Many people find car insurance confusing – and as a result end up paying more than they should in a very competitive market. The monthly payments – or premiums – depend on several things – your level of cover, the company insuring you and how much of a risk the insurance company deems you to be.
The popularity of the internet has made it easier than ever to find, compare and choose car insurance on line. Most companies can give you a quote fairly quickly – in general, it will take from between ten to twenty minutes to enter the required information into one of the online application forms. There’s also usually a free number to ring if you want to talk to a person.
Comparing car insurance quotes online
Obtaining car insurance quotes online is fairly straightforward – although there are some things you should keep in mind. Not all insurance companies will provide an instant quote on the screen in front of you; some companies may email the quote to you or ring you at a later date.
Some car owners don’t realise that even if their current policy isn’t up for renewal just yet, most insurance companies will allow a customer to cancel the policy, if they decide to switch insurance companies. In this case, you are generally entitled to a proportionate amount as a refund.
One way to easily compare car insurance rates and products is to use one of several web sites which offer comparison shopping. Two of the better sites are the aptly named
confused.com and moneysupermarket.com. Most sites compare the UK’s top insurance companies, including AA, Norwich Union and First Direct.
How to keep your premiums down
There are several ways you can reduce the cost of car insurance. Premiums are lower if you keep your car locked up in a garage overnight – over 50% of cars are stolen at night. Otherwise, try to park in your driveway, rather than on the street – this will also decrease the chance of vandalism.
Make sure you accurately report the mileage that you drive in a year – don’t pay for too much mileage. A change in employment or lifestyle may mean less mileage – many people don’t bother to change their car insurance details when this happens.
Having a car alarm or immobiliser installed in your car will also usually result in lower payments. An additional driver using the car may mean increased premiums. And of course, your past driving record also has a significant effect on the cost of your car insurance.
Basic car insurance policies
A recent – and welcome – innovation in car insurance is the concept of so-called basic coverage, as offered by both Tesco and Norwich Union, in an effort to simplify the often confusing process. Basic coverage also allows car owners to take out adequate insurance without paying more than they need to.
Norwich Union’s product is appropriately named Simple Cover and is available online only. The product also eliminates some of the unnecessary extras that customers tend to unknowingly pay for. Another big difference is that the premium is payable in a yearly lump sum, rather than monthly.
Tesco value car insurance is also available online only – even the application form is simpler – and Tesco has taken some of the unnecessary extras out, which can increase the cost of premiums. For example, Tesco value car insurance doesn’t offer a replacement car for use during repairs, or cover a broken windscreen.
Shopping for car insurance online shouldn’t be difficult. With a little bit of research and the right list of web addresses, choosing the right car insurance can be easy and stress-free.