Ten things you need to know when buying car insurance

With motor insurance premiums on the rise, it has never been more important to make sure you’re getting the best value quote.

Here are our top 10 questions to ask to make sure you get the best deal.

1. What cover is included in the quote?

We always advise motorists to do their homework before signing on the bottom line, which means shopping around for the best deal.

When getting quotes from different motor providers, ensure you’re comparing like-with-like.

Have your renewal notice to hand so you can dissect the quotes and check the levels of cover. It’s important to be fully informed about the type of cover, or you could find yourself out of pocket in the event of a claim.

2. What optional extras are included in my price?

Only buy what you need. Remember, insurance companies are obliged to tell you about any optional extras or add-ons to your policy. If you don’t require these you have the right to decline.

Does your quote include bonus protection? If you feel this is something you don’t need, ask for the cover to be removed. After all, it may save you up to 10% on your motor insurance premium.

3. My partner has his/ her own vehicle — can I get a discount for this?

According to a CSO survey in 2011, about 42% of Irish households have two or more cars. A number of insurers provide a discount if your spouse or partner also has their own car.

Make sure you tell your insurance company if this is the case in your household to help you save on your premium. Adding a second family car to your policy will certainly help you save money on your motor insurance premium.

4. Would adding my spouse or partner to the policy reduce my price?

Some motorists are unaware that they could bag themselves a further discount by adding their spouse or partner to their motor insurance policy — just make sure they have a clean driving record before doing so.

Some insurance companies offer a discount of up to 20% just for adding your spouse or partner, so it is certainly worth inquiring.

5. Should I haggle?

Some people may associate haggling as a thing of the past or something you do in a market while on holiday.

However, there is nothing wrong with asking for a discount to ensure you get the most competitive deal. Don’t be afraid to inform them that you’ve shopped around.

Feel free to tell them the quotes you’ve obtained and ask them if they can offer a better deal.

6. Would increasing my excess give me a discount?

An excess is the amount of money you have to pay in the event of a claim.

Most insurance companies offer discounts if you agree to increase this amount. In theory this can seem like a tempting option as it may reduce your overall premium.

Bear in mind, though, that excesses can reach up to €500 per claim and more for inexperienced drivers, and selecting a voluntary excess will increase the amount you have to pay.

7. What are my payment options?

There are a couple of payment options that are available to you: an annual lump sum or monthly direct debit.

Paying by monthly direct debit is the most common option because it is a convenient way of spreading the total bill over a number of months.

However, some people are unaware that insurance companies can charge an additional fee of anything between 6% and 8%.

8. Are there any loyalty discounts?

A lot of us require more than one insurance product these days and most companies, including ourselves, offer multi-product discounts so don’t forget to ask what’s available. The AA offers all home insurance customers 5% off the cost of their motor insurance premiums.

9. How long is my quote guaranteed?

Quote guarantee periods can range from 1 to 30 days which is why it is important to ask the company when your quotation expires.

With the recent increase in the cost of motor premiums it may prompt you to jump at the opportunity of securing your bargain there and then.

10. Can I get a cheaper price online?

Plenty of motor insurance providers offer online discounts, nowadays.

It’s always worthwhile to surf the internet in search of a possible price reduction — The AA offers a €40 discount when you buy your car insurance online.

For more articles like this, see: www.TheAA.ie 


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