How to find very cheap car insurance


If you are looking for the very, very cheapest car insurance then you need to look at potential policies from the insurance companies' point of view. All insurance is about risk, and the more you can reduce the risk in the eyes of an insurer the lower the price of your cover could be.

For most motorists buying online is the cheapest option. However, for many who have had accidents or convictions, live in certain postcodes, drive modified or expensive cars, etc, sometimes a broker can find a better deal.

Reduce risk

Ideally you should live in a crime free area and drive a vehicle with a small engine and a good safety record but life is never ideal. However, you should try to ensure that your car is kept on a drive or, even better, in a garage overnight. Any modifications to the car are a complete no – no and you should keep the annual mileage down as much as possible and offer to pay as large an excess as you feel you can afford. If you are driving an old car with a low value then third-party fire and theft cover may be sufficient but bear in mind that many insurers do not encourage motorists who are looking for such a low level of cover to insure with them, because they believe that those motorists may not maintain their cars as well as those who pay for comprehensive cover. If you still wish to go down this route then at least get a fully comprehensive quote as well; surprisingly there have been cases where these policies have cost less than third-party ones.

Look for special offers

Many insurers offer cut price policies for short periods. The problem is that there is usually no way of telling just when these offers will come along. You therefore need to begin your search for your next policy as early as possible, and search regularly using a good comparison site, so that you have plenty of time to find the right price. Sometimes insurers will allow you to book a policy to begin at a date in the future at the cut price rate, even though by then the offer will have expired.



Pick the right insurer

There are a number of cut-price insurers offering comparatively cheap policies but some of these are registered abroad, in countries such as Gibraltar. Do bear in mind that in the event of a claim you may have some difficulty getting the claim settled if the insurance company proves obstinate; although all insurers offering policies within the UK have to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, meaning that you could have some protection in the event of the company becoming insolvent, they are not usually members of the UK Insurance Ombudsman Scheme which is otherwise a very useful protection for consumers. There are also some cheaper insurers that can be contacted only over the Internet, and these companies tend to attract a disproportionate number of complaints from clients who find difficulty in dealing with them when things go wrong. Sometimes you may find it better to pick a well-known company that has a reputation to uphold.

Be promiscuous

A lot of insurance companies offer very attractive premiums to new clients. The following year the rates return to normal but the majority of drivers renew anyway, often encouraged by the fact that the insurance companies get them to agree to automatic renewal. You should think carefully about agreeing to this and, towards the end of each policy, you should see what other companies will offer you if you switch to them. This may mean changing insurer every year but it could save you a lot of money.



Read the small print

Insurance companies love extras. Change your address, change your car, go over your estimated mileage, get a new job, develop a medical problem, in fact find any circumstances that would give an insurer an excuse to charge a higher or lower premium, and your insurers may well charge a fee for changing their records. Some companies will charge you nothing, others may charge fees running into three figures. Fail to inform them of these changes and they could have an excuse to refuse a payout. So, make sure that you read all policy documents carefully before making any commitments.

Be truthful

Motorists sometimes bend the facts a little. Young drivers claim to be a little older than they are, minor bumps are forgotten and previous no claims discounts can be exaggerated. Insurance companies are wise to all these manoeuvres and they share an awful lot of information amongst themselves using the Claims and Underwriting Exchange (CUE) and the Motor Insurance Anti-Fraud Theft Register (MIAFTR) databases, as well as from sources in the public domain. It is only recently that Admiral tried to use Facebook to get more information about applicants' lifestyles, and credit reference records are often checked too. Therefore any incorrect information you give is likely to be spotted quickly, and can result in an insurer refusing you a quotation.

What is worse is that some insurance companies will accept a proposal form at face value, provide a quote and issue a policy.

They will then make background checks and if they find any anomalies they hit the insured person with either a straightforward cancellation or demand an additional premium. Even worse are those who wait until a claim is made and then wriggle out of payment on the grounds that incorrect information was given to them in the first place. If you are scrupulous in ensuring that everything you write on an insurance proposal form is 100% accurate, you have the best chance of avoiding these problems.



Book early

It has been suggested that some insurers charge slightly less to applicants who switch to them, and who book their policies well in advance of their renewal dates. This is probably because at this stage the potential customer has a lot of time to choose, and is therefore likely to continue shopping around. The best possible price might therefore be necessary to tempt these motorists to buy. On the contrary, those that leave it until the last minute have far less time available before they have to either choose a policy, or risk the problems of owning an uninsured car.

Ask for a discount

Are you happy with your current insurer? You may feel that their service is good, they are highly reputable and you have confidence that they will treat you fairly in the event of an accident. However, you may not be so happy with the renewal premium, so why not just ask them to reduce it? This is very easy to do, but it is surprising how few motorists take advantage of it.

Remember that it costs insurers a lot of money to attract customers. Many of them spend heavily on advertising and usually pay a commission to a broker or price comparison site owner for introducing you to them. They will not want to lose you if you have been a good customer, and sales staff at insurers will usually do their best to retain you.

So, ring or email their customer services department (telephoning is best if you are comfortable with it), explain that you really want to stay with such an excellent company as theirs, but you are tempted to search for a cheaper alternative. Ask if there is any way they can offer you a lower premium. I have done this myself, several times, obtaining a substantial offer of a discount on each occasion. The call should cost little or nothing, it won't take more than a few minutes and it might result in a decent price reduction so why not give it a try; the worst that can happen is a polite refusal.




Follow the above guidelines, and shop around carefully, and you will have a very good chance of finding the very cheapest insurance policies available. Need a quotation? Get one online at any time.

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