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Insuring your car during tough economic times

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Motorists are being warned not to increase their motor insurance policy voluntary excess to unaffordable levels. High voluntary excess levels have left some policy holders unable to pay car repair bills due to having a voluntary excess on their policy which they simply cannot afford to pay in the event of their vehicle being involved in a collision.

The tactic of increasing the voluntary excess leapt 61% in 2011 in a bid to reduce ever-increasing car insurance premiums, with average excess levels up 10% in the last 2 years. However research shows that 29% of motorists do not have enough spare money saved to cover the cost of their excess, meaning their cars go unrepaired after an accident.

The study by moneysupermarket.com revealed that choosing a £500 excess can shave off £190 from the cost of an average insurance premium, cutting it from £653 to £463.

However a £200 excess on the same premium costs just £496, putting drivers who choose the £500 excess option out of pocket should they need to claim.

In difficult times when spare money is tight, there are some ways in which to keep motor insurance costs to a minimum without increasing your voluntary excess, such as keeping your vehicle in a locked garage overnight (this may involve de-cluttering your garage to actually make way for the car but it may be worthwhile in order to save pounds), fitting an approved alarm and immobiliser and a tracker if your car is an expensive model, checking your annual mileage to make sure you are not paying extra insurance costs for miles you are not covering, and minimising optional extras on your insurance cover (but obviously ensuring you have adequate cover for your needs).

By road traffic accident expert, Rebecca Dawber