We, in our own ways and individually, try as much as possible to trim unavoidable expenses. To go by the sentiments of legendary Benjamin Franklin that a penny saved is a penny earned, it’s incumbent upon us to squeeze our spending habit even on things that can’t be avoided. Car owners and aspiring ones can relate that having a proper car insurance comes with the need to include it in your monthly or annual budget. But did you know that there is a possibility to have your favourite car or fleet of cars well insured with whatever cover of choice at an affordable amount? You got that right, a proper insurance coverage doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive one. In order to avoid straining to pay or even skipping regular remittance of your car insurance premium, it’s necessary that car owners master the simple ways to cut down on car insurance costs.
Thinking deeply about your motor vehicle insurance
Any experienced car driver or owner will always ensure that the vehicle they are about to drive is fully insured. While juvenile or meanly experienced drivers may fall for the temptation of only doing self inspection of cars ready to drive. Inspecting the car before driving it is a good way to ensure safety of occupants but then there is a need for something more; protecting the car in case it’s befallen by a risk. Even in insuring the car there exists a need to check for affordable options.
As a car owner, paying car insurance is as inevitable as paying taxes. This is part of the reason why owning a car is more of a liability. Choosing the wrong car insurance can make your life impossible when it comes to finances. Any car insurance is already expensive enough so there is no need to be stuck with the wrong one.
Knowing a thing or two about how to cut car insurance costs will go a long way into saving. Lowering your car insurance basically requires one to know what to do, how to do it and when. The first and obvious one is to maintain a good driving record. However, there are a few other ways to achieve this too. Here are some.
1. Choose the Most Appropriate Car Insurance
Car insurance prices will differ from one company to another so ensure you shop around. Similarly, go for a company that is financially stable to ensure your own peace of mind and to protect yourself financially. However, you should also keep in mind that choosing a car insurance is not about price alone.
Make sure that the policy you are buying is right for you. You could ask your friends and family for recommendations too. Another essential factor is to ensure that you are not under-insured. This would mean that the insurance won’t cover some of the things you might require. A good example is hiring a car when yours breaks down and needs repairs. It might cost you extra.
You should also keep in mind that you can avoid a courtesy car cover if your household has two cars.
2. Safeguard your no-claims bonus
Most drivers tend to ignore the no-claims bonus because it translates to a higher premium. However, one thing you need to know is that the bonus can really come in handy when you are making a claim. It also helps to explore and find out which claims might damage your no-claims bonus and avoid them. For instance, you can find out if it will be affected if you are in an accident that is not your fault.
3. Add car insurance to your voluntary excess
Paying more voluntary excess is one effective way to lower your car insurance premiums. Voluntary excess refers to the sum you have to pay towards the cost of a claim. However, before settling for it, it pays to weigh up if it’s worth it if you had to part with more money after an accident. On the bright side, as long as you were not at fault, the other party will reimburse you for the excess.
4. Restrict the Names on your insurance policy
The names to include on your policy is usually left up to you. However, what most people fail to understand is that more names mean more premiums. So, always restrict the names to just you and your partner as opposed to a driver. If you have kids, you should eliminate their names from the policy once they are of age.
5. Don’t allow young/underage drivers to use your car
As you know by now, more names on your policy means higher insurance costs. So the best way to get a cheap premium is ensuring that you don’t include individuals under 25 years on the policy. However, also remember that insuring a car driven solely by a young driver in an older person’s name is fraud (fronting).
The best you can do therefore, is to include an older person’s name on the policy to lower the insurance premiums.
6. If possible, take to lumpsum premium payments
Most drivers prefer to pay their car insurance premiums through monthly instalments. However, insurance companies will charge you more for monthly instalments. Your best bet on lowering costs is to pay your premium all at once.
7. Weigh between comprehensive and third-party cover
In most cases, drivers who own lower value cars only consider insurance just for third parties, fire and theft. However, it pays to check how much a comprehensive cover might cost you too. You might discover that an insurance company charges more for third-party cover. They view third party insurance as proof that you are not a responsible driver.
8. Stick to mileage restriction at all times
Insurance companies often offer a low mileage discount for drivers who use their car less often. However, in some cases, you might need to ask your insurer for the discount rather than them offering. The only risk here is that you might invalidate your cover if you surpass the agreed figure.
However, it still doesn’t hurt to inquire about it. Some drivers opt for telematics or the “spy in the cab” technology. This technology keeps track of your driving, mileage and where and when you drive. It mostly applies to younger drivers though older drivers are also adopting it as a way of keeping down premiums.
9. Aim to continuously Improve your driving experience
Improving your driving experience is essential to lowering your insurance costs. This is especially true if you are a young driver. It pays to apply for an advanced drivers’ course to improve your driving experience. Insurers offer discounts if you have advanced driving qualifications. However, you should confirm before you enrol since the costs might not be very significant.
Increased Security for your Car
Making your car more secure is a good step to lowering your insurance costs. For instance, you could have an approved alarm, immobilizer or tracking device fitted to your car. Check if your insurer offers discounts for securing your vehicle from thieves. Similarly, you can choose to use your own garage to park your car overnight. Alternatively, you could park it in a secure designated off-road parking spot to lower your premiums.
Be on the lookout for buy one get one discounts
Luckily for those who have more than one car, you can lower costs by subscribing to one insurer. Insuring different cars with the same insurer will give you access to significant discounts that might ultimately lower costs.
However, before you sign up, you should confirm if the company extends a multi-car discount to their customers. The only downside to this trick is that you might encounter issues in future. For instance, if one car is declared off-road before the renewal date for the insurance.