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Buying Car Insurance For Your Vauxhall Zafira? Keep These Dos And Don’ts In Mind


Opel Zafira Tourer. Image Credit: www.eurocarblog.com

The insurance market is one of the most un-intuitive ones around. If you don’t actually read up about how the market operates, it can be impossible to fathom. This list of dos and don’ts tries to reduce the insurance market to a few simple rules.

The don’ts

Don’t modify your car

Even the slightest modification made to a car can disqualify it from accessing regular insurance rates. Most insurance companies put a vehicle in the “modified car” category for modifications as minor as new alloy wheels or aftermarket entertainment or navigation system. Modified cars attract insurance rates that are 25% higher than intact cars. For instance, an ordinary Vauxhall Zafira could attract no more than $1000 a year. With an aftermarket satellite navigation system installed, though, it could begin to attract a $1250 “modified car” premium.

Don’t fudge the facts

Insurance companies raise or lower their premium rates depending on the amount of driving that each insurance applicant expects to put in over a given year. A driver who expects to get a lot of driving done is seen as high-risk, since

fudging facts

Don’t try and lower your insurance by fudging the numbers. Image by juhansonin, on Flickr. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

his vehicle is exposed to the dangers of the road a large part of each day. Such drivers are quoted large premiums.

A driver who doesn’t drive much because he has retired from work, say, is seen as low risk. He is quoted a lower premium to reflect the fact that his car isn’t exposed to much danger.

When you apply, it can be tempting to understate the amount of driving you will put in, to help lower your insurance premium. This isn’t a good idea, though. If you ever file a claim, the investigating team from the insurance provider will take a look at how much your car has clocked. If the miles indicated on the odometer don’t match the kind of usage declared on the insurance form, you can quickly lose your insurance.

Don’t assume that you have the best deal until you check

If you have been renewing your car insurance policy through the auto-renew link on an email from the insurance company, you probably have one of the worst rates possible. Customer loyalty isn’t valued in the insurance business. You must never trust that you have the best deal without actually using several comparison websites to check.

Don’t assume that third-party insurance is the cheapest

Third-party insurance offers the least amount of coverage. For this reason, it could seem logical to believe that it is the cheapest, as well. In some cases, though, comprehensive insurance can work out to be cheaper. Some insurance companies figure that since only people in financial trouble buy third-party insurance, they are likely to be undisciplined on the road just as they are in their financial lives. They raise their prices for third-party insurance, then. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to check if you can get comprehensive insurance cheaper than third-party insurance.


Opel Zafira Tourer at the Frankfurt Motor Show IAA 2011. For use: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

The logic seen here isn’t as much of a stretch as it might appear at first. Insurance companies routinely raise or lower premiums based on applicants’ credit scores.

Don’t try a fronting stunt

If you are a high-risk driver because of your young age or your past motoring convictions, you can get better quotes by adding a person with a clean record to the insurance on your car. For instance, if you are a 20 year-old trying to buy car insurance for your Vauxhall Zafira, you may be quoted £3000 for your premium. When you add a parent’s name to your policy, though, your quote may come down to £1500.

When you have another person’s name on your insurance policy, the insurance company assumes that the other person will drive your car just as much as you. This lowers the level of risk attached to the car and lowers your premium, too. This is a legal move.

go Metro

The type of job you do may have an impact on your insurance rates. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro, used under a Creative Commons license

While it’s a good idea to add a name to your insurance, you must make sure that you don’t add the name as primary driver on your car. While such a fronting move may help you lower your insurance, you could be found out and be made to pay large penalties.

The dos

Do pick a large excess

When an insurance policy asks you if you would like to specify a voluntary excess, it can be easy to balk at the thought. It may not seem like the financially responsible thing to do, to make claiming on a policy difficult.

In truth, though, it’s a good idea to not claim on your policy as far as possible. Each time you put in a claim, you risk losing some of your no-claims discount. Your premium can rise as a result, too.

Do try a number of different job descriptions

Insurance companies have very intricately designed risk profiles. While there may not be much difference between a shop assistant and a sales assistant to the average person, insurance company actuarial tables see both job descriptions differently. Shop assistants pay 10% more than sales assistants for their car insurance.

If you are in sales, it wouldn’t matter which job title you picked – they would both be truthful. If you picked sales executive, though, you would save 10%.

Whatever profession you are in, it would be a good idea to experiment with different job title possibilities to see what gives you the lowest rate.

Shop around everywhere

It’s important to use insurance comparison websites to find the lowest rates. You need to remember, though, that these comparison websites don’t feature every insurer. Aviva and Directline, for instance, are not part of any comparison site. You need to go to those companies’ websites and check manually. They can have some of the cheapest rates.

Laura Ginn

Laura Ginn

Laura Ginn understands that one of the best ways to find a great deal on your car insurance it to compare prices online. Visit uSwitch.com and discover how easy it is to compare prices and save money. 

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