Top tips to help reduce your car insurance quotes at policy renewal time
Thanks to repeated increases of Insurance Premium Tax and the ongoing saga of fake whiplash claims, car insurance premiums are increasing for many of us.
If your premium is high we have a series of useful tips for you to help reduce it…
Shop around for the best deals
It may seem like an obvious one, but it’s surprising how many people fail to put the time in to properly research the market before settling on a policy. Simply renewing your existing policy may seem like the easiest option, but it could be costing you hundreds of pounds.
There are lots of different insurance comparison sites out there these days – all of which take a matter of minutes to find the best deal for you and your particular needs.
Get started: Compare car insurance quotes now
An important factor to remember when comparing car insurance quotes is to make sure you are comparing the same level of cover. Some policies may seem very attractive but it may well be the case that they don’t offer the same amount of cover.
Be careful though. When shopping around for car insurance, it’s important to make sure that you are comparing like-for-like cover. Some policies may seem cheaper, but you may find you don’t have the same level of cover when you have to make a claim.
You should also consider checking the car insurance companies that don’t feature on comparison sites. The main ones are Aviva, Direct Line and Admiral (who offer a very good Multicar deal so is worth checking out if you wish to insure more than one vehicle).
Don’t overestimate your mileage
The higher the mileage you tell the insurer you are likely to drive, the higher the premium will be – so it’s important to make sure you provide as accurate an estimate as possible when you are applying for your quote. If you overestimate how many miles you will drive then you are basically just throwing money down the drain. However, you also need to be honest as underestimate could end up costing you a lot more if you need to make a claim and your policy is void.
Estimating how many miles you will drive in a year is difficult, so it’s recommended that you keep track of your mileage every year so you have got a good idea of the figure when it comes to applying for a new policy.
Value of your car
The same goes when it comes to estimating the value of your car. If you over-value it then you will end up paying too much as the market value of your car is basically the total amount your insurer will have to pay out if it is written off or stolen. Therefore the higher the value of the car, the higher the premium to cover it will be.
You are also seen by insurers as more likely to make a claim if your car is worth a lot, so it really does pay to be careful about the valuation. You shouldn’t risk underestimating the value though, as this could lead to you under-insuring your car – which will leave you out of pocket if you have to make a claim.
If you really don’t know the value of your car and want to find out, take a look at Parkers (free valuation if your car is from the year 2000 or later) or you could get a valuation from Auto Trader – although you will have to pay a fee of £3.50 for this.
Protect your No Claims Bonus
Having a long history of no claims is pretty much the best way to making sure you get cheap car insurance, so protect it as much as possible.
No Claims Bonus protection might cost you a few extra quid on top of your premium, but that is a small investment you can make to ensure big discounts of hundreds of pounds.
Before jumping into this though, be sure to do your research as the definition of a protected no-claims bonus can differ quite a bit between different motor insurers. As with all policy features and extras, it’s important to always check the policy wording carefully before signing up to something.
Increase your voluntary excess
The policy excess is the amount of money you are willing to pay towards a claim, and you can choose to increase that amount if you wish.
This means that your insurance company would pay less in the event of a claim as you are covering more of it, so the premiums will be less as a result.
If you are not at fault for the incident then you will either receive your excess back, or if liability is accepted quickly enough by the third party then you may not need to pay the excess at all. There are also excess protection insurance policies available which can cover your excess payment.
The important thing here is to only increase your excess to an amount you will actually be able to pay in the event of a claim. You may get cheaper premiums the higher the excess, but that will count for nothing if you can’t afford to pay it when the time comes. Read more: What to do if you can’t afford to pay your excess…
Car security can be broken down into two areas: the location of the car, and what security features it has.
In terms of location, this generally means where the car is parked overnight i.e. do you use a garage or driveway, or is just parked out on the street? Is the street well-lit or is it dark and remote? Where you park your car is where the vehicle spends most of its time, so insurers will reward drivers who park their car in safer spots.
Security features that could reduce the cost of insurance could include a car alarm, vehicle tracker, immobiliser or other anti-theft devices which can reduce the risk of your car being stolen or targeted by opportunist thieves.
Some modifications, particularly the ones above that can make your car more secure or safer, can help reduce the cost of your insurance premiums.
However, for the most part modifications should be avoided as they can dramatically increase your insurance costs.
Adding alloy wheels and spoilers to your car, or boosting the engine size, can result in your premium going up significantly. In some cases, if the modifications are extreme, they can void your policy. So avoid modifying with your car too much.
For those who can’t help but tinker with their car, you can find dedicated modified car insurance policies which may be cheaper than more traditional policies.complete our form with your renewal date on and we will get in touch with you closer to the time to help you save!