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Why women can still get cheaper car insurance

The very cheapest car insurance can still be found by women who know how to look for it.

Thanks to the EU rules on pricing car insurance it is now illegal for insurers to base premiums on a driver's sex. It is not illegal, however, to base it on that motorist's occupation. So, the more women there are in a particular job, the lower a car insurance quote is likely to be. This is justifiable; people in occupations such as nursing, teaching, human resources etc have, statistically, lower risks of being involved in motor accidents than those in the building industry, heavy engineering, the military etc, whether they are male or female. There is an interesting article here from the Daily Telegraph on how insurers use job descriptions to provide cheaper car insurance for female drivers.

We cannot suggest that you claim to have an occupation that is different from your real one; giving any false information could lead to all kinds of problems including cancellation of your policy or a refusal to pay out on a claim. However, most of us have a job which could be described in several ways; picking the more feminine description may help.Check this Daily Telegraph article on how your job description can affect your car insurance quote.

Is insurance dearer for women now?

Not necessarily. It is a fallacy that in the past all women enjoyed cheaper car insurance anyway. It is certainly true that young women usually had cheaper quotes than young men but that was because younger males have, overall, a poor accident record. Between the ages of about 25 and 55 premiums tended to cost pretty much the same. Female motorists over 60, however, actually paid more on average than their male counterparts. Ladies in this age range are now, again on average, paying less than before.

Do women-only insurers provide a better deal?

Only very rarely. The fact that you are a woman is only one factor that an insurer considers when calculating your premium. Your postcode, for instance, can be far more relevant. So can the type of car you drive, where you park it during the day, and how safe it is likely to be overnight. Whether or not you have a part-time job, and what it is, will be taken into account, as well as whether or not you are in a stable relationship, and own your home. How much driving experience you have had, and any record you have of claims or accidents, will be very important. Your age can have a considerable bearing (see these figures at the Association of British Insurers). These and many other factors will affect your premium so an insurer that concentrates on one factor only - your sex - is very unlikely to find you the best policy.

Every insurer, however, looks at these issues in a different way. This is why it is important to get multiple quotations if you are looking for the best possible value for money.

Why leave your current insurance provider?

Women tend to stay with the same insurer year after year. Unfortunately some (most?) insurance companies take advantage of this by increasing premiums annually. Since very few of them tell you what the previous year's premium was, they usually get away with it. Conversely, a lot of companies will offer you a sizeable discount for switching to them. It can come as a great shock to see how much you could save by taking your business elsewhere (believe me, I've done it!) so using a reputable price comparison service can often lead to very considerable savings. Do bear in mind that any special offers from your new insurer will probably revert to their full price next year, but you can always go elsewhere again (perhaps, like me, even back to your old company; as a 'new customer' you may well qualify for a cut price offer!).

Beware the cheap car insurance company

Car insurers are there to make money and the cheapest company may well have hidden extras that they can hit you with. Penalties for not sending your proof of no-claims bonus quickly enough, high charges for changing any policy details and huge cancellation fees are just a few of the common tricks. You need to read through all the documentation carefully before committing yourself, and if the insurer is one you have not heard of it can pay to go to Google and type in the company name plus 'reviews'. Sometimes what you discover is not very nice. Can you contact them easily? Have they a good record of paying out on claims? Are they well established with many satisfied customers? Often it is better to deal with a well known company than a relatively unknown one with a slightly cheaper quote.

Use your female intuition

Possibly because women are usually better than men at balancing budgets we tend to be more careful about what we spend; looking not only for the lowest prices but the best quality and value for money, too. A few minutes spent on a good car insurance price comparison engine could offer you a lot more choices, and help to keep you ahead of the game.

A few more thoughts

Consider fitting a dashcam; you can buy them very cheaply from Amazon or Halfords. Again, I've done this myself. After a slight bump I presented the other driver with a copy of my video and he paid up out of his own pocket without any argument. They are cheap, insurers like them and they could save you a lot of money if you had a bump which was not your fault.

Think about whether or not you should claim for minor bumps. Strictly speaking you should inform your insurance company but, if you do, your premium is likely to rise next year, even if you were not at fault or didn't even make a claim.

Don't rely on the 'protected no claims bonus' lark. What they don't tell you is that although the NCB should stay the same after an accident, the basic premium itself will rise, perhaps substantially. The result; you'll still end up paying more.

Get a price comparison, look at the premiums and benefits and if a quote looks too cheap to be true, it probably is. Remember that a well known company has a lot more to lose by providing a shoddy service than one that you've never heard of.

Finally, don't forget that, as a woman, you deserve the very cheapest car insurance!

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