There are many factors which determine the cost of your car insurance premiums. When the insurer determines your level of risk (and by extension, your premium amount), they gather as much data as they can.
Below is a list of the key variables that, as a policyholder, you can influence to alter your monthly premiums.
If you insure multiple vehicles, try to bring them all under a single insurer to qualify for multi-policy discounts.
The same is true if you have home or life insurance – by housing them all under one roof you are entitled to a loyalty bonus.
Where you live is a huge influence on the cost of your car insurance.
Traditionally, urban areas have a greater risk of theft and vandalism, and thus are more of a risk when compared to countryside locations.
The chance of your car being broken into or stolen is a top-level concern for your insurance company and where you choose to live is a big factor.
You can reduce your monthly or annual insurance payments by choosing to increase your voluntary excess.
This is because by doing so, you substantially lower the level of liability for the insurer and that comes with a lower premium.
When you go to buy a new vehicle, consider its impact on your insurance.
Cheaper and slower cars come with lower premiums as they are less likely to be involved in accidents and cost less to repair if they are – plus they provide a smaller temptation for thieves.
You may be able to afford the car, but can you keep up with its higher insurance premiums?
By restricting your annual mileage, you show that you spend less time on the road and that equates to less risk, and lower premiums.
Don’t declare a lower mileage than is realistic, however, as being over the limit will invalidate your insurance and could lead to a fine and even prosecution.
If you are close to the limit, contact your insurance company to update them and remain insured.
Where you keep your vehicle while at home is another very important aspect for insurers.
Cars in locked garages benefit from cheaper insurance than those parked unattended at the roadside.
Alarms and immobilisers are a couple of the security devices you can have fitted to your car.
Inform your insurance company of any additions you have which makes the car less of a target for thieves. Unfortunately, it is true that as we become better at protecting our vehicles, so too do thieves become better at bypassing the systems.
For each year of good driving without accident, you improve your no claims discount – and it’s worth avoiding making small claims to keep up with the clean record.
After a few years (usually four or five), you may be offered an additional premium to protect your no-claims discount and this is usually worth taking as it helps keep your insurance down in the case of an accident.
Participating in an advanced driving course can also help you reduce premiums.
The Institute for Advanced Motorists (IAM) and Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) both offer memberships which gets you a discount on both the cost of driving courses and your insurance premiums.
Women are statistically proven to have less accidents, and those that do are often less serious, making them a far better proposition for an insurance company.
It is also worth noting that as a consequence, if you are part of a couple, it is often better to have the woman listed as the main driver on a policy with the man a secondary driver.
The older you are, the less likely you are to make a claim. Mature drivers benefit from a lower premium that only gets better as you age.
Thankfully, we will all be entitled to this bonus as time goes on – it’s just a matter of patience.
It is worth using the internet to get your car insurance. Automatic systems are convenient and cheap and many insurers will offer a further 10% to 15% discount to drivers who buy their car insurance online.