Cheaper Car Insurance
You SHOULD be enjoying very cheap motor insurance
If you're in your sixties or early 70s you can expect to enjoy the very cheapest car insurance, according to the Association of British Insurers
. Unfortunately a lot of us in this age range pay far more than we have to, because we were brought up in a different era than this one, and we are far too trusting.
How we used to buy car insurance
When most of us started to drive, getting insurance was a personal matter. We would visit a local broker, our bank manager or even our solicitor and have a chat about our requirements. These worthy people would get some quotes for us and then advise us on which companies we should deal with, and which of their policies we should buy. More often than not we would accept their advice; after all, we were dealing with professional people who knew us. They may even have been our friends. Each year we would get a reminder to renew these policies. Provided that we had had no claims or convictions during the previous year the premium wouldn't have risen too much so we just accepted it, and switched insurer only if our advisor thought it best to do so. The fact that these people were getting a (sometimes) hefty commission rarely entered our minds; or if it did so, we accepted it as the price of a personal service. Things have now changed, though!
How it is bought nowadays
Whilst a number of brokers still exist, most of them are finding business to be more difficult. Few of us can afford to talk to a solicitor and bank managers are a dying breed.
According to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) 84% of people who were looking to buy car insurance used a price comparison site in 2016. interestingly; 44% claimed that they didn't buy through the site, but used the comparisons to negotiate a better deal with their existing supplier! More motorists now refuse to accept what they are offered, and either look for a cheaper deal or ask their current insurers to offer a lower price. This has had a massive impact on the market. Premiums have been forced down and commissions slashed. Both brokers and the insurers have had to find ways of making more money. Unfortunately the over sixties have suffered as a result.
Why the over sixties pay too much
We have trusted our current insurers to play fair with us. Many have not done so, even (especially?) those who claim to cater exclusively for our age range. They have increased premiums year after year without telling us (something they have now had to be legally compelled to do), whilst offering bargain priced policies to new customers. This means that, in effect, loyal customers are subsidising those who shop around for the best prices.
How to (probably) get much cheaper car insurance
Follow the crowd. Compare prices on not one, but several different price comparison sites such as
. When you have some quotations you can accept one of them (provided of course that's it's from a trusted insurer) or you can ring your current supplier and ask them to match, or beat, the best quote.
Remember that insurance margins have been squeezed. One way the insurers use to make up the shortfall is by pushing 'optional extras' such as courtesy cars, legal representation, personal accident cover. You may want these, and may consider the extra cost to be reasonable, but too often they represent poor value for money so best be aware of this. You should also be aware of 'special offers' at a lower price; the following year, at your next renewal, they will be charged at full price. You won't necessarily be made aware of the increase in price, either, since the law on disclosure is vague on the subject of discounts.
In short, you need to stop believing that insurers are a form of charitable institute with your best interests as their main concern. They are not: they are businesses with an obligation to make as much money as possible for their shareholders. Treat them accordingly.
Yes, I've done it myself, and saved hundreds of pounds as a result. Perhaps you can, too.
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