The cost of motor insurance can vary enormously – an insurance broker who knows the market will be able to select the best policy for you. However, many factors will influence the premium you have to pay.
- The type of vehicle you drive. The more powerful the engine, the more expensive the car is to repair, and the more likely it is to be broken into or stolen will all affect the premium you have to pay.
- The area you live in, your occupation and where your car is parked. If you live in an inner city where you are more likely to be involved in an accident or have your car stolen, you will pay more than someone who lives in a country village. The same is true if you use your car for work . Whether or not your car is kept in a garage can also make a difference. Including cover for drivers under the age of 25 will also affect the premium – costs can be kept lower by restricting the drivers to you, or you and your legal partner only.
- Your age and driving experience. Young drivers are more likely to have accidents, while older people tend to be more careful. Insurers generally apply a basic rate to drivers aged 30-49. If you’re younger than this, your premium is likely to be higher due to the higher risk posed. If you’re older, you could qualify for a discount. Any disabilities you have will also be taken into account.
- If you’ve been convicted of motoring offences in the past, or have a bad accident record, you will probably have to pay a higher premium.
- Before an insurance company will sell you motor insurance it will want to weigh up all the risks involved, so before your broker can offer you an accurate quotation they will have to ask a lot of detailed questions covering the points outlined above. Remember – if you fail to provide accurate information a subsequent claim may be refused.
- It’s worth consulting a broker who has a wide knowledge of what’s available and will shop around, saving you considerable time in having to seek quotations from different insurers.
Cutting the Cost
You may be able to reduce the premium you pay by restricting the cover granted by the policy. For example – you could limit the number of people who will drive the vehicle. But be careful – if the regular driver is incapacitated, you don’t want to find out that nobody can drive the car in an emergency.
Another way of cutting your insurance costs is to agree to pay the first part of any claim. This is known as an ‘excess’ and discounts are available for taking out an additional voluntary excess (e.g. £100) but beware that compulsory excesses may already apply. Young drivers may be able to obtain an initial discount on their first year’s policy if they have successfully sat the “Pass Plus” course.