When it comes to working out your annual car insurance premium, there are many factors that come into play. Your insurance provider will consider these factors in order to consider the risk involved with insuring your vehicle. Your age and number of years that you have held a license are obvious factors that need to be considered, however there are also some other factors that you may find surprising.
Statistically, living in a built-up area will increase your chance of an accident. This is due to sheer probability as there are far more vehicles on the road in built-up areas. If you live in an area that has a high crime rate, then the added risk will also be reflected in the cost of your premium as vandalism and theft may be more likely. The weather may also make a difference. If you live near a river that is prone to flooding, or on the coast, then your car is more likely to be damaged by flood water. Your insurance premium will increase to reflect this risk.
Where you Park
Even choosing to park your car in a garage could pose some risk to the insurance company, as there is a possibility that you could damage the car when entering or exiting the garage. Parking in a driveway will reduce the chances of your car being hit by someone else, however it still allows criminal access from the street. And parking in the street is probably the riskiest, so prepare to see this reflected in your premium.
There are some things that you van do to deter thieves. A light on a motion-sensor that overlooks the driveway, and a noisy gravel driveway surface are all great things for putting off thieves. Although neither of these will directly impact the price you pay to insure your car, they could prevent you from claiming in the future and therefore seeing a rise in your annual premium.
When it comes to work, occupations that are associated with higher stress levels are a higher risk. So while a senior position may indicate that you are responsible, it could also indicate that you’re more likely to be more of a hazard behind the wheel. You can also expect to pay more for your insurance if your job involves a lot of driving. This is simply because statistically salespeople or delivery drivers who spend more time on the roads are more likely to be involved in an accident. Therefore their premiums are often higher in order to cover the additional risk.
A basic principle for car insurers is that the more you drive your car, the more likely it is to be involved in an accident. However, some insurance companies have been known to charge drivers who drive fewer miles more than the average driver. Lower-mileage drivers could be viewed as being more accident prone or lacking in confidence. If you don’t know how many miles you drive each year, check the MOT history of your vehicle as your mileage will be shown on the certificate.
As new drivers are less experienced on the roads, they are statistically more likely to be involved in a car accident. Although drivers aged 17-19 in the UK only make up 1.5% of the driving population, they are involved in 9% of serious and fatal crashes.
Many car insurers also consider people at the other end of the spectrum to be higher risk. Drivers over the age of 75 may also notice an increase in their premiums, despite the fact that older drivers tend to drive less often and are more likely to avoid during busy periods such as rush hour.
Modifications to your vehicle – whether purely cosmetic or to enhance performance – can have a serious impact on the cost of your car insurance. Upgrading your sound system creates more potential for thieves, which increases your risk of making a claim and therefore increases your premium.
Not all modifications negatively affect the cost of your insurance. Immobilisers make your car more secure and less able to steal, and parking sensors reduce your chance of a prang when parking. So fitting any of these will likely reduce costs for you. Remember to inform your insurance of any modifications that you make to your vehicle, as this will avoid any difficulties when making a future claim.
If your spouse or partner intends to drive your car then it’s a good idea to add them to your policy as a named driver. When you do this, you are sharing the driving, which reduces the amount of time that any one driver spends behind the wheel, thus reducing the chance of an accident between each person. If your other half has a good no claims history, then you may find that your premium decreases.
It’s important to not add a more experienced driver as the main driver of a car if they are not going to be the person who drives it the most. This is known as fronting, which is illegal. Not only could this invalidate your insurance, but it could also see the more experienced driver getting being prosecuted.
Your Driving History
The claims that you’ve made over the past five years will heavily influence the cost of your premium. Most insurance providers will take up to five years of no-claims bonus into consideration when discounting your premium. If you’ve had any claims that were not your fault you should till declare them to your insurance company.
Your driving experience is the single biggest factor that will affect the premium you have to pay for your car insurance. Things such as speeding offences convey that you take less time assessing the road around you and are therefore more likely to be involved in a road accident. This will increase your premium. Some non-motoring offences can also affect the cost of your premium, and some offences may require you to seek specialist insurance cover.