After asking our amazing readers for their views on car insurance (thank you to anyone who filled in our survey!), the results are now in. Perhaps unsurprisingly, we found that the majority of respondents do their due diligence, with 52% taking more than an hour to research their new car insurance policy.
What may be surprising, given the cost of car insurance, is that 10% renewed their policy without spending any time looking around to see what else is out there. While this may save an hour or more of your life, it could see you end up paying more than necessary.
Given last year's FCA ruling that sees insurance providers now having to disclose their previous premium on renewal documentation, allowing customers to easily see how much their policy cost has gone up by, it makes sense that most customers are now doing extensive research. And yet, 38% still spent less than an hour hunting for a new deal.
Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, suggested: "It could well be that the amount of information consumers need to digest when searching for a car insurance policy is overwhelming, making some people give up quickly when trying to find the right deal. On the other hand, it could of course be the case that those who spend less time researching have a clearer idea of what they want than those who take an hour or more."
Regardless of how long they took, an overwhelming 63% used a comparison site to pick their new policy, with 22% of respondents relying on a trusted brand or the recommendation of a family member or friend. "Finding the right car insurance policy can be a bit bewildering, considering the number of available features and add-ons," said Rachel. "That is why recommendations from friends or family and even independent product ratings, such as our own Moneyfacts Star Ratings, can help highlight the best plans out there, to be considered in conjunction with cost."
As far as features and optional extras are concerned, additional findings show that the most popular extra by far is windscreen cover, with 76% including this in their plans. Meanwhile, Rachel stated: "Legal cover was picked by 63% of consumers, showing that most drivers also want to feel secure in the knowledge that should they be injured in a crash or have a less serious incident, their policy will cover the cost of pursuing legal action. This cover may also pay back any excess paid out on a plan if another driver was responsible for a crash, which could save a few hundred pounds."
In contrast, only 25% said they included breakdown cover, a surprisingly low amount considering how useful this can be. Of course, it might very well be that they simply take this out separately or get it as a current account extra.
Whatever you do, Rachel cautions that "consumers would be wise to ensure their cover is as comprehensive as they need it to be, and not be blinded by cost alone."