As with many things in life the more time you put into something the more you will get out and with buying car insurance spending some time understanding what to look out for can save you both time and money in the long run and should ensure that you end up with the right cover.
Things to consider:
If you are under 25 you will generally pay more for car insurance. For teenagers the cost of car insurance can be very high. Some insurers provide young driver car insurance schemes e.g. The Co-op and Young Marmalade provide specialist insurance for younger drivers
To keep the cost of car insurance down many insurers provide you with the option of a voluntary excess on any claim. This is paid over and above any compulsory excess on the policy.
In the past specialist women’s car insurance providers could offer a better deal. Women generally tend to make less expensive claims than men, and so insurance companies historically reflected this in offering cheaper premiums. However, in March 2012, the European Court of Justice ruled that insurance providers cannot discriminate on gender. This ruling came into effect from December 2012.
Some car insurers will adjust their car insurance premium based on the mileage you do. It is important you give an accurate indication of expected annual mileage to ensure you are not paying more than you need to. Check with your existing car insurer (if relevant) – If you already have an existing car check with your existing insurer about adding a second car onto the policy. Some car insurance companies will provide you with a discount for including a second vehicle – often called multi car insurance.
Using a Comparison website
Online comparison websites provide a useful and easy way of getting car insurance quotes. No car insurance comparison website covers the whole market so it makes sense to use more than one source to ensure you are getting the right cover at the right price. You should also note that some insurance companies do not appear on comparison websites e.g. Direct Line Car Insurance and Aviva Car Insurance
Using a Car Insurance broker
If you are not sure what cover you need or want somebody to help you through the process there are many car insurance brokers who will be happy to help. A good insurance broker will not help you in buying car insurance but also provide support in the event that you need to make a claim.If you intend to use a broker you should check their FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) registration on the FCA website.
Providing correct information
In assessing the insurance risk an insurance company will rely on the information that you give as being accurate. Information provided will determine whether insurance is provided and the cost of premiums. It is therefore important that any information you provide is correct e.g. information on any driving offences where you have been given points can have a material impact on the premium you are required to pay. Non disclosure of such information at the time of application can result in a non payout in the event of a claim. If you are using a car insurance broker this is where valuable advice can be provided.
Cheapest is not always best
With insurance you generally get what you pay for so before you sign up to an insurance policy you should be aware of what you are covered for and what is excluded. You should consider what you need and ensure you are adequately covered. This may mean you have to pay more to get what you want.
When you buy car insurance and you pay by direct debit some insurance companies will automatically renew your car insurance policy at the renewal date. You should receive a written notice of the car insurance renewal and any increase in the premium. If you are not happy you need to be proactive and shop around before the renewal date and cancel the existing policy before renewal.
Changing your mind
You have the right to change your mind within a set period normally 14 days from purchase of the car insurance policy and have your money returned.