How to Cut the Cost of Car Insurance

Less desirable and low value cars are cheaper to insure

When I was 17 I wanted to own a Ferrari and live life in the fast lane. Even if I could have afforded the car, then I couldn’t have afforded the insurance to cover it. At 17 you are brand new to the world of driving and statistically you are more likely to make an insurance claim. Mixing high-powered cars with inexperienced drivers is not something car insurance companies are super-keen about, the chance of a claim shoots through the roof with the price of the premium following it. When you are young and inexperienced, buy a low-powered, low value car to try and keep your car insurance premium to a minimum. If it is worth less then it will cost less to fix/replace when in your youthful exuberance you crash it. The same logic actually applies to everyone, the lower the value of the vehicle and the lower the car insurance policy will be in most cases. Sports and premium cars will always cost more to repair in an accident so the insurance will reflect this. New cars now feature myriads of anti-theft and driver aids that in many cases will help to reduce the cost of insurance so keep an eye on the spec sheet when looking at a new car. A good rule of thumb is that less desirable and low value cars are cheaper to insure.

Age is a concern

I mentioned it above and it bears repeating. Generally the younger you are the higher your car insurance premium. This is down to inexperience and the youthful belief that bad things will never happen to you. The statistics say otherwise, which is often a shock to an unsuspecting young driver who ends up in a crash wondering how it happened to him…Driving experience and age are usually linked and that leads to a method of reducing your insurance premium – whatever age you are you will benefit from advanced driving courses and many car insurers offer discounts for these qualifications. It may only be a five – 10 per cent saving for the course but on a premium of £1000 it’s worth having the saving and it will remain with you for years, so it should be a good investment, not to mention make you a better driver.

Keep adding to the no-claims bonus

The more years you can accumulate without making a claim the better as most car insurers will offer a discount on your insurance for this. Effectively you are proving you are good business to have and because you haven’t made any claims then you are a good risk for them to underwrite. There’s nothing you can do here but keep your nose clean and don’t make a claim. If you own a low value vehicle and dent it parking, you’d be advised not to make a claim on comprehensive insurance because it would reduce your no-claims bonus, likely to be for a small amount of money and you may even end up paying for most of it depending on excess. In that case, provided you have not caused damage to any other vehicles or property, keep quiet, fix it yourself and your saving on no-claims bonus will be sweet the following year – in time, when you have built up three or more years no-claims bonus, you can actually protect your bonus, meaning even if you make a subsequent claim you will not lose your bonus.

Convictions aren’t cool

If you are an inner-city teenager then an ASBO may be a badge of honour. Insurers are less impressed by convictions though, so it is best to avoid them if you can. Minor speeding offences are certainly not in the same category as serial killer though, so if you have a couple of points it will not be the end of the world or have a major influence on your premium depending on the insurer.

If you’ve got a garage, use it

What are garages for? If you ask the average person they’ll probably say for storing all the kids’ toys, the home gym, bicycles, the freezer and tumble-dryer. I have news for you all; the garage is designed to house your vehicle when you are not using it. The fact that it puts a physical barrier between any opportunist thieves and your car is a real good thing and car insurance companies will recognise this and reduce your premium if you park in a garage overnight. Using your garage will save you money; it doesn’t get any easier than that.

Anti-theft devices

Most modern cars come with immobiliser and alarms factory fitted and if you notify your insurer it will check to make sure they are to approved standards and will apply discounts if applicable. You can get other devices that slosh around in the passenger footwell until you park and then fix to generally your steering wheel or gear-stick. These are mechanical devices and some do attract further discounts if used, just do your homework before buying. Thatcham is the organisation which grades security devices and generally a decent mechanical security device will feature its Thatcham approval very prominently along with any premium discounts you may expect, so choose carefully.

Use a reputable broker

Car insurance is very big business with around 30million+ vehicles on the UK roads, so there is a wealth of car insurance companies to choose from. Ironically, the big names you are familiar with are probably in your head because of massive marketing campaigns on television, on-line etc. Regardless of the message, those marketing campaigns need to be paid for and that means they may not actually have the best rates, although the sheer scale of some of these businesses means prices will be keen due to buying or underwriting power. The best advice is to compare a couple of different prices from different companies. Call the insurer and then call a comparable competitor and then perhaps a small car insurance broker. Each one will ask you if you have a price already and you should tell them what it is. Generally if they want the business they know what to beat. The moment you get a broker saying they can’t match the price then you are probably close to the best market price or else speaking with a broker that is not a specialist in the area.

A word of caution on price comparison sites

There are plenty of price comparison sites around which promise to drive the cost of your insurance policy down – Money Supermarket, Go Compare, Confused etc. They certainly do help reduce the cost of insurance as most of the major players are fighting for business on the same platform. Where these price comparison sites do not perform so well is actually advising you on the sort of policy that’s best for you or your car. Would comprehensive be cheaper and more suitable than third party fire and theft? The point is you cannot ask the price comparison site for any advice, that’s where car specialist brokers have the edge. Compare it to buying a new house, would you buy one without a survey? You might and then when it subsides into the sea you’ll be praying your insurance will cover it…the point is you shouldn’t buy insurance without talking with an expert either.

Pick up the phone

The internet is a great shopping and selling tool, you know my feelings on that from previous articles…but I suggest if you speak to a real person at a brokerage then you have a much better chance of getting cheaper car insurance. They can ask more questions, clarify your requirements and if needed they can even delegate the rate (set the price themselves) if they really want the business. There is no substitute for human contact, just make sure you speak to at least three different brokers to get a true comparison.

Got a nice postcode?

If you live in a postcode where there are few thefts and claims then your insurance premium will be lower than living somewhere that is a known crime hotspot. If you can afford it, move to a posh area and you’ll benefit from lower insurance premiums. Not the easiest way to save on the cost of insurance for sure…

Mileage and use

The more miles you drive the more chance you have of being involved in a claim. It’s simple statistics. The fewer miles covered, the less your insurance premium should cost. Don’t tell lies though, if you exceed the stated mileage by a distance then it could invalidate your insurance.

Married with kids?

Insurers like selling car insurance to married couples mortgaged and with kids and jobs. You are very easy to credit check and generally display responsible behaviour which hints at a lower risk for the insurer. That can reduce your car insurance quote.

Don’t modify your car

We all see the bling bling cars that haunt Supermarket car-parks late at night and whether you like the tacky neon colours and loud exhausts is neither here nor there – the fact is that any sort of modification is likely to hike your car insurance premium. Modifications can draw attention, invalidate warranties and in the case of loud exhausts, can also be illegal (if above the noise limit). If illegal, then it could invalidate your insurance as well. The fact is that car manufacturers spend a lot of time developing their products so they work well and if you modify them then it’s all out the window and your insurer will be scratching his head wondering what he should charge – and it will almost always be more than a standard vehicle.

How to Buy Classic Car Insurance

Collector Car Insurance and Classic Car Insurance

If you are fortunate enough to own a classic car – or any collectible automobile – then you want to ensure that your luck does not run out because of having inadequate insurance coverage. Call it covering your butt – or covering your “asset” – but by all means, call one of the major providers such as American Collectors, Haggerty, or Parish Heacock insurance companies and let them put you in the driver’s seat in terms of professional protection of your cherished automotive investment.

How to Kick the Tires on Classic Car Insurance

The whole idea of insurance is that it needs to do what you expect of it in an emergency, when the rubber really hits the road. And classic car insurance is as different from conventional auto insurance as, well, a classic car is from your run of the mill generic vehicle.

When you buy a classic car insurance policy, you are essentially purchasing protection for those times when – God forbid and knock on wood it doesn’t happen – disaster strikes in the form of a fire, a collision, or an act of theft or vandalism. Just as we now have modern airbags to save us in the event of a crash, we also have collector’s car insurance, to protect us with adequate moneybags when calamity throws a wrench in the works.

The time you invest in choosing the right classic car insurance coverage is well worth the value and peace of mind that a quality collector’s insurance policy delivers for owners of classic motor cars.

The Nuts and Bolts of Classic Car Insurance Coverage

Collector car insurance is not the same as the insurance you buy for normal coverage of your daily transportation. Collector car insurance, or classic car insurance, is made especially for the needs of the car collector. And while ordinary insurance does offer some protection, no matter what you drive, it can leave you high and dry in the event of a loss that it not effectively covered by the terms of the insurance contract.

For example, you may have a garage-kept Cadillac Sedan DeVille with swooping fins your grandparents bought for $7,000 brand new back in the 1960s. But dealers have offered you three times that much, and you saw another one sell at an auto show for $35,000. If you don’t have special collector car insurance or classic car insurance, and the car is totaled, you will be lucky to get $7,000 for it. With depreciation calculated in, the insurance statisticians may decide that it is worth only half that much, or less, and you could wind up with two or three grand in exchange for your dream machine.

Stipulations or requirements normally encountered while shopping for collector car insurance or classic car insurance:

  • A decent driving record.
  • At least 10 years driving experience
  • No teen drivers on the policy or drivers with poor driving records
  • Secure and out of the weather garage
  • Proof that you have another car for daily transportation
  • Collector vehicle insurance is sometimes limited by the age of your car, and if your car is too young it may not qualify for a particular policy.
  • Limited mileage. You probably don’t want to drive your creampuff car all the time, and your insurance company doesn’t want you to either. Mileage limits have increased recently, though, so if you can live with 250 miles a month you’re probably okay.

Coverage with collector car insurance or classic car insurance: Three kinds of value are important to understand when buying your policy. 1) Actual cash value: This is what you usually get with ordinary insurance, and is based on replacement cost minus depreciation.

2) Stated value:

The insurance company pays up to the stated value of the car, but may not guarantee the full stated value. And deductibles of up to $1,000 usually apply.

3) Agreed value:

In most jurisdictions, those who provide collector car insurance or classic car insurance are allowed to insure for a value that you and your insurer agree upon. And for most autos, there is no deductible. If your $100,000 vintage Rolls get trashed, you get a check for 100 grand, plain and simple – which is exactly why collectors use special classic car insurance coverage.

Do a periodic review of your coverage limits, because classic car prices are rising. What you insured your cherry classic for ten years ago may be a fraction of what it’s worth today. And if you are restoring a vehicle, ask your agent to give you appropriate insurance. There is no need to pay extra based on mileage statistics, if your car is up on blocks with no engine inside it. And as the car’s value increases thanks to your hard work of restoring it, you should raise the coverage to keep up with the added value of the restoration.

Keep all your receipts and paperwork – for everything from parts and labor to expenses incurred to take it to a classic car show – so that you can document the total investment your collector’s car represents. And take photos and keep them updated, for the same reason. And Last But Not Least: Special Savings Opportunities

As long as you meet the criteria in terms of how you use and take care of the car, you can usually buy a policy.

Traditional insurers will either refuse coverage, offer only a replacement value based on the nuts and bolts (minus heavy depreciation) of the car, or will charge you a prohibitive amount for the premium. But many collectors find that special collector’s coverage saves them money – as much as half – while insuring them for higher limits, sometime three or four times what a traditional company gave them.

Yes, it’s possible to get collector’s insurance coverage for full market value for your car, and save up to 50 percent off of the premium you’d pay with ordinary insurance. That makes classic car insurance a must-have for any serious car buff.

Below is information about three of the most reputable and dependable collectors and classic car insurance companies in the USA (All information listed below subject to change, please contact the insurance companies listed to be sure.):

Hagerty Insurance P.O. Box 1303 Traverse City, MI 49685-1303

Email: [email protected] Toll Free: 800-922-4050

Qualifications:

  • Similar to the others listed below, but please contact Haggerty for details.

American Collectors Insurance P.O. Box 8343 Cherry Hill, NJ 08002 Email: [email protected] Toll Free: (800) 360-2277 Qualifications (subject to change or regional laws so check with the company for specific up-to-date information).

  • At least 15 years old
  • Garage-kept
  • Driven on a limited, pleasure-only basis (up to 5,000 annual miles – available in most states)

You may also qualify by:

  • Having at least 10 years driving experience
  • Having a good driving record
  • Having at least one “regular” vehicle for every licensed driver in the household You may request a policy application either directly from American Collectors Insurance or through your local insurance agent (rates are the same either way).

Parish Heacock Classic Car Insurance P.O. Box 24807 Lakeland, FL 33802-4807 Email: [email protected] Toll free: (800) 678-5173 Qualifications (subject to change or regional laws so check with the company for specific up-to-date information).

  • Each household member of driving age must have at least 10 years driving experience or be excluded.
  • Each household member must have a regular use vehicle less than 15 years old that is insured with liability limits equal to or higher than the limits being applied for on the collectible vehicle.
  • All licensed members of household and any other drivers of the vehicle must be listed on the application.
  • Maximum of two accidents or violations in the household, maximum of one per licensed household member in past 3 years. No major violations permitted in past 5 years.
  • A Driver Health Questionnaire must be completed for all drivers over 70 years old.
  • Auto must be stored in a locked permanent garage facility when not driven.
  • Auto may not be used for commuting to or from work or school, used for business purposes or as a substitute for another auto.
  • Autos not covered while on a racetrack or when being used for: racing, speed, driver’s education, or timed events.
  • Must display pride of ownership: well maintained, in restored or well-preserved condition.
  • Vehicles under restoration must be stored at residence or a restoration shop, with a target date for completion. Agreed value coverage is not available on cars under restoration. Eligibility subject to company review.
  • Replica Vehicles and Pro Street vehicles are subject to company review.
  • Trucks and Jeeps must be over 25 years old, and not be used for towing, hauling, off-road or utility use.
  • Generally do not require appraisals, but may ask for one if vehicle value is difficult to determine.

Discover How You Can Get Cheap Car Insurance Rate And Minimize The Costs Of Your Car Insurance!

Getting cheap products and services are in everyone’s mind nowadays since everything seems to have higher prices now compared to decades ago. Car drivers are facing problems with the hiking prices of goods and services. Petrol prices are getting steeper and governments seems to impose higher road taxes nowadays. For a car driver, getting cheap car insurance is no longer an option but it is now a necessity. Having cheap auto insurance can help car drivers to reduce their costs of owning a car. Car drivers are encouraged to practice some steps in order to get lower rates.

Firstly, a research of insurance companies is very important to determine the cheapest auto insurance one can find. Online research is so far the easiest way to obtain a lot of quotes. Most insurance companies have their own websites to help potential customers get details and insurance quotes when they are looking for any type of insurance. There are also insurance comparison sites which car drivers can browse around to compare rates between several insurance companies. A research of insurance companies is very important as different insurance companies offer different rates.

Next, having secured cars also helps car drivers to be in a better position to get cheap car insurance. Secured cars are cars installed with adequate safety measures to avoid damages and thefts happening on the cars. When car drivers choose to fit in safety devices for their cars, this not only help to make their cars more protected from any sorts of mishaps, but also guarantee them a spot in getting cheap auto insurance. Car drivers should also get a safe parking space for their cars to minimize the risks of theft and accidents.

Besides that, car drivers with good driving history will have better chances to obtain a lower rates. Insurance companies will offer car drivers with lower risks driving profile lower rates as they are in lower risks to make claims from their respective companies. Therefore, car drivers should brush up their driving profiles in order to secure lower rates.

In addition, the type of cars owned by car drivers will also determine the rates. A car driver owning an expensive car will be guaranteed a higher rate. This is because the fees of repairing an expensive car tend to be very high when the car is damaged. The insurance company insuring the car also needs to pay big amount of money to the car owner when the expensive car is being stolen. Therefore, car drivers who want to get cheap car insurance should consider getting a sturdy and cheaper car which is less prone to accidents and thefts.

An excellent car insurance is a insurance which is able to provide adequate coverage for a car and its driver yet manage to help the insurance policy holder to minimize the costs.