Sainsbury’s research arm has recently suggested that failure to shop around for cheap car insurance and competitive premiums by car owners usually leads to them collectively spending more than £73 million extra per year, since they find themselves under-insured and need to overcompensate.
Over a period, an estimated 2.4 million drivers had to pay expenses for unforeseen circumstances such as child car seats and replacement keys. Other factors included were the need to have courtesy cars or transport after an accident – only because their policies did not provide any of the aforementioned in the cover.
The study by Sainsbury also revealed that, on an average, 61 per cent of the standard car insurance policies do not include courtesy cars in their cover.
Also, replacement of child car seats after an accident is also not included in about three quarters of car insurance policies. Sainsbury’s car insurance chief, Ben Tyte, said, “When choosing a car insurance provider, it is vital motorists compare policies on a like-for-like basis; looking at price alone could have disastrous consequences. Of course, getting the most competitive price is important we’d always urge motorists to shop around, but they need to make sure that this doesn’t result in a false economy.”
He continued, “Those who don’t compare quality of cover and instead opt for the cheapest policy may find that they don’t have many benefits on their cover. Worse still, they might only discover they’re not covered at the time of having a bump or losing their keys for example; it could make for a stressful and costly experience that could have been avoided.”
Another car insurance expert from a prominent research faculty concurred with Tyte’s views. He stated, on the condition of anonymity, “It is a fact that the cost of running a car is rising and people are looking for all sorts of ways to save money. When buying car insurance though, we very much agree with the comments from Ben, it really is vital to ensure you get the right cover for your needs and don’t just opt for the cheapest – the same goes for any insurance.”
Of course, there are certain measures one can take that will help saving a substantial amount of money on premiums through the year. For young people, some companies have tailor-made policies that offer reduced premiums if they qualify for certain safe driving discounts. Also, deciding beforehand on what exactly you want your cover to include also goes a long way in getting that cheap car insurance you’ve been looking for.
Finally, it’s always best to know exactly what your car insurance cover includes so that you’re not caught with your pants down in the event of an accident.