Many of the factors that affect your insurance premium are beyond your control such as your age and years of driving experience. Some factors may even seem unfair such as the area you live and your occupation. However, there are some things within your control that can reduce the cost of your premium, and we have composed a list of 10 top tips to get you started on your saving:
- Choose your car carefully
If you are dedicated to keeping insurance costs as low as possible, you may want to avoid purchasing certain vehicles. Some cars are more frequently involved in accidents than and as such are considered ‘high risk’ and are more expensive to cover. Some models are considered as higher risk simply if they are a sports model or have a larger engine.
- Show willing to keep your car safe
Insurance providers favour drivers who keep their vehicle stored in a garage or an off-road driveway. Of course this is not possible for everybody, but if you can, then having your car safely stored overnight and when not in use will reduce your premium fairly significantly as it reduces the risk of criminal damage or accidents.
- Drive when necessary
It’s pretty straight forward – the more often you’re on the road, the higher the risk of an accident. Accurately estimating your mileage is important as it affects your premium. An individual who uses their vehicle to do their grocery shopping once a week, is considered by insurance providers as less of a risk than an individual with a family who commutes to work and does a school run at rush hour twice a day. Remember, honesty is as important as accuracy here – if your mileage doesn’t match your predictions when a claim is made, your cover can be voided.
- Thoroughly consider your level of cover
Usually, you will have the option of three different categories of cover.
Third party – the minimum level cover. This kind of policy will pay for damage to other people’s vehicle and property, excluding your own.
Third party, fire and theft – same as above but including theft or fire damage to your own car.
Comprehensive – the above including other damage to your own vehicle.
Cover costs vary from one provider to the next, but it is worth noting that third party is not always the cheapest option; it is possible to find comprehensive cover for less. This being said, third party cover may be most affordable for low value cars.
- Consider a black box
You may have heard of the black box, or telematics policy. When you take out this kind of insurance, a small device is fitted to your car that monitors your journeys, often connecting to an app on your phone. This helps locate your car if it’s stolen, reducing risk and is believed to encourage sensible driving since it monitors several aspects including your speed and mileage. Your insurance provider will usually adjust your premium based on data including the time of day you drive.
- Raise your voluntary excess
Your agreed excess is the amount that you agree to contribute if you make a claim. Insurers base the annual premium based on the likelihood of paying out for a claim.
By agreeing to pay a higher voluntary excess, you can cut the cost of your premium. Remember you will be responsible to pay this amount if you do need to make a claim. Ensure the excess doesn’t exceed the value of your car, and make sure you can afford to pay it.
- Additional named driver
Insurers categorise individuals into risk groups. Regardless of how capable and sensible you consider yourself, if you are under the age of 25 or have driving convictions from the past, you are by default considered high risk on the roads.
By adding an experienced driver such as a parent to your policy (if they are likely to use your car), you may find a cheaper premium. Please remember to be honest with additional drivers, not only could incorrect information void the insurance cover you’ve paid for, but you could potentially be charged with a form of fraud known as ‘fronting’.
- Upfront payment.
Paying upfront for anything outside of your normal day-to-day expenditure can be daunting. Car insurance can be especially frustrating and is likely to be a big hit to your funds. However, by opting for the monthly installments option, you are basically taking out a loan from the insurer with interest rates. By choosing the annual cost upfront you could save 20% or more depending on your provider. If there is a possibility of you accessing the funds from your savings (sorry holiday piggy bank), then it can save you a considerable amount of money.
- Pay to protect your no-claims bonus
Each year of driving you complete without a claim being raised, you accrue a years’ no-claims bonus. This is typically capped after 5-8 years, depending on your provider.
You can protect your no-claims bonus for a fee, which, although it will increase the price of your current insurance policy, will pay off in the long term should a claim be made. Essentially, just pay more money and a blind eye will be turned – great stuff.
- Shop around
Most importantly, remember there are alternatives to big-name insurance companies. Lesser advertised providers may be able to give you a better deal, even if you have no issue with your current policy. You can browse cheapest deals for free using our comparison tool.