Sunday, August 07, 2011

Compare car insurance and make sure you get a better deal

Car insurance can be a pain in the proverbial. Third party only, or fully comprehensive? Limited mileage or windscreen excess? Roadside breakdown assistance or…you get the picture. In a world of endless possibilities, car insurance providers can baffle you with a mind-blowing array of choices, options and decisions to make. And you can’t escape it – car insurance is a legal requirement to drive on UK roads. It’s a criminal offence to drive whilst uninsured.

So we all have to bite the bullet and every year do the rounds of car insurance providers. If you already have insurance, the temptation can be to forgo all the hassle and simply stick with what you know. Your current insurance provider has looked after you for the past year at least, so why start swapping and changing just for the sake of it?

Consumer power – putting you in the driving seat
For years, the insurance companies had it all their own way. They knew that customer loyalty was practically guaranteed because the process of hunting around for a better deal was a time consuming and boring business. It meant hours on the phone, repeating your details ad infinitum to different call centres and all to find out that the first or second quote you got was the best one.

Today, things are different. Online comparison sites have made the process much easier. Now, to compare hundreds of car insurance quotes you simply have to type your details in once and an at-a-glance list of potential suppliers pops up instantly. For consumers who want to compare car insurance, online sites have been a revelation.

So how do I use a comparison site?
Once you’ve typed your details in (and remember not to leave any important details out as it could invalidate any policy you buy), you can then start to see what each provider offers. The simple choice first – what cover do you need? The obvious is to go for fully comprehensive cover, but that will cost more than third party or third party, fire and theft. However, it does provide the most comprehensive cover (hence the name).

Then there’s the excess to think about. The more you are prepared to pay, the cheaper your premiums. But remember that the excess will have to come out of your pocket, so consider carefully how much you could budget for in an emergency and put in a realistic amount. It’s better to pay a couple of pounds more and have a lower excess than to discover that you have to find the first £500 on a £600 claim out of your own pocket.

All those little ‘extras’
If you already have breakdown cover, do you really need to pay for it again? You would be surprised just how many people pay twice as much as they need to by including unnecessary additional breakdown cover on their insurance policy. A normal standard on all comprehensive policies is windscreen cover. A cracked or shattered windscreen can cost a small fortune to repair, especially if the windscreen is a non-standard size or shape as in some ‘panoramic windscreen’ style cars.

What about my no claims bonus?
Transferring your car insurance to a new provider does not necessarily mean that you lose your accumulated no claims bonus. Look for insurers who will allow you to transfer your bonus over to a new policy. Some will even offer a considerable discount for careful drivers with over five years’ worth of no claims.

By using an online comparison site to compare car insurance, not only could you save a considerable amount of money on your policy, but you could also end up with a tailor-made package that suits your requirements better than your existing provider. And never be afraid to haggle with your current insurer for a better deal. Comparison sites have given consumers back an element of control over their financial affairs, so use the information you can gather from a comparison site to your advantage.

1 comment:

Teena in Toronto said...

Our insurance was coming up for renewal in the spring. I shopped around and ended up staying with my current carrier as they gave me the best deal.

Happy blogoversary :)


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