Sunday, November 25, 2007

Car Insurance: reducing the cost

Getting the correct car insurance without compromising on quality is important â€" if you do need to make a claim then you want to be able to rely on a reputable company, which will effectively deal with your stressful situation.

Many new cars already have an anti-theft device, but if your car is older or not fitted with one then it makes sense to purchase a device now and make a year-on-year saving on your car insurance. Also, such devices are designed to deter thieves so you will ensure that your car is a less likely target for theft or vandalism. Either an alarm or immobiliser that functions automatically or starts by the touch of a button will do the job.

To be even safer, try and make sure that your car is parked in a drive or a private car park. Better still, and if you can, lock it up in a garage. If your car is safely under lock and key at night you drastically reduce the chance of it being damaged and therefore increase your chance of getting cheaper car insurance. Cars that are parked outside on public roads are most at risk of being vandalised or stolen. It is frustratingly common to have your wing mirror knocked off, even if you do not claim for this; it is much more frustrating to watch from an upper window as thieves take your car for a joy ride and smash it up. However, insurers work on cold facts, not frustration. If a car is statistically more ‘at risk’ â€" particularly if your area has a high incidence of high-value crime â€" then your premium will reflect this.

Other ways to make sure that you get the correct car insurance include investigating multiple car discounts. You might get a better deal for insuring two cars than you might think â€" simply ask your insurer. Equally, if your insurer offers other policies you might wish to take a few if a discount (as well as a good service) is offered.

Another issue to think about is whether you really need to modify your car. Although ‘go faster’ additions may look and sound cool, they will probably increase the price of your car insurance. Be sure, too, to declare any aesthetic changes you might make as in the event of a claim, you might find your policy is invalid if you haven't made your insurance company aware of them.

Paul McIndoe is an online, freelance journalist and keen hillwalker. He lives in Edinburgh with his two dogs.

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