Can you cover all the possibilities when insuring a car?

By Jenn Taft
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Where do you start when looking for car insurance? Let us help you get through the minefield of quotes.

Have you got a car? Then you need car insurance.

The average driver is expected to claim no more than three or four times in their lifetime. This frustratingly means you probably won’t use your car insurance every year, and this can feel like dead money.  But that cost is worth it if the worst should occur.

So how do you keep the cost of car insurance down whilst getting the cover you need?

Where do you look?

The best thing is to shop around. Use multiple comparison websites like Money Super Market, Go Compare and Compare the market to quickly compare a variety of different types of cover and some of the extras available with them. Always take the time to also check with companies that are not found on comparison websites, such as DirectLine and Aviva.

These websites want you to pay close attention to the quality of the cover and not just the cost of it. Going directly to a company for a quote can be time consuming, but the possible rewards and benefits, such as annual cinema passes and gift cards, could make the time spent looking worthwhile.

What are you looking for?

I know the key thing is the lowest price possible, but make sure you read the finer details for such low prices. Paying for a few extras could help you in the long run and give you greater peace of mind. These extras include protecting your no claims discount, cover for when you are driving abroad, legal cover, breakdown cover, and whether you need a courtesy car included. You can also purchase different levels of cover for accidents to help cover the cost of being injured and how that may affect your life.

I know I always protect my no claims discount, so I still have it after an accident, and I get the courtesy car option. As a parent of a small child having a car is essential, so getting a car if mine is broken would be a winner!

The best deal will of course only be a best deal for you. Consider whether you can afford the extra costs, whether you will actually need the extra cover and whether it covers what you expect it to. A lot of these extras are in case of an accident and you have to weigh up whether to plan ahead just in case, or be confident that you will not have a major accident.

Your circumstances are different to every other person, even family members, so take the time to look carefully for what you want to be covered for.

What will lower the price?

Having no accidents! More than 178,000 people in the UK claimed for an accident in 2015, with a cost for these accidents sitting at over £27 billion. It is crucial that you try to be a safe driver, and there are a few things you can do to help this.

- Installing a black box in your car not only makes you more aware as a driver, but it provides vital evidence to your insurer that they have no reason to charge you too much. Young drivers can see their premium almost halve in a year if the black box is installed. That’s a saving worth making!

- You can take advanced driver courses. Ticking the box to say you’ve completed it during quotation can lower the premium, as it shows dedication to safe driving.

- If you bring down the annual mileage you are quoting against you will see a difference in any quotation. Only drive if necessary - if you are not driving your car, you won’t be having an accident!

How can you get the best from your insurance?

If you are honest with you insurer when filling out their application forms, you will see where your money goes. Don’t try to fool a car insurer by lying about any key facts. They can quickly check your history, and whether you have previously made a claim.

It is definitely worth calling your insurer for a conversation before deciding to accept a renewal quotation. They can always take money off, and if you go to them having done some research you may just find they match the lowest price you could find. Insurers would really rather not lose customers, so listen to them carefully and see what you can save.

How can you turn a company’s tricks back on them?

There are a few tricks to really help you gain a lower price from your car insurer, here’s some tips on how:

- You could increase your voluntary excess. This means that you state you will pay more yourself if you have an accident. Although this isn’t a happy thought, opting to pay more before the insurer does means you will have a lower insurance quote. As always, no accidents, no worries.

- What job do you do? Spend some time searching to find the most insurance friendly job title for what you do. Surgeons, for example, are considered more accident prone in a car and building society clerks the least. I know of someone who took around £50 off their premium just by getting their job title right!

- Paying the whole amount outright will also save you money as you won’t be paying interest on monthly payments. If you can afford to pay it, take the initial hit and then feel smug that you don’t have to pay again until next year!

Get quoting!

Make sure when obtaining quotes from a number of websites that you clear your cookies as you do so. You might find that what you’ve been looking at previously will affect your quote results, and you want to be sure you are getting exactly what you want. If you take the time to look around and find what works for you, you should be happy with the quotes you get. The deals are there to be had, so go find one that works for you!

Top Takeaway

Take the time to really examine all of the car insurance plans available, on comparison websites and directly with insurance companies. Answer any and all questions honestly, and think carefully about the extras you want to add in. Can you help to make yourself appear a safer driver? Can you pay off your premium in one go? Go into any application knowing exactly what you want to get from it.

 

By Jenn Taft

Jenn is a freelance writer and physics teacher from the West Midlands. She has a love of writing about personal finances, especially how they change when you become a parent, and enjoys the honesty that such writing brings. When not writing, teaching or being a mum, Jenn loves nothing more than indulging her love of hospital and police based documentaries, and cake.

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