No Deposit Insurance - The Truth
I came late to the driving game, only passing my test in my late thirties, so I had no idea about what to expect from car insurance. While looking to buy my first car, I investigated car insurance providers with the idea of finding a good cheap quote, and quickly came across the information that I would probably need to pay the full premium, a year in advance, to activate my policy. This seemed unfair to me, and I'd read somewhere that I could pay monthly without putting down any deposit at all, so I investigated a bit more.
Most car insurance comparison sites seemed to have completely accepted that everyone paid in advance and all their information was geared around this. Some people I spoke to seemed to like the fact of paying upfront, citing that they would not have to worry about it for another year as being a good thing. However, I was still not entirely accepting of this, (the fact was I was short of money!) and continued to shop around.
I quickly found that I needed to actually own a vehicle in order to get a completely accurate quote, so I suspended my search for a short while, focussing on getting hold of a car.
Once I found a good car at a price I could manage, I paid the owner, and asked them for a few days grace while I organised car insurance. As time was now of the essence, I asked around and took just the top three insurers that were recommended to me: Direct Line, LV= and Admiral.
I input all my details into the three companies' webpages and waited for my quotations to come up. To be honest, all the prices were more than I had expected – although considerably less than they would have been had I been a teen or in my twenties – and there was not an awful lot of difference between them all.
So, I considered the features I wanted with my insurance: I was not going to travel an awful lot, just the commute to work and back, and an occasional cross-country trip for holidays and day trips. I tend not to speed, being something of a nervous driver, so I was happy to install whatever devices the company wanted me to put into the vehicle so they could keep tabs on me – and reduce my premium. And finally, I did not want to risk being without a car for any length of time, so a courtesy car was quite high on my list of priorities. I also wanted comprehensive coverage, that would ensure that I – and anyone else affected should I be at fault – would be completely covered by the insurer.
All three of the above insurance companies wanted a deposit of about twenty per cent, and when I phoned to query this, they explained it was standard and that I would find it very hard to be insured without being prepared to pay some kind of deposit. I was not very happy about this, but it does seem to have become an industry standard (probably related to the high instances of car insurance fraud that go on, people staging car accidents and so on, in order to profit from insurance claims) and I realised that I would have to simply pay up and bear it.
I eventually went with Direct Line's quotation. They didn't insist on me having a black box fitted, but I would have done if they'd asked. They were not the cheapest option, but the customer service advisor gave the best and fairest explanation of all the costs and what I would be covered for, as well as giving me some tips on how to potentially reduce my costs in future years.