Car Insurance - How Can You Lower Your Premiums?
by: Michael Challiner
Many factors influence the premium for your Motor insurance policy. Your insurer will have asked you many questions whilst producing your quote - some of which will affect your premium and some will not. Below we discuss the key variables that are within the policyholder's control.
By insuring a number of vehicles with the same insurer, or by trying to take out home and life insurance through your car insurer, you may be able to secure a ‘bulk buy’ discount.
A big influence on the cost of your car insurance is where you live. The chance of your car being broken into or stolen is a key concern for the insurer. More urban areas traditionally facing greater risk of theft and therefore tend to be more expensive than countryside locations.
By agreeing to pay a greater excess on each claim you can reduce your car insurance premiums. This is because you are reducing the liability of the insurer and therefore in return they are able to offer you a lower premium.
The cheaper and slower your vehicle the lower your premiums are likely to be. If you are looking to buy a new vehicle make sure you fully consider the cost of insurance – you may be able to buy the car but can you afford to run it?
You can control your insurance premiums by restricting your annual mileage. However, be aware that if you exceed the restricted number of miles you'll then become uninsured!
Where you park your vehicle overnight is also very important to the insurers. If it is kept in a locked garage, you should be offered a lower premium than if you leave it unattended in the street.
Security devices that prevent or hinder theft may also reduce your premium. Common examples include alarms and immobilisers, however, be aware that as we improve the quality of our security devices the thieves just become better at bypassing them.
No Claims Discount
Save up your no claims discount by avoiding making small claims upon your policy. After a set number of years, 4 or 5 typically, you'll often be offered the option to pay an additional small premium to protect your no claims bonus. This can prove very helpful if you subsequently end up having an accident.
Advanced driving skills
By taking an advanced driving course you may also be able to reduce your premiums. The Institute for Advanced Motorists and the Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents each offer membership which provides you with discounts for both the cost of driving courses and your car insurance premiums. Two key variables NOT within the policyholder's control.
Women are statistically less likely to have an accident and, if they do, it's less likely to be serious. Because of these statistics women benefit from lower premiums. It is also worth noting that if you represent one half of a couple you should consider having the female as the primary driver with the male as the second driver.
The older you are, the less likely you are to make a claim. As a result insurance companies charge lower premiums for more mature drivers.
One final piece of advice.
A large percentage of car insurance is now sold on the Internet. That's
because it's convenient and cheap. Many insurers now give a further
10%-15% discount if you buy online.