By Chris Sykes, National Sales Manager, Moneybarn
Picking the correct insurance policy can seem like a scary job. The average motorist pays £752 for an annual insurance policy in the UK and the last thing you want to do is pay over the odds for something you can find cheaper elsewhere.
From third-party to comprehensive covers, protecting your no claims bonus to excess fees, there’s plenty to consider when choosing your car insurance.
Don’t fear,Moneybarn has put together five tips to help you choose insurance cover that’s right for you.
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Though auto-renewing your insurance may seem hassle-free at the time, it could end up costing you hundreds. By switching your insurance provider three weeks prior to the renewal date, drivers could save an average of £365.
UK car insurance providers vary their prices based on perceived risk factors like the driver’s age, gender and profession. So, instead of sticking with your existing policy each year, shop around and find out which provider offers the cheapest cover for your current situation.
Lower your risk
Think about how often you’ll be driving and if anyone else will be using the car. It’s important to calculate mileage accurately when confirming your policy and although lower mileage may reduce your premium, if you skew your mileage information it could invalidate your policy.
Also, providers assess the risk posed by additional drivers, so depending on whether it’s an adult with years of experience, or a young driver who’s just passed, the price could rocket or drop. In fact, young drivers adding adults to their policy could save up to £800 a year.
Decrease the price
Like most payments, you could be rewarded for paying annually. Most insurers offer up to around a 20% cheaper fee if paid annually rather than in monthly instalments.
Also, make sure you’re only paying for what you need. Many drivers are already covered for aspects like breakdown cover. Some banks include this in their services so, check what you’re already covered for, or if you can get it cheaper elsewhere.
Insurance policies come with compulsory excess fees, however, taking out a higher voluntary excess could keep premiums down with most providers.
Careful drivers benefit most, agreeing to pay more if you make a claim but reducing their yearly premium. Voluntary excess charges can also usually be adjusted to what you can afford.
Protecting your No Claims Bonus
Insurers reward safe driving, offering no-claims bonuses (NCB) for drivers who go years without making a claim. In fact some providers offer discounts of up to 65% for drivers with over 5 years’ no claims.
You can usually protect your bonus at an additional charge to your premium and for many drivers it’s worth it to keep their NCB intact. However, if you have an accident, though your NCB stays protected, it won’t necessarily keep your premium down when you come to renew.
You can also carry your NCB with you to a new provider, so remember to get proof before switching.
Cars are split into insurance groups, based on things like repair costs and performance with group 1 the cheapest to insure and group 50 the most expensive. Though it may not be possible to trade in your motor for a cheaper option, there are ways you can keep the costs down.
One way young drivers can lower premiums is to consider ‘black box’ insurance. Black boxes are used to track speed, braking and handling, so look for insurers who offer this service, as the safer you drive, the greater the chance of premium reduction.
Many providers offer discounts of up to 20% for drivers who install a dashcam. An RAC study found 25% of drivers believe they would drive more carefully with one installed, and this is reflected in kinder policies.