Alfa Romeo Insurance Advice from The Alfa Workshop

Insuring your Alfa Romeo will always be a trial, especially if you are a young or convicted driver, the sporting pedigree counts against them in the eyes of any insurance company and they are expensive to repair. Insurance is basically a bet and the more likely you are to have a claim the higher the premium. The insurance company will take a number of factors into account when you ask them for a quote these are:

- Your age. If you are under 25 or over 75 your premiums will be higher you can mitigate this to some extent by being a named driver on another policy however you will not earn your own no claims bonus (though there are one or two exceptions, look for the ads).

- Your driving record. If you have convictions you will have your policy loaded against you, there is not a lot you can do about this one except being more careful. Consider an advanced driving course (eg IAM); better anticipation will help avoid accidents and speed cameras, and passing an advance test might qualify you for a direct discount but will help you build and protect your No Claims Discount. Also, remember that the NCB is not a no accident bonus; if you have a no-fault accident you may find you keep your NCB, but your underlying premiums still rise as you are now considered a greater risk.

- Where you live. If you live in a major city you will pay more than if you live in the middle of nowhere, you can help reduce the loading this brings by either parking off-road or in a garage but remember if you say your car is garaged overnight at home if it is left out and something happens it may well not be insured.

- Policy Excess. The more you are willing to pay the less risk the insurance company has, so the lower the premium.

- Marital Status. Your insurance company may well give you a discount if you insure your partner too, especially if they have a good driving record (as they consider the aggregate risk to be lower).

- Alarms. On older vehicles, an alarm that is approved may well help lower your premium, On Alfa's produced after 1997 tell the insurance company that your car has a factory fit immobiliser in the key and this will make a difference to your premium.

- Mileage. If you do less than 12,000 miles a year, tell your insurance company about it they may give a discount.

- Age of Car. The "Third Party" part of the insurance (ie unrelated to the value of the car) is usually a fair bit lower on older cars because the insurance companies claim experience tells them that older cars tend to do much lower mileages and hence make fewer claims.

- Shop around. Never renew with the same company, you'll always find cheaper cover elsewhere as your existing company relies on your apathy to maintain their margins (though go back to your original co. to see if they can beat the cheaper price). Use the insurance companies web sites to fine-tune the quote to get the best value (eg you might find that increasing the excess might not save you much at all).

- Your Job. Your employment can make a difference to your premium, and it is possible to fine-tune your job title and save a bit. For example, if you can legitimately call yourself a househusband as opposed to unemployed, you could save yourself around 10%.

- Talk to your neighbours. Someone of similar age and circumstance in the same area might have already done the donkey work.

- Don't wait for renewal time. If you find you're paying too much, you'll find most insurance companies will refund your remaining premiums (as long as you haven't made a claim).

- Never take out monthly installments. You are still committed to the same annual contract and are just taking out a loan at outrageous interest rates.

- Sex. Yes, even your sex could get you a discount. But don't restrict yourself to gender-specific companies, as they aren't necessarily the cheapest.

- Don't fit non standard accessories. as they will often be more vulnerable to theft and so put up your premium.

- Second car. If it is your second car tell the insurance company and see if they will give you a discount for both of them.

- Alfa Romeo Classics. There are two basic policies out there and you have to be careful which one you are getting. They are agreed value where the company will pay out a specific sum or market value where they pay the market value of the car which may be less than your car is worth and if your car is particularly rare this may not pay out enough for you to repair the car. Also, be sure that you know beforehand who gets the salvage in case of a total loss.

- Disclosure. Always be honest with your insurance company. No one does much checking when you take out a policy, but they certainly do in the event of a claim, and you might find yourself with a reduced payout or even no payout at all and prosecution for not having insurance to boot.

- Alfa Romeo Club members. Your car club may well have its own preferred insurance company which will often be cheaper than the rest of the market but you can sometimes even get a discount with normal insurance companies by being a member of a car club so always ask.

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