Don’t wait for a car insurance refund if you are struggling – switching could save you more

4 May, 2020

GoCompare is urging drivers who are concerned about paying their car insurance premiums to contact their insurer as soon as possible, rather than wait for a refund.

The comments follow Admiral’s decision to refund £25 to each of its car insurance customers, which has prompted speculation about what other insurers might do.  In GoCompare’s view, other insurers may not rush to offer refunds, but many are still able to offer practical help.

Lee Griffin, CEO and one of the founders of GoCompare, commented, “We welcome any insurer lowering the cost burden on households at this difficult time, and it’s great to see Admiral leading the way and offering its customers a £25 refund on their car insurance. We are in a period where most people are using their cars less and insurers will receive fewer claims as a result, so it will be interesting to see what other insurers are able to do to help their customers.

“But anyone who is struggling financially right now shouldn’t wait for their insurer to offer a refund. For example, many insurers are already helping customers with payment deferrals, enabling them to reduce their stated mileage to get a lower premium or to change to a third party, fire and theft cover, if it’s appropriate.  So, contact your insurer and ask what they can do to help.”

Lee continued, “The other important thing to check is your insurance renewal date. We expect some insurers will reduce their costs for new customers in the next few weeks as a result of the lockdown. If that is the case, there could be some very significant savings for customers who shop around and switch at renewal.

“People could save more £283 by switching their car insurance, which is more than ten times the amount being offered as a refund by Admiral.”

GoCompare has provided a five-point plan for anyone worried about paying for their car insurance:

  • Speak to your insurer as soon as possible and see if there is anything they can do to help in terms of reducing or deferring premiums.
  • Consider lowering your stated annual mileage to see if it reduces your premium. But check with your insurer that there will be no administrative charge for doing this and consider the cost implications for changing this back post-lockdown.
  • You could reduce your cover level from comprehensive to third party, fire, and theft to see if this lowers your premium. Remember though, if you lower your cover level and then incur accidental or malicious damage, you won’t be covered. Again, check with your insurer that there will be no administrative charge for doing this.
  • If you can keep your car off the road temporarily, then you could SORN the vehicle a this means you don’t have to insure or tax your vehicle. But beware, this would mean that you will have no insurance cover at all. You may still want cover for fire and theft (sometimes called a ‘laid-up’ policy).
  • Check when your insurance renewal date is. If it is due shortly, shop around to see if you can get the cover you need for a much cheaper price.