The first thing I look at when buying car insurance is the cost. A survey asked what the most important thing about insurance is and the results shocked me.
It’s been just over a year since we got rid of our car. When we started to cut back on our spending, the car was one of the first things to go. Although it was considered a must in our house, we felt that we could get by, by walking more, using public transport and making use of supermarket delivery services. All this time later and we have survived with no car, I’m slightly healthier and have saved a load of money.
What gets me about the car was how much it actually cost; the regular trips to the petrol station to top her up; putting money aside in the event the rattling turned into a major issue or the monthly insurance premiums just in case the worst happened. Even though we’re not paying out for it any more, it’s hard to work out how we used to afford it as we certainly don’t have any spare cash laying around to run the car.
The one things I felt I could really control about the spend on the car was the car insurance. I used to love it when the renewal letter hit my door mat as I got to spend a Saturday afternoon, trawling the internet, searching for the best deal I could get.
I’d spend ages whittling my search down, showing the results from lowest to highest cost, then amending the needs of the policy to remove the courtesy car or taking off windscreen cover, just to get the premiums to go down more. Once at a really cheap price, I’d then check the cover to see that I could claim if I needed and I knew I’d be getting an absolute bargain.
And that’s what I though everyone in the UK did when buying insurance but, I’ve just found out that I’m quite wrong.
For me, it’s all about the money – how much I’m going to have to part with on a monthly basis but, it looks like that’s not how many of you see it.
A recent survey released by Insurance Revolution has looked at what people look for when choosing a motor insurance policy and it’s not at all what I imagined.
Priorities for car insurance
Cashback or high street vouchers
The most important thing that people look for when buying car insurance is whether they get cashback or high street vouchers. Now I have to say that, after doing a search for the cheapest cover, I will take the top five cheapest and go and see if they have any cashback offers. I will check each of them and if a more expensive one has cashback, I will balance the cost to see if it works out cheaper overall. If it doesn’t then I stick with the cheapest.
What makes me wonder is why 46% of people have this as the most important thing? If there is a cheaper policy, why not buy that one and use the difference in any cost to spend on the high street, rather than looking for a policy that gives vouchers out?
UK based call centre
Anyway, second in the list of priorities is still not the cost! A huge 28.5% of people think that the company having a UK based call centre is their top priority. For me this doesn’t even rank on the list. Where in the world a call centre is doesn’t matter to me as I hope that I never need to make a claim or call the company in the first place. I’ve called so many call centres over the years and have received that about the same level of customer service from all of them so why would it matter where it is?
Third up is a courtesy car with 10.5%. Now, although I agree this would be good to have on the list, I’ve never bought a policy with this option – maybe I am a little too tight when it comes to motor insurance but, I hope that I’d never have to claim so why have an option that wouldn’t be needed?
Cost of the policy
Next, at long last, in fourth place, with only 9% of people thinking that the cost of the policy is the most important thing. With so many strained household budgets, it really does surprise me that the cost is so low down in the list. I did wonder if it has anything to do with the amount of money the household earns. I checked through the stats in more detail and found that for all the household brackets, the cost just not considered important at all. I really don’t know why this is, and can’t give any explanation to it. Maybe you have an idea?
Tailored to your needs
Last place with only 6% of people thinking it’s important is that the policy is tailored to your individual needs. Again, this really does surprise me as it’s number two in my list. By not having cover that’s suitable, it may be worthless having it as you may not be able to claim when you need to, or you may have cover that’s not relevant to you.
So, this bit of research has really opened my eyes up to how other people shop around for car insurance. I am still slightly in shock, wondering if I’ve been doing it wrong, or if I’m just extremely tight – maybe I’m just different.
But what about you, how would you rate it? Would you agree with me that the cost is the most important thing, or do high street vouchers get your first vote?
I’d be really interested to know.
Ricky Willis is the original Skint Dad. A money-making enthusiast, father, and husband to Naomi. He is always looking for unique ways to earn a little extra.