Many people don’t take a great deal of notice of their car insurance and, when the time comes for their auto insurance to be renewed, they simply renew it with their existing insurer. If you don’t shop around for car insurance, then you will end up paying more than you need to and, if you don’t check the small print on your policy, you might actually not be insured at all. So, if you don’t give a second thought to your motor vehicle insurance, check out these facts and tips about car insurance that might surprise you.
1. Pay your insurance premiums in one go
It may be convenient to pay your car insurance in twelve monthly payments, but it will nearly always be far more expensive than paying the whole amount up front. Most insurers add an exorbitant price for spreading the payments. It could cost you as much as 30% more.
2. Don’t overdo the excess
A lot of people get caught out by agreeing to an insurance excess over and above what they can really afford to pay. Yes, a high excess will reduce your car insurance premiums, but don’t forget that, if you have an accident, you are going to have to find that cash for repairs.
3. Tell the truth to your insurer
Be honest about what you use your car for, where you park it, and who is going to drive it. If you say that your car will be locked in a garage overnight, and it is stolen from the street outside your home, you could be in for a nasty surprise when you come to make a claim.
4. Check how comprehensive your fully comprehensive cover really is
The word ‘fully’ in fully comprehensive can mean different things to different insurers, especially if you opted for the cheapest policy that you could find. Typically, the cheaper car insurance policies won’t include a courtesy car, windscreen cover, or legal cover, so it’s worth checking your policy to see exactly what you are getting for your money.
5. Don’t make a claim unless you really have to
If you have a minor accident, it is very often cheaper to pay for the repairs yourself than to claim it on your insurance. You should still tell the insurer about the accident, because that is often a policy requirement, but claiming may well result in an increase your premiums and excess.
6. Your premiums can still rise, even if you have protected your no claims bonus
If you have an accident, your premiums could still rise, even if you have protected your no claims bonus. Your percentage bonus may well stay intact, but the underlying cost of your insurance will rise and, therefore, you will pay more.
7. Always take photographs if you have an accident
If you do have an accident, however slight the damage may seem, always take photographs of both your vehicle and the other persons. Unfortunately, there are a lot of dishonest people who will exaggerate their claims to their insurance company and lie about the circumstances of an accident. If you can, get the contact details of any witnesses too.
8. Don’t just automatically renew, shop around first
Insurance companies offer their best deals to new customers, so it is always worth shopping around for your car insurance. You can get your insurance broker to do for you, or check out a price comparison site, but always get several quotes before you decide.
9. Always notify your insurer of any changes in circumstances
Don’t forget to notify your insurer of any changes in circumstances, or you could invalidate your insurance. That includes moving home, changing jobs, any modifications you make to the vehicle and even if you have started driving your car to work.
10. Don’t rely solely on comparison websites for the best deal
Don’t forget that not all the insurance companies allow their details to be published on price comparison websites. To enable these companies to compete, they often offer better deals than you will find on the comparison sites.