- Why is car insurance so costly?
- How do companies calculate car insurance quotes?
- How many levels of cover are there?
- Should you take out optional extras?
- Is it necessary to get specialist cover for my car?
- Can I get motor insurance should I have motoring convictions?
- Is it possible to get more than one car on the same motor policy?
- What does the excess mean on my policy?
- Where can I buy car insurance?
- Which questions do I need to answer?
- Do I have to pay a lump sum for car insurance?
- How do I get cheap car insurance?
Uninsured drivers is one reason why car insurance premiums have become so high. There are around a million uninsured motorists on British roads every year which costs the motor insurance industry approximately £500m per annum. The Motor Insurers' Bureau claims that the cost of uninsured drivers is passed to the customer, adding an average £30 to the price of every car insurance policy.
Personal injury claims are another key reason for the high cost of car insurance, with whiplash claims being especially common as well as difficult to verify. This leads numerous insurance companies to suspect fraud in many cases.
AA insurance have gone on record to say that the number of injury claims is increasing, whereas, the number of car accidents is decreasing.
In 2011 the government banned "so-called referral fees" which ought to reduce this problem and lower premiums. Referral fees are sums of money paid to groups or individuals who give accident details to personal injury lawyers.
Risk is integral to calculating car insurance. The greater the risk the driver presents, the higher the premium. Insurance companies consider various factors when assessing risk and issuing a quote. In the past premiums for women's car insurance was generally lower than men as women are involved in fewer accidents and hence make fewer claims. However this is no longer the case as the European Courts of Justice have issued the the EU gender directive which means that insurance cannot be rated on gender.
Age also affects car insurance quotes. Older drivers aged between 50 and 59 are going to pay nearly half the premium of younger motorists aged between 23 and 29. This is due to the fact that older drivers are likely to be more experienced, hence, less likely to become involved in accidents than those individuals who have passed their driving test recently.
Your driving record also affects your car insurance quote; for example, whether or not you have any speeding convictions and prior claims. The insurer is going to want to know your occupation as certain jobs present a higher risk than others. For example, a stunt man may have to fork out more for car insurance than a tax inspector.
Insurers access crime figures and data regarding past claims. Hence, your postcode and parking arrangements impact on your premium. Should your car be kept locked in a garage when not used, your premium will be less than that of a neighbour who parks on the street. The model and make of your car also affect your premium. Cars are rated into one of 50 groups by insurers, dependent on engine size, performance, as well as repair costs. Cars that are in group 1 are cheaper to insure than those in group 50. So do your research prior to making a purchase.
Should you make any changes to your car, you will pay more for your premium.
There are essentially three kinds of car insurance policy:
The most basic kind of cover is third party car insurance is the most basic type and is the legal minimum requirement. If you have third party cover you are insured against injury to another person or damage to their property. Should your vehicle be stolen or damaged by fire, third party fire and theft covers your own vehicle. The most popular cover is fully comprehensive which covers numerous risks, above and beyond the legal minimum.
Motorists usually assume that third party insurance is the cheapest option. However, it is worthwhile shopping around as you can often purchase comprehensive cover for more or less the same price.
The majority of comprehensive insurance policies have various add-ons; for example, a policy can include a courtesy car should you be involved in an accident and your car is off the road. Moreover, you may also be offered legal expenses insurance to contribute towards the cost of legal fees should there be any dispute about an accident. You can also pay for breakdown cover, which is a further add-on which motorists can opt to pay a little bit extra for.
A highly popular add-on is cover for driving in Europe, even though this is usually limited to a specific number of days and may not provide comprehensive cover abroad. Optional extras can provide peace of mind, however, they do cost. Opt for the cover you think is essential for you.
Sports cars and high performance vehicles are usually in the specialist category as they are normally higher risk and cost more to repair.
Should you have a classic or imported car, you may need to get in touch with a specialist firm that has the knowledge and expertise to offer a tailored policy. Classic car owners usually wish to establish an agreed value for their car. Should it be written off in an accident, the insurance payout is not going to be well below the expected settlement amount.
Furthermore, you may need to get specialist business car insurance policies should you drive your car for business purposes as standard policies just cover social, domestic and personal use of the vehicle.
You ought to be prepared to pay more for policies which cover these types of vehicle.
Insurers often keep away from drivers with motoring convictions. They refuse to quote for insurance cover, or they increase the premium to reflect the higher risk. You pay more for motor insurance even after a single speeding fine, so beware of those speed cameras.
Should you have any other criminal convictions, you are may find it difficult to get motor insurance and may need to get specialist help. Do not lie about any motoring convictions or any criminal convictions as you are likely to aggravate the problem by committing insurance fraud.
You can normally get a discount should you get arrange insurance for multiple vehicles with the same company.
Every motor insurance policy has a compulsory excess, which is the amount you must pay towards a claim. This excess is usually around £200; however, this is often waived for windscreen damage. If you can pay a higher excess you can negotiate a lower premium.
You can buy car insurance by directly contacting an insurance company, using a broker or searching on a price comparison website. Should you arrange cover directly from the insurer, you will be unaware of whether or not you could purchase similar insurance elsewhere at a lower price. Many people consider it cheaper to buy car insurance directly from an insurance company, as opposed to shopping around. However, this is not necessarily so. It makes sense to get several quotes and then decide.
The insurer is going to wish to know quite a lot about you and your car prior to providing you with a quote, such as, your name, address, occupation, age, car make and model, whether or not you have any convictions or have a no claims bonus. Should your car be older than three years, you are going to need a valid MOT certificate.
It is advisable to be honest. Should you supply inaccurate information or fail to disclose relevant details, you could invalidate your policy. You may also end up committing insurance fraud.
A one-off lump sum annual payment has been the traditional way of purchasing car insurance. However, many people find it difficult to afford a substantial lump sum. Therefore, most car insurance companies provide you with the option of spreading the cost over monthly installments. There is a minimal charge involved for monthly payments so this method is slightly more costly. You usually have to put down a deposit; nonetheless there are some companies that do not require a deposit.
As an alternative, you will find that certain insurers offer a kind of pay as you go car insurance whereby a black box is fitted to your car which monitors your driving habits. You then pay for the miles you drive, being rewarded for not driving in the dark and at rush hour, when you are statistically more likely to have an accident.
There are several ways of getting cheaper car insurance, a highly effective one being the accumulation of no claims discount. Insurers reward drivers who have not made a claim with a discount on their premiums. Should you have made no claim for five consecutive years your cost of cover can be discounted by 75%.
Moreover, you can pay an extra premium to protect this discount. Hereby you are usually permitted to make a set number of claims within a specific time period.
You can also reduce your premium by keeping your car in a locked garage overnight and fitting approved security devices like an immobiliser or a car alarm on your car.
Most insurers provide a discount should you agree to drive a set number of miles. You inform the insurer if you are likely to breach the limit, otherwise, your policy can be invalid.