When is the best time to renew car insurance?

Get prepared for your renewal and see how you can save


Does car insurance automatically renew?

You may not have put much thought into your car insurance renewal. After all, most car insurance policies automatically renew at the end of each year.

While this means one less thing to tick off your to-do list, it also means you may not be getting the right price or policy for your needs.

Remember that you don’t need to accept the quote your insurer offers. In fact, shopping around gives you the chance to find the same cover (or better) at a lower price.

What affects car insurance prices?

Insurance prices fluctuate all the time, meaning it’s hard to estimate what you could expect to pay when renewal season comes around. Market conditions have a big impact, meaning there’s often a rise and fall in pricing across multiple insurers.

Any changes to your personal circumstances can also affect your premium. For example, if you move your car from street parking to a garage, you’re reducing your risk and potentially your premium. The opposite applies if you go from a secure parking spot to somewhere you’re more at risk of break-ins, vandalism or theft.

Why has my car insurance gone up?

If you’re seeing a figure that’s more than you expected for the same car, you might be wondering what’s caused your premium increase.

When your renewal comes around, your insurer will review your circumstances and reassess the risk you pose. Anything that increases your risk will be factored into your renewal price.

For example, if you recently made an insurance claim, it indicates to your insurer that you might make one again in the future. Other factors that can bump up your premium include increasing your mileage, moving to an area with a higher crime rate and any negative changes to your driving record.

When is the best time to get car insurance?

Before you let your policy renew, you should set aside some time to search the market. Even if you’re happy with your current policy, it’s worth seeing what else is out there when the opportunity arises.

You’ll want to give yourself enough time to do this before your auto-renewal, as some insurers charge a cancellation fee if you decide to switch after your new policy starts.

You should receive a letter or email from your insurer around 21 to 30 days before your current policy ends. This will contain your prospective new policy details, including the new price.

While there’s nothing stopping you from shopping around before this, waiting until you receive your new price will give you a benchmark to compare.

How do I know which policy is right for me?

Your circumstances may have changed in the course of a year, meaning your current policy might not be fit for purpose.

If you’d like to get advice before you take out a new policy, it could be worth working with an insurance broker. At Wesleyan Financial Services, we offer an advice-based service. This means we’ll take the time to listen to your needs before reaching out to our panel of top car insurance providers.

We’ll consider your driving habits and your ideal cover level before presenting you with a range of car insurance quotes suited to you.

How to reduce car insurance costs

You don’t need to cut back on cover to save on your car insurance. With a little extra planning around your renewal period, you can get a policy that suits both your car and your wallet.

  • Increase your voluntary excess

    Your voluntary excess is how much you’re willing to pay when you make a claim. This is on top of your compulsory excess, a figure usually provided by your insurer.

    Increasing your voluntary excess is one to way to lower your annual premium. By how much will depend on your insurer, so it’s something to check when you’re considering a new policy.

    You’ll need to be prepared to pay your voluntary excess every time you make a claim, so you should only agree on an amount you can afford.

  • Look for loyalty discounts

    Some insurance providers and brokers offer loyalty discounts to their existing customers.

    At Wesleyan, we offer eligible members an exclusive discount on car insurance. And that’s not all, members also get 20% off an extended range of insurance products, including high-value car insurance.

  • Consider annual payments

    Whether you choose to pay your premium monthly or annually is more than just a matter of convenience. Annual payments tend to cost you less in the long run, as insurers often charge interest on monthly payments.

    Of course, how you choose to pay will depend on how much you can afford at the time of your renewal. If you have some time to save, you could consider building a cash pot to pay for your annual premium.

  • Build your no-claims discount

    If you already have car insurance, you’ll likely be familiar with the concept of a no-claims bonus. Every year you don’t make a claim on your insurance will build your no-claims bonus. Insurers will then reward you with discounts on your premiums.

    Setting aside some money to pay for minor damages and repairs will mean you’ll be less likely to make a claim on your insurance. However, there will likely be events where making a claim is unavoidable. For example, if your car is stolen or seriously damaged.

    Some policy providers let you add claims bonus protection to your insurance, meaning for an additional cost, you can keep your bonus if you need to make a claim.

  • Make some changes

    There are a number of changes you can make that might lower your premium, including reducing your mileage and improving your car’s security.

    Put simply, driving less lowers your risk of being in an accident. However, your insurer will consider other factors too, such as your age, where you live, your claims history and the type of car you drive.

    Your premium might also be reduced if you install additional security features, such as a tracker or immobiliser. This is because they lessen the risk of your car being stolen or vandalised.

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