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Car Insurance

Car Insurance

Who’s got insurance ? Who hasn’t ? What makes it so expensive ?  What is a black box ? and which is the cheapest car to insure ?  Never fear we are taking a look into the confusing world of car insurance to answer all these questions.

It has been reported recently in the news that car insurance is at a four year low ….hooray I hear you cry !  Average premiums are now under £600 this is the first time premiums have been this low since 2009, new drivers are winning for once with 17 year olds seeing a 39% drop in the price of their premiums.

Despite this good news for our bank balances it seems there may be a few of us who are not so impressed by our changing luck in the car insurance department.  Reports show half a million of us are driving around with no insurance ……… naughty ……. naughty……. between 2010 and 2013 473,564 drivers received penalty points for driving without insurance.  What compels people to do this ?  With a maximum fine of £5000 surely people would rather pay the insurance premium ?  It seems not, the average court fine in 2012 was well below the maximum penalty at just £322 when you compare that to premiums as high as £3500 per year for young or high risk drivers it may feel like the fine is a better  deal.   Is it worth saving some money and skipping the insurance ?  We don’t think so, untraced and uninsured drivers are responsible for approximately 130 deaths and 26,000 injuries every year.

The highest percentage who admit to driving without insurance are young drivers – 35% admit to driving without insurance.  Londoner’s appear to be the biggest dodgers of the insurance bill with 29% admitting driving without insurance.  What does this cost all of us law abiding citizens ?  Uninsured drivers are thought to cost the insurance industry a massive £400 million pounds every single year ……. A cost passed straight on to the motorist.

So will a black box help ?  Black box car insurance is becoming increasingly popular, where a small mobile phone sized box is attached under the steering wheel or onto the dashboard and uses GPS tracking to monitor speed, braking and even road positioning.  The idea being that safer drivers will be rewarded by lower premiums.  In reality it may not save you money and could even cost more as some insurers using black boxes were found to be fining motorists themselves for speeding, driving outside of curfews imposed by the policy and even for selling your vehicle.  On average drivers in their 20s who want a fully comprehensive policy wouldn’t even save £100 on their policy, but we do seem to be taken in by the technology as in 2009 100,000 policies were in use compared to 296,000 users today.

Check insurance groups before you buy a new car.  Car insurance groups run from 1 to 50, the smaller the number the smaller your insurance bill !  You may find some surprises with grouping, all the super cars you would expect in group 50 are there such as Ferrari and Lambourghini but also in the top group are the  BMW X5 4.4 and Lotus Evora 3.5.

Right at the other end of the scale is the super affordable Hyundai i10 insurance group 1 on all 1.0 litre models.  The Peugeot Bipper Tepee makes for great value in insurance group 2, Volkswagen offer a low insurance group 1 on some of the lower spec Volkswagen UP so there’s plenty of choice out there to get yourself great value car with great value insurance !   

Are we becoming a compensation nation ? With a 60% increase in personal injury claims since 2006 MP’s investigated whiplash claims last year and found 1,500 claims were made every day adding around £90 to the average premium and last year called for a crackdown in fraudulent claims.  As the fraudulent claims go down so should the price of our insurance policy !

More good news is the price may keep dropping for the honest drivers out there now the government have unveiled plans to put driving licence records online.  This means for the first time insurers will be able to check licences before selling a policy instead of adding to the price for all those dishonest drivers, saving us around £15 on out policy.

…..Just to warn you all …… apparently owning a meerkat cuddly toy does not automatically mean you have car insurance ……..click here for the full story !  

The comments above do not necessarily reflect Rivervale's views unless clearly stated.

Car related news
15 April 2014
Written by Rivervale
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