If you cannot get a better price when shopping around and you are struggling to afford your renewal premium with your current insurer, here are some steps you could take.
1. Get all the discounts you are entitled to
Some insurers offer multi-car discounts of as much as 25pc if a family has insured two or more cars with it. This discount does not usually kick in automatically – you need to ask your insurer if you’re eligible. You may also be entitled to a further discount if you have another insurance policy (such as home insurance) with the same insurer. Check too that you’re getting the full no-claims bonus discount that you qualify for.
2: Downgrade to third party, fire and theft cover
Many people choose comprehensive cover when buying car insurance. Opting for third party, fire and theft cover instead could save you several hundred euro a year – depending on your insurer and age.
A 20-year-old driver of a Chevrolet Kalos could save almost €800 – or about a quarter of their premium – by opting for third party, fire and theft cover instead of comprehensive, according to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission’s most recent car insurance survey. A 38-year-old dentist, however, could save as little as €32 – or 9pc – by downgrading, the same survey found.
You will lose valuable benefits if downgrading from comprehensive insurance, so only consider doing so if the savings will be substantial and you are happy with the drop in cover. Third party is the minimum cover you are required to have by law.
3: Give up the add-ons
You could knock €100 or more off the price of your car insurance by giving up a few of the typical add-ons in policies, such as windscreen cover, breakdown assistance or no-claims bonus protection (an insurance policy that ensures your premium won’t go up the following year should you make a claim). Be careful about giving benefits up, however, because add-ons could save you a few hundred euro if you ever need them. Windscreen cover might add as little as €17 to the cost of your policy – but it could cost a few hundred euro to get a new windscreen. Breakdown assistance cover might add about €40 to the cost of your policy but it could cost more than €100 to get a call-out and repair job should your car break down.
4: Pay a higher excess
Opting for a higher excess (the first part of a claim you pay yourself) could save you some money – but only consider a higher excess if the savings will be substantial. Doubling your excess from €250 to €500 might only save you €10 on your car insurance – and the higher excess would leave you substantially out of pocket should you then make a claim.
5: Pay up front
You could pay as much as 30pc more by paying your premium in monthly instalments instead of up front. Had I paid my premium in instalments instead of up front, my bill would have been €150 higher this year. Some insurers have a lighter loading of around 8pc for those who pay in instalments but you will still save money if you pay up front.