How to choose the best car insurance plan main image

How to choose the best car insurance plan

If you want to drive a car, you must have motor insurance – that is the law

Essential as your car insurance may be, unfortunately the cost continues to rise. In a story dated the 27th of January 2018, the Guardian newspaper reported figures compiled both by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the AA to show that the price of the average car insurance premium has reached an all-time high – having risen by some 9% in the past 12 months.

The cost of car insurance

According to a press release on the 27th of October 2017, the ABI calculates that the average price paid for comprehensive car insurance is currently £485 a year.

The index compiled by the AA, on the other hand, looks at the movement in the prices of quotes given for comprehensive motor insurance. According to the index, published on the 24th of January 2018, there was a slight fall in the final quarter of 2017, but the AA predicts that prices will rise again during 2018 and the average quote currently stands at £666.

Despite the increases, the ABI insists that most insurers are losing money on the motor policies they write – with the recent doubling (to 12%) of the Insurance Premium Tax, increases in the costs of car repairs and the high cost of settling whip-lash injury claims, all being to blame.

Shopping around and comparing prices

Clearly, there is quite a wide disparity between the price of quotes obtained by the AA and the ABI’s findings on the actual prices paid. Both figures are averages.

This helps to underline the importance of shopping around when it comes to motor insurance and comparing prices carefully.

Here at Over 50 Choices, we will suggest some of the ways you might reduce what you pay for your over 50 car insurance. Although there may be a number of options you might exercise to lower the costs, however, there are still some factors over which you have no control at all – and one of those is your age.

Over 50 car insurance

Just like any other kind of insurance, motor insurance is all about the risk – the risk of your being involved in a road traffic accident and the insurer having to pay out on the subsequent claims made by yourself and other road users.

The broad picture is currently quite encouraging. According to statistics released by the Department for Transport on the 8th of February 2018, the number of deaths from road traffic accidents remains more or less static. The overall rate of all injuries has actually fallen by some 5% in the past year. And this reduction has been achieved even though there has been a 1% increase in the number of cars on the roads.

Not only is there a statistically lower risk of being injured in a road traffic accident, but if you are an older driver, you are less likely to have been involved in an accident in the first place. Older drivers are safer drivers than most other age groups, concludes a study conducted by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

8% of all drivers are over the age of 70, for example, yet they are involved in only about 4% of all crashes resulting in injuries. The 15% of all drivers who are still in their 20s or younger, on the other hand, are involved in more than one in three (34%) injury crashes.

And that is good news for anyone looking for over 50 car insurance.

Choosing your motor insurance

Although you may be at something of an advantage over younger drivers when you are shopping around for car insurance for the over 50s, it is important to remember that not all over 50 car insurance is the same.

It is important to compare over 50s car insurance, not only to make sure that you are choosing the cover that is appropriate to your particular needs and circumstances, but also to secure a competitive quote for cover that represents good value for money.

Save money on the cost of your car insurance

Here are some of the factors you might want to keep in mind:

No claims discount

  • if you are searching for over 50 car insurance, you may be more likely than any younger driver to have accumulated several years of no claims discount on the premiums you pay;
  • if you have been claims-free for more than the past five years or so, that no claims discount may be worth as much as 60% off the price of your premiums;
  • so, it is essential that any existing no claims discount is recognised by your insurer;

Level of insurance

  • over 50s car insurance gives you just the same choice as any other motor insurance when it comes to the level of cover – third party only, third party, fire and theft or comprehensive;
  • you might be tempted to economise by choosing a lower level of cover, but remember that this is by no means always the cheapest level of insurance on offer – and may cost much more in the long run, if you are involved in an accident;

Elements of insurance

  • car insurance for the over 50s – just like other forms of motor insurance – typically comes as a package of different elements of cover;
  • some elements you may need, others you might do without – avoid paying a higher premium than is necessary by cutting out cover you are unlikely to need;

Choose your car

  • as you grow older, the car you drive is unlikely to be the same as the one you might have chosen when you were younger – your use of the car changes, along with your tastes and driving style;
  • if you no longer need a large car – still less a high-performance vehicle – you are likely to find cheaper over 50s car insurance;

Loyalty may be costing you

  • sadly, as we have reported recently, many insurers set little store in the loyalty of their customers – just because you have been with the same insurer for many years, does not mean you necessarily qualify for any loyalty bonus, quite the opposite;
  • when it comes to renewing your over 50 car insurance, therefore, make sure to review what is offered for the price you pay and be prepared to switch to a more suitable, more competitively priced, alternative.

Finally, remember that what is the best car insurance for you may be completely different to that of someone else. The best car insurance plan is the one that suits your own particular, individual needs and circumstances and is likely to be found only after a careful comparison of the wide range of policies currently available for the over 50s.

Further reading: Over50choices car insurance guide.

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