Don’t let your insurer take you for a ride

CAR INSURANCE NEWS ROUNDUP: 7 DAYS ENDING 4 SEPT 2013:

If you think you’re at the mercy of car insurance companies lately, you wouldn’t be wrong – but there are ways out of your insurer’s iron grip.

Some of the worst off of us have been younger Brits. It’s harder to find cheap car insurance for young drivers than it is to find an honest MP, but one young enterprising lad found a way around the problem facing an untold number of younger motorists today.

Originally 20 year old Matt Church, from Greater Manchester, couldn’t find reasonably-priced insurance cover to save his life. Insurers quoted him criminally high car insurance rates such as £11,000 for a year’s worth of cover, but he finally found a solution in a telematics-based pay as you go insurance policy.

Telematics is absolutely brilliant for younger drivers. For Matt, he paid an initial £1,000, but since telematics policies keep a close eye on your motoring activity, he soon found himself rewarded with discount car insurance as a reward for his careful and safe motoring habits.

Of course, you need to actually be a good driver before you take out a telematics policy – that little black box your insurer will have you bung under your bonnet will keep track of your poor driving as well. You could actually see your rates go up if you prove to be irresponsible behind the wheel!

Speaking of being irresponsible, did you know you can end up in hot water with your insurer by telling them the truth? It’s true – a new report this week revealed how ringing up your insurer to ask questions about the procedure would be to report or make a minor claim could see you penalised at renewal time.

Apparently insurers keep a record of any incidents you inform them of, even if you don’t make a claim against your policy. Worse yet, if you switch insurers this incident record will follow you to your new insurer, even if all that happened was someone left your car with a minor dent or someone nicked your satnav from your unlocked vehicle one evening.

The rationale behind the procedure is that car owners that suffer an incident have a higher likelihood of encountering another incident, regardless of whether or not you make a claim for these incidents. This lets insurers justify hiking your insurance, and while I would never in a million years justify lying to your insurer – that’s the best way to get your policy invalidated – you know maybe you shouldn’t tell your insurer every little thing that happens to your vehicle as long as it’s not serious?

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