If like me you’ve recently had you car insurance renewal documents land on your doormat, you might be in for a very unpleasant financial surprise!
How Much!! You’ve got to be joking!!
Nothing had changed as far as I was concerned, the car is the same, the road I live in is the same, I still do the same job – the risk hasn’t changed at all.
The only difference is that I’m one year older and I thought cover was supposed to get cheaper the older you got!
So what can you do to avoid the rate hikes?
I asked my friend and underwriting expert Dave Healey for some advice. Here’s what he said….
Compare Specialist Car Insurance Quotes Online Before You Renew Your Policy
The cost of car insurance premiums are expected to rise dramatically in 2010 with some major insurance news sites predicting up to 20% in premium hikes as the industry adjusts to large losses and claims in recent years
However the competition remains fierce and those who bother to take the time shopping around and comparing prices from different companies will benefit while those who cannot be bothered will pay the price at renewal.
You have probably heard the phrase ‘brand new customers only’ applied to the television adverts that constantly bombard us with deals and offers for cheaper cover.
Nearly all the major car insurance providers in the United Kingdom are offering incentives to get you to move from your current insurer and take out a policy with them. You will need to check out these offers carefully and be prepared to take the time and effort to understand the ‘catches’ if you want to successfully reduce your premium each year.
There is no logical reason why your premiums should rise at renewal unless you have had claims, but if you stay with the same insurance company year on year out of inertia, you can virtually guarantee that you will be paying more to cover the costs of the incentives offered to the ‘new business or the claims of other people who are insured with the same company.
In the UK car insurance companies seem only concerned with how much volume of new customers they can attract and once they have your premiums you are no longer of interest to them. So if you want to save money on your car insurance it is necessary to change insurer every year!
About a month before your renewal date you should receive from your existing company an invite to renew, which in most cases will be automatic unless you cancel the policy. This is the time to start looking elsewhere for cheaper quotes for the same level of cover. Most quotes are legally valid for thirty days from the date they were given, which will allow you plenty of time to compare the car insurance market before cancelling your policy and obtaining cover elsewhere. The invite to renew document will also contain proof of your no claims driving history and the number of years discount you are entitled to. Keep this document safe as you will be required to produce it when moving to another insurance company as proof of no claims.
Compare and Move!
The best place to start looking for cheaper car insurance is on the Internet Car Insurance comparison sites of which there are many. Choose at least three different price comparison websites to get quotes from; they usually only take a few minutes to complete all your details to get a range of quotes.
Be aware that the number of comparisons they make and the premiums quoted often vary dramatically from one car insurance comparison website to another.
Often the comparison sites may have negotiated different rates with the insurance companies for certain types of customer or car as all car insurance companies have target markets.
To find one which may be more suitable for your needs it is advisable to search online for compare car insurance for your particular make of vehicle. If you have a poor driving history, drive an unusual or classic car or need specialist cover there are now many smaller specialist comparison sites that cater for all these needs.
Once you have found an alternative cheaper provider, make a note of the quote and return to the website just prior to when your existing cover runs out. Be sure to clear down the cookies on your computer’s browser, otherwise the company will know you have been quoted before and only offer you the same deal. That way you ensure that you will get any of the latest incentives and discounts when you purchase the cover.
Car insurance can be bought to start from your renewal date and you should return your certificate of insurance to the old insurer once you have found alternative cover. Telephone your existing Insurance company and tell them you are cancelling the cover and will not be renewing. Without doubt they will ask for your reasons. Tell them that they are too expensive and that you have found cheaper cover elsewhere. If you have been a good customer and not claimed, you may be surprised that many will offer to beat or at least match the premium you have been offered elsewhere, which would save you the trouble of moving and cut your motoring costs!