Handy tips on ways to lower car insurance premiums

Handy tips on ways to lower car insurance premiums
By John  Grant Has your premium kept increasing and you're looking for ways to pay less for your insurance? If that's the case then here are some ideas and ways that will almost certainly pay less. 1. Firstly it's good to know that what you are starting with is correct. So check that no mistakes have been made with the current insurance account. Mistakes do happen and can arise for many reasons. Insurance premium calculations are rather complex calculations and they are sometimes wrong. Common causes for errors are:
  • Incorrect NCB (No Claims Bonus) discount. (The maximum NCB is normally around 65%). Check to see this has been correctly applied.
  • Under age drivers - Are you paying a higher levy due to a surcharge that has been applied for under 25 (or higher for Under 21) or inexperienced (usually licensed less than 2 years) drivers? Children move on and if they are not going to drive the car then take them off, you can always add them back in if the circumstances change.
  • Who is the main driver? Premiums can vary if the main driver is a female. So it pays to check on what the insurance company currently has on their records. It may be worth changing the primary driver if there is equal use between the main drivers.
  • Your age - If you have passed through the milestone of fifty your insurer may have a discount. If your date of birth has not been correctly recorded then you may be missing out on a discount.
  • Car is over insured. Particularly on Market Value policies. Many companies will not look as closely at market value policies as they do on Agreed Value. A cynic would suggest that it's in the insurance companies interest to keep the vehicle sum insured as high as possible as they collect a higher premium. They are always happy to adjust to a reasonable level. It can make quite a difference to the price.
  • Have they allowed for a discount for having multiple policies. Sometimes this is missed if the house is insured under an alternate name, such as a family trust or a company.
  • Review the optional covers and delete any that are not required. These could be for things like, NCB protection, glass cover, breakdown service etc.
2. Once you have confirmed that the current premium is correct then check the market pricing to see how your vehicle compares. By far the best option for this is our comparison page and you can link to this here. Even if your area or car is not one of those we have compared look for the closest comparison. For example if you live in Invercargill and drive a Mazda 323 then the option for the Honda Accord will not be far removed. More important is to get your age and family senarios as close as possible to the model scenarios. 3. From our comparison pages, select 2 or 3 options for alternate prices and obtain quotes from them. If you have multiple policies with one company then you are normally entitled to a discount. You may therefore want to look at this as a wider project. 4. A further reduction would be possible if you took a voluntary excess higher than the standard. Obviously this comes with a risk, but it is a way to look at reducing the annual payment.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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