Legal guide to UK motoring, sections for law enforcement, Driver licensing, learner and new drivers, buying and selling, speeding fines, owning a vehicle, wheel clamping, traffic information
Car Insurance Myths:
• Your premium can’t go up if you have no-claims discount protection.
Wrong, it can. Protecting your no-claims discount only protects the percentage discount you get off your basic premium, it does not protect your basic premium itself. Therefore your basic premium can still rise.
Many factors can cause your premium to rise:
In some insurers’ small print, it says that they can increase your basic premium based on your claims history - therefore, if you claim, they reserve the right to put up your premiums despite your protected no claims discount.
• Speeding fines won’t affect your insurance.
Up to a point this is true, however, there are exceptions. Some of the more cost-conscious (cheaper) insurers won’t allow even one speeding fine. Any insurance company will take a dim view of a more serious speeding offence, especially if it results in a ban.
• Don’t report minor accidents, as they will increase your premium.
No, report any incident if it could result in a third party making a claim. It is unlikely that it will increase your premium, however, failing to report an incident may invalidate your insurance.
Even if you think an incident was too small to bother informing your insurers of, you do not know whether any other party involved may decide to make a claim. Therefore by reporting the incident you are protecting yourself against loss, by passing the risk over to your insurers.
Finally, remember that just because you report an incident to your insurers, it doesn’t mean that they will have to pay out.
• My insurance quotes are too expensive - I can save money by putting the insurance in someone else’s name.
It sounds like a good idea, but it won’t help. You may think that putting the insurance in someone else’s name and having yourself as a named driver will be a clever way to cut your premium, and it may well do that. However the insurers will ask you how many cars there are in the house and how many drivers, and who mainly drives each car, if you do not answer truthfully you might find your cover is invalid.
How to cut the price of your car insurance:
• When choosing your car you should remember that the flashier the car, the higher
your insurance is likely to be. Therefore you should choose your car carefully.
Do not blow all off your budget on a really ‘flashy’ car, and then realise you can not afford the insurance. Sometimes however it may be in your favour to blow your budget on the car. For example, it may be worth spending slightly more and investing in a brand new car, as sometimes you may be able to get free insurance. The result might be that you end up with a brand new car, and have only paid the same as you would have done for a slightly older car plus the insurance. It’s surely worth spending some time investigating.
• Park your car in the garage. Where you keep your car overnight can affect the price of your car insurance. Your insurance is likely to be highest if the car is kept on the road over night, it is likely to decrease if parked up a driveway or decrease even further if it is hidden from view in the garage.
• Limit the number of drivers you allow to use your car, this should drastically reduce your premiums. Try to stick to just you or you and your partner only. The more names on the insurance, the higher the premium is likely to be.
• Increase your excess. This will decrease your premium, but remember that you will have to pay the agreed amount for the first part of any claim. So don’t wack up your excess and then complain about it if you have an accident. It’s up to you.
• Protect your no-claims discount. If you have been building up your no-claims discount for years it would be a nightmare to loose it, so some companies allow you to protect this discount for a small charge. Even the best, most careful drivers can have a bit of bad luck.
• Make your car very secure by installing an immobiliser that is to ’Thatcham Category 1’. However these are expensive to install, and so are probably only worthwhile on very expensive cars.
• Finally, shop around. Car insurance is a very competitive market, and so most companies will try to match or better another competitors quote.