Some car insurance premiums make sense. For example, if you live somewhere with more car crime or have a more expensive cars, you pay more. But then there are things that companies use to set your car insurance premium that are a lot weirder.
That means they will up your premium based on age, sex, job, post code and where you park park as well as what you drive.
But insurance providers don’t have to have to have it all their own way. Here are six ways to get cheaper car insurance.
1. Use the right job title
If you describe yourself as a “chef” when filling in your car insurance application your average quote is £98 higher than if you write “kitchen staff” – and it’s not just cooks that have this problem.
“Music teachers” pay £86 more than “teachers”, “office managers” pay more than “office administrators”, and “construction workers” pay more than “builders” who – in turn – pay more than “bricklayers”.
Basically, if your job fits in more than one category, check car insurance quotes are for all of them before applying.
But be careful, while you can often legitimately choose more than one job, if you knowingly misrepresent yourself that could invalidate your cover.
And if you’re a full time parent or retired make absolutely sure you check that box and not “unemployed” – it could save you almost £300.
2. Add another more experienced driver to the policy
It’s a crime to say someone who isn’t the main driver of a car is, but adding a secondary driver is perfectly legal – and more than that, it can save you money.
Get their permission first, then add an experienced driver with a clean driving license and decent no-claims history to your insurance.
3. Never leave it till the last minute
Searching around and switching car insurance three weeks before your renewal date, rather than on the day, saves you an average of £280, – with even bigger savings available for younger drivers.
Oh, and make absolutely sure you do compare and switch – figures fromshow almost 6 million drivers just accept their auto-renewal quote – costing them £113 a year.
4. Get some cash back
Comparison sites make money because when you switch products with them they get a referral fee from the insurer. But if you’re clever, you can get that money yourself.
Once you’ve compared prices and found which deal is cheapest, head over to one of them and see if you can get an even better deal by switching through the cashback site.
5. Pay up front
Did you know that many insurers charge interest on your payments if you spread the cost over the year? Well, they do. an average of £62 more Moneysupermarket worked out.
So if at all possible, pay up front.
6. Cut your extras and boost your excess
What’s included in your car insurance quote? Breakdown cover? Windscreen cover? Theft from the car? Driving abroad? Personal accident cover? A courtesy car? Every extra adds to the premium.
More than that, a lot of them might already be covered by things like your travel insurance, AA membership, home insurance or even your bank account.
Largest Car Insurance Companies in the U.S.
With more than 18% of the market share, State Farm is the largest automobile and home insurer in the U.S. It has more than 18,000 agents spread across its nationwide network and an extensive menu of more than 100 services, so it’s easy to see why so many drivers turn to State Farm for their insurance needs. This carrier offers multiple discounts on auto insurance, including:
- Accident-free discounts
- Defensive driving course
- Drive Safe and Save
- Having a homeowners policy
During a 2016 State Farm review, J.D. Power ranked State Farm as above average in overall satisfaction. A.M. Best ranks it as superior in financial strength. On the downside, you have to go through a State Farm agent to get a policy, and the agents don’t offer any information about competitors who may provide policies with more favorable terms.
If you prefer managing your account online rather than in-person, Geico may be an excellent option for you. Geico offers some of the lowest prices on auto insurance in addition to simple online applications and account management tools. Some of the other features that make Geico stand out include optional coverage types such as mechanical breakdown, emergency roadside assistance and rental reimbursement.
During a 2016 Geico review, J.D. Power ranked Geico as average in overall satisfaction. Both A.M Best and Standard & Poor’s rate Geico highly for its financial strength.
Although Allstate’s prices are on the higher end, the insurance company offers a solid menu of discounts that help shave up to 30% off premiums, including a premier discount that rewards you for driving for three years without accidents or violations with a 22% discount. This carrier offers a large selection of services ranging from home and auto insurance to life insurance, annuities and mutual funds.
J.D. Power’s 2016 Allstate review gave the company an average rating in overall satisfaction. It also earns a superior rating from A.M Best based on its financial strength.
What sets Progressive apart from other insurers is its “Name Your Price” tool, which helps you find the policies that fit your budget. Progressive also has an online quote tool that gives you an estimate of the company’s rates along with the rates of some of its top competitors. With numerous integrated discounts, including multi-car and safe driver discounts, it’s easy to create a custom package with just the right amount of coverage and a premium that works for you.
In its 2016 Progressive review, J.D. Power ranked Progressive as average in overall satisfaction. A.M. Best gives Progressive an A+ for financial stability and strength.
USAA’s auto policies are created specifically for military families and include added features such as discounted long-term auto insurance. To be eligible, you need to qualify according to USAA’s criteria, which include being one of the following:
- Active Military: A member of the Air Force, Navy, Army, Coast Guard or Marines
- Former Military: An individual who separated or retired with an honorable discharge
- Family: Un-remarried former spouses, widows and widowers of USAA members or children whose parent(s) had or have USAA property or auto insurance
- Cadets and Midshipmen: Individuals enrolled at U.S. service academies, on ROTC scholarship or in advanced ROTC
In its USAA review, A.M. Best granted USAA an A++ for financial strength. This carrier also consistently earns high marks for customer satisfaction.
Farmers offers 85 years of experience to go beyond simple, bare-bones legal coverage. If you’re interested in additional features for your auto insurance policy, Farmers Insurance has some great options. Optional add-ons include accident forgiveness, small-claim forgiveness and new car replacement. Some of the discounts that it offers include the company’s affinity discounts, which are open to professionals such as teachers, accountants, architects, doctors, engineers, lawyers, pilots, firefighters, scientists and police officers.
In its 2016 Farmers review, J.D. Power ranked Farmers as average in overall customer satisfaction. A.M Best gives it an excellent rating based on the company’s financial strength.
Liberty Mutual includes some value-added extras in its auto policies, which makes this company a smart option if you’re looking for these benefits. Some of the added benefits of a Liberty Mutual auto insurance policy include accident forgiveness after spending five years violation- and accident-free, a lifetime repair guarantee and 24-hour roadside assistance.
A 2016 Liberty Mutual Review by J.D. Power ranked the company as average in overall customer satisfaction. A.M Best gives it an excellent rating based on the company’s financial strength.
Nationwide carries everything from auto and home insurance to pet and identify theft insurance and financial services, which makes this company ideal as a one-stop shop if you need several types of policies. Where Nationwide sets itself apart is with some of its add-ons, including the vanishing deductible that rewards you for every year you drive without an incident by reducing your deductible.
J.D. Power’s 2016 Nationwide review revealed average overall customer satisfaction. A.M. Best rates the insurer with an A+ for financial strength.
American Family is the ninth-largest auto insurance company in the United States, and it’s well regarded for its low prices and large menu of services. In addition to auto insurance, you can get homeowners, boat, condo, farm, business or ranch insurance along with financial products such as investments and retirement accounts.
In American Family reviews, both J.D. Power and Consumer Reports give American Family excellent ratings for claims satisfaction. A.M Best ranks the insurance carrier as having excellent financial strength.
Travelers is a big name in the insurance game, with a high profile and a history that dates back to 1864. In addition to being the 10th largest auto insurance provider in the country, Travelers is also the sixth largest homeowners insurance carrier. The company’s website is simple to use, and the insurer offers a variety of discounts. Travelers offers an in-person insurance experience and sells auto insurance coverage through a network of 13,000 agents located across the country.