Women's car insurance
Laws that came into force in December 2012 mean that women are now paying higher premiums for their car insurance.
Female motorists have traditionally enjoyed much lower car insurance premiums than their male counterparts, due to the fact they are statistically less likely to make a claim. But under a new EU Gender Directive, insurers are no longer able to use gender as a factor when pricing insurance.
Here, we've got advice on how women can reduce the cost of their car insurance cover.
How to keep your car insurance premiums down
There are plenty of things women motorists can do to reduce the cost of their insurance.
- Adapt your car choice
If you're buying a new car, bear in mind that the size of your engine can have a big impact on your insurance premium - just 0.2 litres more could cost you an extra £250. Trim levels have an influence, too, and a higher spec could bump you up a whole insurance group, even if you're not getting more power.
- Shop around
The most important is to make the time and shop around to compare prices, as there can be significant variations in the premiums different insurers will quote you.
You may find you can offset the increase caused by the gender legislation simply by switching insurer when your car insurance policy is up for renewal. The easiest way to do this is to use a comparison website.
- Get your mileage right
When getting insurance quotes, make sure you get your mileage right.
If you overestimate the number of miles you drive each year, you could end up paying more for your cover than you need to. Work out how many miles roughly you do a week and multiply this by 52 to give you a yearly total. The lower your mileage, the less your premiums will cost.
- Don't overvalue your car
If you say your car is worth more than it really is, your premium will be higher too. Check your car's true value on free valuation websites, such as Mumsnet Cars' used car valuations, or by checking the price of similar models on classified advertising websites.
- Increase your excess
Another way to lower your premium is to increase your excess, which is the portion of any insurance claim you must pay yourself.
But this should be done with a certain amount of caution as in some instances it can prove a false economy. If you need to make a claim you will have to pay the excess, so make sure it remains affordable.
It is also worth playing around with different excesses when you are getting your quote, as increasing the excess by £100 may not knock £100 off the premium, so you may decide to pay slightly more now to keep the cost down in the event of a claim.
- Improve your car security
You can also reduce insurance costs by taking steps to improve your security with insurer-approved security equipment, such as a steering wheel lock or an immobiliser. Keeping your car in a locked garage, if possible, is also likely to result in lower premiums.
Don't modify your car in any way, either. Boosting the value of your car by fitting alloy wheels or an expensive stereo can increase the chances of the car being stolen and in turn result in higher insurance premiums, so if you want cheap car insurance you should keep any changes to a minimum.
- Fit a black box
A telematics-based policy is worth considering as it might help reduce the cost of your insurance. Telematics doesn't always work out cheaper but those who tend to benefit most from this type of policy are drivers deemed to be high risk, such as newly qualified drivers, and those who have a low annual mileage.
A 'black box' data recorder is fitted in your car to monitor how you drive. It tracks things such as how smoothly you accelerate or brake, your mileage or what time of day the car is used. If it shows you are a safe driver, you may be rewarded with a discount on your premium.
Some policies work by giving you refunds throughout the year while others will simply reward you with a lower premium when you come to renew. You can monitor your ongoing performance with an app you can download to your smartphone or tablet.
- Club together
Some insurers offer multiple-car policies for households, which can mean good discounts. It doesn’t always prove to be a cheaper option, though, so weigh up the cost of having separate policies for each car in the household versus a multi-car policy.
- Pay your premium in full
Finally, if you can afford to, pay your premium in full upfront. If you opt to pay monthly it will cost you more, as the insurer will charge you interest which could bump up the total cost of the premium by as much as 20%.
The content on this page is supplied by MoneySupermarket.com