Women lose insurance advantage
On December 21, 2012 Europe decreed UK insurance companies could no longer ‘discriminate’ again men by offering women a better insurance rate – even though we cost insurance companies less in claims. This seems ridiculous to me because car insurance is always based on personal details. Your premium can go up and down according to your age. Surely that’s age-ist? If you live in a ‘nice’ neighbourhood, you will pay less for your insurance than a poor soul, who lives in an area that suffers higher car crime.
This change wouldn’t be so bad if the companies intended to reduce the male premiums, or at least add the two together and split the difference. But no, premiums for men have gone down a tad, while young women have seen their premiums soar.
I feel so sorry for young people these days. House prices are impossible – and I wouldn’t have been able to insure and drive all my classic cars if I was starting out now.
So what can you do?
In a court room, you are innocent until proven guilty, but it’s the opposite for car insurance. You need to prove you are a good driver in order to reduce your premium.
A growing number of companies will offer a discount if you agree the have a 'spy in the cab' or 'black box'. This is closer to the telematics in an F1 car than the flight recorder in an aircraft. It records braking, acceleration and speed, and if the driver proves they drive carefully, their premium sinks further. In some deals you only have the box until you prove you are a good bet, with others, it's a keeper.
Drivelikeagirl offers a discount for 17 to 25-year-olds who accept a telematics box. You don't have to be a girl to drive like one, so this complies with the EU's judgment.
Car sales and leasing company Marmalade has a cunning plan (is there a joke about getting you out of a jam?). The company will sell or lease young people a new or newly new car with comprehensive insurance at a (more) affordable price.
They’ve negotiated good rates with a number of companies, but the driver must also agree to additional tuition and a ‘box' in the car.
I’d advise weighing up the reduced insurance premium (generally still four figures) with the price of the car and finance to make sure the deal is comparable to buying a car and shopping around for insurance, but lots of people have said good things about this scheme, have a look on www.youngmarmalade.co.uk
Ford has introduced MyKey technology to the new Fiesta. It was first introduced in the US in 2009 as a way of helping businesses manage their fleet drivers. In the Fiesta, MyKey enables parents to place restrictions on their children to promote safer driving. For example, they can limit the top speed, or prevent the driver deactivating driver assistance or safety technology. It can even stop them putting the stereo up to 11.
Ford reckons this is a good way of preventing the driver being pressured by friends to take risks – maybe that kid in Homeland should have had this in his SUV.
Coverbox gives the driver a free Tracker to prevent car theft, plus a personal Dashboard that holds all the driver's information such as miles driven, fuel economy and emissions, if you can show you're a sensible driver, the premium goes down. See www.coverbox.co.uk
The Co-op has a Smartbox, similar to Dashboard, see www.co-operativeinsurance.co.uk
Citroen equipped its C1 Connexion special edition with a telematics system as standard. Click here for news story.
17 to 40 and Endsleigh both offer an accelerator that allows you to build up a year's no-claims in six months.
Some companies offer reduced premiums to ‘older’ young people, for example www.onlyyoungdrivers.co.uk covers 18-24-year-olds, or www.4youngdrivers.co.uk specialises in young drivers of 19 with one year's no-claims
Other ways to reduce your premium:
Good luck, let me know how you get on!