Avoid Car Insurance Pitfalls

Car Insurance is one of life’s necessary evils that unfortunately cannot be avoided. It is one of the only products we purchase with the hope of never actually using, yet are legally required to have.

To make matters worse, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) released figures that showed car insurance premiums were up by 38.3% in the year to July. The CSO figures showed that the average premium increased by 70% over the last three years.

Avoid Car Insurance Pitfalls

Measures have been approved to bring the cost of motor insurance down, partly caused by the spike in uninsured drivers and the number of fraudulent claims. The finer details of car insurance are not exactly everyone’s favourite bedtime reading, so online insurers its4women.ie have compiled their top tips to help you save money and avoid any pitfalls when purchasing your car insurance.

1. Shop around

Contacting several insurers and brokers is often a simple but effective way to reduce your premium, providing you are comparing like for like cover. Online companies like its4women.ie can pass on their lower operating costs to customers in the way of cheaper premiums.

2. Choose a reputable insurer

The Irish market has witnessed several high-profile companies exit the market over the past couple of years. Make sure and do your homework on your company. Its4women for instance has provided cover to over 100,000 customers over the past 10 years.

3. Do not lie on your application

It may be tempting to tell a “white” lie to get a lower premium, but lies can come back to haunt you. Make sure and disclose all facts however minor you may perceive them to be.

4. Pay in full

While spreading the cost of your car insurance might feel less painful than paying the full amount in one go, it could cost you more in the long run. Many insurance companies charge interest when customers choose to pay monthly. Some insurers may also use the payment method as an underwriting factor so if you can pay in full it may reduce your premium.

5. Consider a higher excess

The amount you pay towards your claims is called an excess. As a rule of thumb, the higher your excess, the lower your premium – as you are contributing more to any future claims. You can experiment on the its4woman.ie website to see how much difference an increased excess could make to your annual premium cost.

6. Go no-frills

Does your policy include legal expenses cover? Theft? Breakdown cover? Windscreen cover? A courtesy car? Think carefully before adding such extras onto your insurance policy, having too many unnecessary add-ons could significantly bump up the price of your premium. What’s more, a lot of these add-ons might already be covered on your travel, or home insurance or even your bank account.

7. Think about the level of cover you need

It is important to consider the value of your car, what you can afford to cover and what superficial damage you might be prepared to live with when choosing your level of cover. While you would expect comprehensive cover to be the most expensive, this is not always the case. According to the Association of British Insurers, on average comprehensive cover is less expensive than third party fire and theft – often chosen by young drivers more likely to make larger claims.

8. Telematics

Black box policies (also known as telematics) use a small device installed in your car to monitor usage and driving behaviour. Online insurers like Boxymo.ie use the black box to monitor speed, how aggressive you accelerate and brake and how cautiously you drive. Telematics are great for young drivers to save money on their car insurance by being rewarded for safe driving.

9. Buy online

Save time and hassle by managing your insurance online. Many sites allow you to purchase a new policy online but look for one that allows you to manage all your insurance requirements online. With its4women.ie customers can update their details, change their car, upload documents and view the status of their account via the "MyIts4women" Online Portal 365 days per year, 24 hours per day without having to speak to someone.

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