Divorced drivers charged more for car insurance
Divorced drivers and people renting property are being taken for a ride by insurance firms.
A study by Which? found that quotes for car insurance are up to 4% cheaper if the driver own their own home and is married.
This is why it always pays to shop around on sites like A Spokesman said so you don't fall into the trap of paying needlessly pricey car insurance.
Insurance firms are using social media and other tools to find out huge volumes of information on every customer, and using it to their advantage.
The theory is, that divorced people and tenants are more likely to claim because they probably need the money - that's pretty rude. Heather Mills is divorced and she's loaded.
While some car insurers, for example, offer discounts of as much as 15 per cent for dashcam owners, only one of the four major comparison sites gave drivers the chance to specify whether they owned one or not.
Which? also found that while it is compulsory to declare all recent driving incidents, Confused.com and MoneySuperMarket don't let you specify which, if any, led to insurance claims, resulting in some insurers then making incorrect assumptions.
When Which? tested this scenario, two of the insurers quoted - Churchill and Hastings Direct - wrongly guessed a claim had been made adding £207 and £10 respectively to policy prices.
And both confirmed to Which? that this could, indeed, lead to a variation in a driver's premium quote.
Jenny Ross of Which? Money says drivers should feel confident and empowered using comparison websites, and not worried about whether they're getting the best deal.
“When it comes to buying car insurance, drivers should be more empowered than ever thanks to comparison sites, incentives, and introductory offers.
"So it’s concerning to find that drivers may be left out of pocket as a result of factors beyond their control," she said.
How to cut the cost of car insurance
IF you're looking to cut down your car insurance bill, follow our tips:
- Never accept a renewal quote
Your policy could double overnight if you're not careful. Make sure you put a reminder in your phone or diary of when it's up and shop around for a better deal.
- Buy 21 days in advance
Purchasing a policy three weeks in advance can cut your bill in half. Buy 30 days in advance it could cost you hundreds more because there aren't as many policies out there. Taking out a policy at the last minute and insurers will deem you a higher risk and whack up your premium.
- Use cashback sites
Quidco and Topcashback and often have deals for cashback if you click through to the comparison sites via their own links and then go on to take out a policy, so look here first. There are also cashback offers if you go direct to the insurers but it's much more important to get the best premium so don't be tempted by these unless you already know the insurer in question is offering the cheapest quotes for you.
- Check more than one comparison site
- For the best range of quotes, make sure you check MoneySupermarket, Confused, GoCompare and ComapreTheMarket or as many of these as you can.
- Don't forget the ones comparison sites miss
Two of the biggest insurers, Aviva and Direct Line aren't on comparison sites so you'll need to check them too to see if they can offer you a better deal. Again, click through to these from one of the cashback sites mentioned above.
- Pay annually
Monthly installments mean you can spread the cost of insurance, but they come at a cost. Pay in one go to save more. We found you can save as much as £440 a year by paying car insurance bills annually.
- Try tweaking your job title
Sometimes there is more than one way to accurately describe your job and trying different options can save you money. Never lie or use a misleading description, but GoComparefound one example where a "chef" saved £88 a year by describing himself as "kitchen staff" instead which is still accurate.
- Avoid the unnecessary extras
Typical car insurance can include legal assistance, courtesy car cover, personal accident cover, windscreen cover and protected no claims bonus. However, you are likely to pay up to £140 a year for these benefits, so decide what cover you really need rather than just accepting what an insurer adds on.
- Look at telematics policies if you're a younger driver
These insurance policies use a small box fitted in your vehicle or a mobile phone app to monitor how safely you drive, by checking your speed and how sharply you brake among other things. For young motorists who pay the highest premiums, this can mean a saving of £370 on a standard policy of £3,200, for a typical 18 year-old driver.
When did you last switch your car insurance provider?
Last year 65% of customers didn't switch their car insurance to try and get a better deal.