Providing inaccurate information when applying for car insurance can cost drivers hundreds of pounds, or even lead to an application being refused, so it’s worth taking the time to do it properly. Marmalade, the provider of cars and insurance for young drivers, provides top tips and tackles some common misconceptions.
1.Review the occupation options with care
While it is essential to be honest, review carefully the options available so that you select the occupation closest to your current circumstances. If you are not in work but are a housewife, student or undertake voluntary work, you need to make sure that this is what appears on the application.
Some jobs are seen as higher risk, such as a novelist – which may be why famous author Ian Rankin’s recent application for car insurance was refused. It’s important to accurately describe your role rather than place of employment. So, for example, if you are an administrator in an estate agency do not select estate agent as your job title. Additionally, many insurers will not cover professional or semi-professional sports people but if you are a sports coach for children or work in a leisure centre, that is ok.
2.Don’t underestimate – or overestimate – your annual mileage
A common misconception is that citing a lower mileage will deliver a better premium. This is not always the case, particularly with young drivers as those that drive fewer miles may be at higher risk of an accident. However, providing a much higher figure may also increase your premium so you need to consider carefully the number of miles that you will drive. If in doubt, give the customers services team a call to discuss your requirements in more detail.
3.Avoid old, powerful or modified cars
Newer vehicles tend to benefit from safety features that reduce the risk of accidents and are therefore cheaper to insure than older vehicles. While it is true that, in the case of an accident, it may cost next to nothing to replace an “old banger”, the claim may well involve a third party and it is the cost of the accident as a whole that the insurer looks at when assessing risk. It is also important to remember that drivers are often safer in newer cars, a factor that goes beyond cost.
It makes sense that the more expensive the car, the higher the premium. A large engine and any modifications such as tinted windows, alloy wheels and speakers in the boot can significantly increase your premium. Similarly, imported vehicles are also more difficult / expensive to insure so consider all cost implications carefully before making any such investment. Be sure to put as realistic a price as possible on your vehicle – you can look up the values at Parkers.
4.A parent as named driver can further reduce premiums
Adding one parent as a named driver is likely to reduce a young driver’s premium, as long as they don’t have any convictions, a lot of points on their licence or work in a high risk occupation. The cost doesn’t come down again with the addition of a second parent, so there is no real benefit in adding a second parent unless there is a need to.
5.Adopt black box technology
Telematics policies tend to be more competitive than non-telematics policies for young drivers. Using the most advanced black box technology available helps young drivers to maintain and develop the safe driving skills that make them a lower driving risk, therefore bringing down the cost of insurance premiums.
Crispin Moger, CEO at Marmalade said: “Not many people like completing application forms and will not always take the time to carefully consider all the options on offer, or may opt for choices that they think will result in a lower premium. This is particularly true of young drivers, who may not have had to complete forms of this nature in the past and are unaware of what is deemed to be higher risk. However, inaccurate information can lead to higher premiums or even rejection of applications, so it’s really important to get it right.
“We work hard to offer customers a fair price and always look at ways of providing young people with a safe and cost effective means of getting on the road. Many of our products are based on telematics, which enables us to keep premiums low as long as the drivers remain sensible on the road. We don’t believe in curfews or restricting freedom but we do speak to customers within 24 hours if they’ve had a bad journey. In this way we can ensure that they realise their mistakes and become a better driver, helping to look after both their safety and finances”.