Your sensible brother may slag you about the money you splash on shoes, bling and weekends away. He may even say you’re high risk on the high street with your credit card. But when it comes to car insurance, you get away lightly. It’s young men who are classed in the higher risk categories, according to ...
actuarial tables used by insurance companies. And it’s not just young men who are deemed to be more likely to make claims due to accidents – your profession can also you put you in to a low or high risk category.
“We find many of the insurance companies won’t quote for mechanics,” says Kenneth Keary, a broker in Loughrea, Co Galway. And it’s not just mechanics who are faced with the challenge of getting car insurance at a reasonable rate, a host of other professions also have difficulties.
“Musicians may also find it hard to get a quote as they tend to be on the road a lot, driving at unsociable hours,” says Mr Keary. It doesn’t take a genius to work out why some jobs are seen to be high risk on the road. Chances are busy chefs or airline pilots will drive faster than clerical assistants, for example.
Finding affordable insurance
Like it or not there’s a perception about the driving patterns of certain professions. Of course there’s always an exception to the rule, but statistics are what the insurance companies gauge their rate by. The research skills of journalists need to be put in to action when finding affordable car insurance. We compared three 25-year-old women and one man in different jobs - each with one penalty point, the same car and an identical no claims bonus (NCB).
Although one claim was made four years ago, a five year NCB applies in this case, as bonus protection was built in to each policy. Driving a 2005 Toyota Corolla, with a history of one claim of €10,000 made in May 2005, the quote for the 25-year-old female journalist living in Cork was €617 with Axa. She would pay €661 per annum with the same company for insurance on her Corolla (valued at €8,000) if she was living in Dublin.
“People who move location should not forget to tell their broker as insurance costs vary, depending on what city you live in,” says Mr Keary. Using the price comparison software of www.keary.ie, the 25-year-old woman who works as an accountant or nurse pays far less. The cheapest price of €387 per annum, provided by Sertus, is for the accountant living in Galway, while the same insurance applicant would pay €447 per annum if living in the Dublin area.
“It’s easy to see why a nurse and an accountant will get a far more competitive quote than a journalist,” says Mr Keary. Journalists are known to rush while on the road and may also carry high-profile passengers.
Is that your real job?
So, are there times when consumers are tempted to say they work in another profession when seeking car insurance quotes? While reporters grumble that they are over-charged for car insurance, sub-editors are charged much more reasonable rates as they are office-bound. A journalist could save over €200 on car insurance by saying to his broker that he works in an office job.
Those in the industry are tight-lipped about whether or not applicants tell lies to get a cheaper quote. If you have told a lie when it comes to career, it could be considered fraudulent and put any claim you make in jeopardy. However, if you have made a subtle change to your job title to avail of a better quote, then it should not go against you.
Being a man always goes against you when seeking competitive prices for car insurance. But online insurers have driven down quotes, forcing brokers to offer better deals. In the example of the 25-year-old accountant driving a Corolla, the difference in the quote between a man or woman living in Galway is €171 per annum. This means that the man will pay 44pc more than his female counterpart. Not surprising really, given the number of claims processed which feature young male drivers at the wheel.
If living in Dublin, the same man will pay €267 euro more for car insurance than a woman, according to the quotes provided by Keary Insurances. The family run company, which has been in the business for 30 years, has built up sufficient turnover to attract the biggest names in the insurance business.
They do business with 12 different insurance companies, which are all linked to the Irish broker through an insurance quotation system called Open GI.
“We use an excellent software system which yields the most competitive rates for our customers,” says Mr Keary.
He confirms that competition is growing all the time from online insurers, but high street presence continues to draw loyal customers to the auctioneering and insurance company.