Top tips for cheaper car insurance
BY NATHALIE BONNEY BY
Annual car insurance premiums rose by up to 40% over the year ending 31 March 2011, according to the AA’s British Insurance Premium Index. One likely factor is the impact of referral fees, which Moneywise investigated last month.These are charged between claims management companies, insurance companies and lawyers after a car accident, with costs typically passed on to the consumer.
In a crackdown on the growing ‘compensation culture’, the government has announced it will ban these fees. Although good news, without referral fees boosting their coffers there is concern that insurers will further hike up insurance premiums. What then can we do to curtail our car insurance costs?
Telematics A telematics, or black box, installed into your car monitors how good a driver you are; for a young driver this can be a great way of reducing car insurance premiums. Low-mileage drivers can also benefit from installing the technology as the box monitors how many miles they drive to confirm that they are indeed ‘low-use’ drivers.This allows them to take out a cheaper policy, provided they drive less than 6,000 miles a year.
Compare and switch Rolling your policy over from one year to the next is convenient but not cost-effective.The insurance market is jostling with competition and insurers concentrate on attracting new customers with cheaper premiums. Use a few different comparison sites to get an idea of the prices on offer.
Add another driver Adding an older, more experienced driver to your policy brings down the cost. But don’t be tempted to name an older driver as the main driver when they’re not – known as fronting, this is illegal and would render a claim void.You don’t necessarily have to add an older driver to your policy to see the costs come down. For example, a ‘risky’ young male driver could add his girlfriend to reduce his premium.
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