The importance of shopping around for car insurance - East Coast FM

Image The importance of shopping around for car insurance - East Coast FM

A recent survey has revealed that some insurance companies are charging older customers up to three times more when they renew their car insurance.

This isn't helped by the fact that older customers are more likely to remain loyal to their insurer despite this having an adverse impact on their renewal quote each year.

Our Head of Communications at bonkers.ie, Daragh Cassidy joined Declan Meehan on East Coast FM to discuss how to negotiate a better deal on your car insurance, as well as the importance of shopping around.

Here’s an outline of the main points discussed by Daragh in the interview.

The importance of shopping around

Car insurance is actually one of the products that we tend to be better at in terms of shopping around and looking for better value. Sometimes for mortgages or broadband, we’re not quite so good at shopping around. 

Often as we get older and when it comes to insurance, we’re sometimes a little bit more afraid to shop around. For example, with health insurance, we might be afraid that we’ll lose out on certain benefits. It’s the same for car insurance.

This is one of the reasons why older people in particular, in this case the over 70s, can often be targeted by insurance companies more. They know that the older clientele is not going to do their research as much. 

No matter what age you are and no matter what the product is, you should always shop around. 

Will people get the same cover if they switch?

One of the fears people have of shopping around is that they won’t get the same cover.

You see this a lot with health insurance when people think that they’re not going to be covered for any existing ailments that they have, and that’s wrong. Any pre-existing condition will still be covered. 

It’s no different with car insurance and people have this misplaced sense of loyalty as well when they’ve been with a car insurance company for a good few years. They may feel as if they owe the car insurance company something, which they don’t.

When it comes to making a claim it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been with a provider. Someone could claim after having an insurance policy for just one day, while someone else who has been with an insurance company for ten years could have their claim rejected. It’s all down to the terms and conditions. 

Never think that just because you’ve been with the same provider for several years, that you’re somehow going to be treated better or different because you won’t be.

Negotiating your quote

When you get your renewal letter, always use it as a starting point. It’s not the endpoint. Sometimes you mightn’t end up switching insurance providers and instead you can try to haggle or negotiate a better price with your insurance company. So always ring them first and see what can be done. Don’t be afraid to ask why your premium is going up.

Insurance hit a bit of a peak when we saw big increases from 2013 until 2018. However, in the past few years, the price of car insurance has come down slightly. So at the moment, nobody should be seeing big increases in the price of their premium, all other things being considered.

How to reduce your car insurance

There are a few other things that people can do to maybe reduce the price of their insurance. 

  • Try upping your excess - This is the amount you pay yourself in the event of any successful claim. Maybe upping your excess from €300 to €500 euro could knock a significant amount off your premium. 
  • Consider whether or not you need fully comprehensive insurance -  If you’re driving an old car that’s already had a good few knocks and scratches, maybe third party fire and theft insurance is enough for you.
  • Cut out optional extras - Cut out the likes of breakdown assistance or windscreen cover. These can all add up and if they aren’t important to you, cut them out and you should be able to save some.
  • Make yourself a safer bet - For example, with parking, insurance companies tend to prefer it if you have access to a driveway, a garage or a car park as it means your car is parked in a safer place. 

Compare insurance on bonkers.ie

What do you make of the recent survey results? Have you done anything to try to reduce your car insurance? We’d love to know!

At bonkers.ie you can quickly and easily compare quotes and benefits from Ireland’s main life insurance providers. Get started by using our free comparison service.

We’ve already listed a few ways that you can try to combat car insurance increases, but you can always read our blog on how to reduce your car insurance for more information.

It’s important to be informed when looking for car insurance, so we’ve compiled a list of 10 mistakes to avoid when buying car insurance.

If you have any questions or queries about car insurance, we’d be happy to help! You can contact us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.