Lots of us are worried about motor insurance costs - so what can we do?

Almost two in five of us say that motor insurance costs are a cause for concern.

Research published by Switcher.ie last week shows that the cost of motor insurance has overtaken rent, mortgage and energy bills as the number one cause for concern for Irish households.

This is probably unsurprising, as we’ve seen an almost 60% rise in the cost of motor insurance premia over the past 3 years, according to data from the Central Statistics Office.

But, if you do have a car, motor insurance is a legal requirement, so there’s no getting away from it. But there may be ways to cut the cost.

Paying in one lump sum and increasing your excess

Gary McClarty, the Managing Director of MCL Insurance, says that the insurance market can be tricky to navigate. However, he says that following a few simple tips can help you to reduce your premium.

He said: “How you pay can have a big impact on the cost of insurance. Policies can cost more when they’re paid for on a monthly basis. If drivers can afford to pay their cover in one lump sum they could save more in the long run.”

He added that paying a higher excess - which is the amount you contribute towards a claim - or adding another driver to the policy, could also reduce your premium.

Consider telematics

If you’ve never heard of telematics, you’re not alone - it basically means the sharing of information via a wireless network.

In terms of motor insurance, telematics helps insurers to understand a driver’s location and driving behaviour.

McClarty thinks drivers should consider this as an option, saying: “Technology is improving all the time and I would recommend drivers consider telematics.”

He added that some companies, like BoxyMo.ie, reward better driving behaviour, with “potential savings of up to 20 per cent on car insurance premiums”.

This makes telematics something that skilled, responsible drivers could really benefit from.

Shop around for the best motor insurance deal

As with utilities like broadband, TV and phone and gas and electricity, shopping around for a better deal is really important for motor insurance, too.

In relation to this, McClarty says: “Drivers should plan ahead and avoid leaving renewing their policy until the last minute. If you are not happy with the quote or service from your current insurer then it is always worth shopping around for a better deal.”

However, he also adds that staying with the same insurer for a number of years could reduce your premium with them. As such, “knowing your options and having time to consider them can help you make the best decision about your next insurance policy.”

MCL Insurance are operators of its4women.ie, BoxyMo.ie and 25plus.ie