2011 UK car insurance industry watch covers the most important news stories, trends, research, opinion and developments for 2011.

If you are actively searching for a new cheap UK car insurance quote, and looking to SAVE money on your next policy then click through to the HomeApproved home page and you will find the relevant get a quote buttons at the top of the page.

Silence is Golden After a Small Prang!
A quick, short post for July, but one which makes a lot of sense and could possibly save you a lot of money when your car insurance policy comes up for renewal.

Even after the smallest of prangs in your motor you might feel obliged to report the incident to your insurer. Lets say you damage your wheel on a pothole on British roads (not uncommon considering the state of British roads!). Their is a possibility that you could make an enquiry or claim against the local Council – through your insurer.

You could also state that you did not want the enquiry added to your record with the car insurance company. We would suggest however, that in most instances your enquiry about compensation ‘will be noted by your motor insurer’. This ultimately means that the incident will be logged on your records and will not be removed.

What are the consequences of this. Well, yes you’ve guessed it your renewal premium is likely to rise!

We suggest you never tell your insurance broker or insurer about minor damage that can be fixed for less then £500, because merely informing them will cost you considerably more in increased premiums and it will permanently go on your record. Also, you will not be able to change insurers without it counting against you. You have been warned!


Young Male Drivers Hit With £4,000 Car Insurance Bill!
Yes, an update on the spiralling cost of a new motor insurance policy for all male young drivers. This is a subject which has endured endless debate and complaints from young men up and down the UK. Just why are the premiums quoted for young drivers so expensive?

Well to clarify, the latest statistics for the cost of car insurance for young men has recently crashed through the £4,000 barrier! The average price (Yes AVERAGE – meaning there are some quotes much higher!!) of a year’s fully comprehensive cover for those aged 17 to 20 years is now a whopping £4,006.

The figures also suggest that young female drivers pay far lower premiums. The average for women in the same age group is just £2,151. However, as previously reported both here and on other car insurance websites legislation has stipulated that from the end of 2012 it will be illegal for insurers to discriminate upon grounds of gender.

Whilst it may be true that young men pose the greatest risk on the road, one has to ask the question – what is driving this fantastic rise in premiums over the last few years? Could it be that the insurance companies are profiteering on motor policies to subsidise other sectors of the insurance market? Or possibly the premiums are so high in order to cover the current spate of car insurance scams that exist?

The tide of complaints from young male drivers that rising premiums are driving them to drive uninsured does not bode well. Premiums rising far faster than the rate of inflation does not on the surface seem fair or justified. However, on the other hand The Association of Chief Police Officers has released figures that show that the under 25 age group has the biggest proportion of drink drivers on British roads… Food for thought!


Fuel Duty Cut For Remote Isles but Not Rural Britain
Before we inform our readers on the subject of this month’s news feature, we can provide an update on an article which we featured last month.

In February we asked the question ‘were lower premiums for women drivers in the UK a thing of the past?’ Well, we can now answer that question thanks to a ruling from the EU. This past week the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has effectively banned gender being used as a risk factor in all forms of insurance. What this actually means is that in all probability motor premiums for women drivers will rise from December 2012 by an average of 25% and correspondingly premiums for (young) male drivers will fall.

Moving onto the subject for this month we can report that motorists on Scottish islands and the Isles of Scilly are set for a 5p cut in fuel duty under new Government plans.

Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, is to ask the EU to give Britain permission to offer a discount to drivers who face higher pump prices than motorists on the mainland. Latest reports suggest that the price per litre of fuel in these remote isles is nearing £1.40 and could even climb to an astonishing £1.50 per litre!

Whilst this is a sensible idea from the coalition government it has raised the question from motoring organisations why other drivers in rural areas across the UK are not justified in asking for similar relief? Edmund King, President of The AA has said “We would like to see the Chancellor act to relieve the burden of spiralling fuel prices for all drivers across the UK”.

Ex Top Gear Presenter Quentin Wilson has chipped in “This doesn’t even scratch the surface of the fuel price crisis threatening to decimate the economy”. Since the announcement by Mr Alexander this debate looks set to grow and grow. We will endeavour to keep our readers up to speed.


Lower Your Premiums by Fitting a GPS Car Tracker to Your Vehicle
Without doubt all drivers should, to differing degrees be on a constant quest to drive down their car insurance premiums

Certain categories of drivers (17-25 year old’s) and vehicles (performance and sports cars) seem to be fairing particularly badly in respect of ever increasing rates for car insurance. A great way to lower your next motor insurance premium is to fit a GPS car tracker to your vehicle.

As car crime continues to rise across the UK it is important that you protect your vehicle in the event of theft and the inevitable consequences of not having your cherished vehicle. If your car is stolen despite having a sophisticated alarm anti-theft device fitted a GPS tracking device is your next line of defence against car thieves.

If your vehicle is stolen then every one of the 52 police forces in the country have the capabilities to lock on to your vehicle if it is fitted with a GPS enabled tracking device. Using Very High Frequency (VHF) radio technology the Police can monitor the location of your vehicle even if it is travelling i a storage container or being concealed inside the back of a lorry!

If your vehicle is illegally moved then the tracker system is activated and the owner of the vehicle is contacted to confirm whether the car has been stolen. Be mindful though as professional car thieves are getting clever! They now employ ‘jamming’ tactics to try and block the signal from the tracker. However, the best systems on the market can incorporate anti-jamming measures.

The most important consideration to bear in mind when you are purchasing a new tracker for your vehicle is – never compromise security for money. A tracker could be the most important investment you can make for your vehicle. And importantly you can be sure to pay a lower car insurance premiums if a device is professionally fitted to your vehicle!

TRACKER is the UK’s number one supplier of vehicle tracking services. The company is wholly owned by RBS Insurance, and has industry leading disaster recovery arrangements. TRACKER has a dedicated police liaison team, which includes former police officers who work with all of the UK’s police forces. Over 1,500 police vehicles and 30 helicopters across the UK have TRACKER detection systems fitted, with a commitment to increase that number.


Price Comparison for the Savvy Shopper
Obviously, we at Homeapproved have a goal of delivering quick, easy access to some of the best, cheapest car insurance deals on the internet.

By accessing a price comparison website you can ensure that your driver and vehicle profile can be best matched with the UK motor insurer who can offer a low price with a great level of cover and policy features.

This we know! It only brought the matter home to us recently when one of our members of staff required a new in-car charger for their Tom Tom Sat Nav. Comparing prices on different mediums and from alternative suppliers is now a must for all motorists – not only on price comparison websites for car insurance!

Here’s the low down then: Amazon UK could sell a suitable in-car charger – nothing fancy needed, just one that works and would last a reasonable length of time – for £2.30. Superb – that gave us a price indication.

It would of been really useful however if we could of got our hands on a new charger quickly i.e. the same day. To this end a visit was paid to the local branch of Halfords. Sitting down? Yes the cheapest in-car charger they could sell us was £16.99!

We looked with incredulity at the (very) young sales assistant and politely enquired ‘whether anybody actually pays this price’? – knowing what we know (see above). ‘Oh yes’ he replied!

We turned on our heels, swiftly left the store and logged on to buy one from Amazon. Job done. Yes for £16.99 we might of purchased a Garmin in-car charger – but we would also of been making a nice hefty contribution to the BIG overheads to be found within the Halfords business model. Not for us! We also considered suggesting to the polite Halfords shop assistant that he might want to start thinking about a career change – because there is no way his job will be in existence in five years time!

It’s 2011 guys and there are now no excuses to paying massively over-inflated prices for motoring kit and accessories through 20th century dinosaurs such as Halfords!


The Rising Cost of Motor Premiums For Senior Drivers
A lot has been made recently on the rising cost of car insurance premiums for young drivers – and with good reason!

However their is an increasingly large number of dissatisfied senior motorists who are finding their renewal premiums literally going through the roof! Even in instances where no claims discounts are maximised and no claim has been made in the year since the policy was last renewed.

Examples abound of car insurance quotes jumping significantly from 12 months ago. A specific instance was where a male driver aged 74 received his renewal quote for a comprehensive policy with a specialist older driver insurer such as Age UK. On receipt of their renewal terms it transpired that the premium had risen by 18%! No claims discount was in force and no claims had been made during the year.

Why the big rise? This is a question that many senior motorists are now asking themselves as their renewal car insurance quotes come through. In the instance of the case in the previous paragraph – yes you guessed it – said driver moved his insurance to Tesco!

Normally in situations like this we would often recommend additional reading on how to reduce your next premium, safer driving techniques, advanced driving courses etc.. However when you are not making any claims on your policy or creating any behaviour which would drive up your premiums – their is not much one can do to keep costs down.

Well, of course there is one thing you can do. SWITCH SENIOR CAR INSURANCE COMPANY!