairs. Maybe this is something you would need, but if it isn't, don't pay for it. Likewise, breakdown cover is a benefit which could come in handy but only add it on if you think you will use it.
5 - Think About Where You Park Your Car
Parking your car on the street will increase the chances of it being stolen or
vandalised. Parking it on your driveway or secure garage will make a positive difference to your premium.
Again, it is important to be honest - don't say your car is parked in the garage then leave it on the street. This could result in any future claim being rejected.
6 - Pay For Your Policy Annually
Most insurers will add interest to your premium if you choose to pay monthly.
As a result, you will pay more for the policy. If you can afford to pay in one go, that is the best way
to ensure you are paying the least amount.
If you do opt for monthly payments, expect to pay around 20% upfront. Typically, the remainder of the policy premium will then be paid over 11 months.
7 - Think About Buying a Telematics Policy
Telematics, sometimes known as black box policies can be great at reducing your
insurance costs if you are a safe driver.
Having a black box device fitted to your car means that your insurer will monitor your driving style and reward you with lower premiums if your driving is considered lower risk. Improvements in the technology mean that some Telematics policies operate using an app installed on your phone rather than having a box installed.
You probably think that this type of policy is only for younger drivers. Increasingly, older age group drivers have been buying these policies and reducing their costs too!
8 - Add An Additional Driver To Your Policy
If another, more experienced driver uses your car, it is a good idea to add them to your policy. Named drivers with low-risk occupations can reduce your premium. Above all, it is important to be honest about who is driving your car. Never add anyone as the Main Driver unless they are. This is a fraudulent practice known as 'Fronting' and can result in all or part of any future claim being rejected.
9 - Reduce Your Mileage
Spending less time on the road will reduce your risk and therefore reduce your premium. Make sure you set your mileage as low as you can but above all, ensure you are realistic. Annual mileage is always an estimate, be sure you are not over-estimating yours.
10 - Protect Your No Claims Bonus
Drivers with the maximum no claims bonus can enjoy discounts of up to 65% on their
annual car insurance policy. Once you have built up this valuable benefit, it makes sense to protect it as
much as you can.
The most obvious way to do that is to ensure that you don't have to make a claim. Careful and sensible driving will go a long way to doing that. However, accidents happen, and if you have an accident which is fully or partially your fault, you can lose some or all of your no claims bonus.
Choosing to protect your no claims bonus will cost more in the beginning but it means you could make up to two claims in a year without losing the benefit. In the longer term, this would mean a significant saving.