RAC Cars News


Could You Pay Less For Your Car Insurance?

By raccars Published

While the average driver has seen insurance costs go down over the past year, 2013 looks set to reverse that trend.

Some groups, such as young women drivers, have already seen a leap in their insurance premium due to last year's EU ruling, stating that insurers must charge the same rate regardless of gender. Immediately young, female drivers saw premiums go up by 27%. On the other hand, young men saw their costs fall by almost a quarter for the same reason. Realistically, young men and women tend to buy different cars and men experience more claims and convictions, meaning premiums will never equalise fully.

One factor pushing prices up is the extent of serious injury claims cases. Accident victims suffering brain damage or paralysis are receiving increasingly generous settlements of huge lump sums and long-term payments, meaning insurers have to re-insure to cover such costs.

Well-known options for reducing your premium include volunteering for a higher excess, limiting mileage, using a garage for storage, adding a spouse rather than the traditional named driver and combining your insurance with breakdown cover. However, there is a new and interesting tool available to help cut costs, that involves being rated for the way you drive.

A black box satellite tracker is fitted to your car, that records information about your driving style, such as rates of acceleration, braking and cornering pressures. Insurers collect this information and use it to judge who is driving sensibly, thus reducing premiums by up to 15%, usually applied after a trial monitoring period for the safest drivers. This telematics insurance is available with a number of the major providers, while others provide a smartphone app to perform the same service.

Further measures are in place that could help drivers cut premiums. From April, court fees for smaller personal injury cases will be adjusted and referral fees banned, thereby reducing the fees solicitors can charge and the legal costs of motor insurers in personal injury claims cases.

In addition, the government has agreed plans to reduce the number of bogus claims for whiplash, an area of concern, as about £90 of each insurance policy derives from these claims. Steps include independent medical certification and facilitating insurers to challenge the claims in court. It is hoped costs related to whiplash claims could be cut by up to a half, if the plans are successful.

This all makes 2013 an interesting year for the motor insurance industry, but in the meantime, consumers are best off shopping around and paying close attention to discount and incentives, to find the best deal.

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