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What are the most expensive professions for car insurance?

Feb 9, 2021

If you had two identical twins who passed their driving tests on the same day and bought identical vehicles, why would one pay more for car insurance than the other? One possible reason is that they do jobs with a very different risk profile.

New drivers are often surprised to learn that their job could make a big difference to their insurance premiums. Let’s look at which professions can inflate your insurance costs, and what you can do to reduce your premiums, for example opting for insurance with a black box.

How do insurers calculate risk?

Insurers charge premiums based on risk. To build an individual risk profile of each driver, the insurer looks at pieces of information that indicate whether someone is more or less of a risk, based on statistics.

Some of the risk factors insurers look at are obvious. If you have a criminal record showing you committed driving offences in the past or have been involved in lots of insurance claims, this flags you up as a less careful driver and your insurance will cost more. If you live in an area with higher crime rates, this increases your risk profile, too.

Some factors insurers consider might surprise you. If you modify your car, for example by adding an expensive sound system, this can increase your premiums – your car could be more attractive to thieves. On the other hand, some modifications such as immobilisers could reduce your premiums by improving vehicle safety.

Getting married is another surprising premium reducer – you may find your premiums drop when you tie the knot, although this is not always the case if you are seen as risky in other ways.

You can’t help your age, but car insurance is more expensive, the younger you are. Insurance statistics show that young people are more likely to make claims on their insurance, so youth is seen as a risk factor.

You can’t help your age, but car insurance is more expensive, the younger you are.

A broken headlight with crumpled metal around it on a silver car that has crashed
Why do insurers want to know about your job?

Your job affects your car insurance premiums because a job says a lot about your lifestyle. Some roles such as being a driver or a musician involve a lot of travel, and higher mileage means higher risk. Other roles that don’t involve much travel are seen as low risk, and your premiums will be adjusted accordingly.

Insurers do not just decide on which professions are risky through personal opinion. Working out risk is based on analysis of statistical data that show common risk factors. By charging high-risk individuals more, insurers are able to charge low-risk drivers less.

If you are in a role that bumps your car insurance up, you do have options. For example, you might decide to go for a telematic or ‘black box’ insurance policy, which uses a smart device to discover your true risk level, rather than one based on statistics and averages. See below for more information on how telematics insurance could reduce what you pay.

The most expensive professions for car insurance

So which career will hit you hardest in the pocket?

Being a professional footballer might come with its own set of perks but cheap car insurance won’t be one of them. A top-flight footballer may be more likely to have a high salary, buy a more expensive car, and have a more luxurious lifestyle than other people, which comes with a higher level of risk.

Generally speaking, if your job role involves a lot of travel then you can expect to pay more for your insurance. For example, scrap dealers and delivery drivers cover long distances, perhaps visiting higher risk areas. Fairground or circus workers also tend to see higher car insurance premiums for this reason.

If you work in the hospitality trade – restaurants, bars, nightclubs, casinos – your job may involve working long, unsociable hours, which may see you driving home late at night when you’re tired. There will be access to alcohol in many of these settings, too, which can also increase the risk profile.

Security guards or those working at night usually see higher premiums, too – again, it’s the combination of tiredness and boredom that pushes up the likelihood of having an accident.

Youth is another major factor that pushes up insurance premiums. Being a university or school student increases your risk profile and makes insurance more expensive. Some of the jobs insurers see as high risk, such as being an apprentice, or working in fast food have a high proportion of young people.

Some other high risk roles are harder to understand – who knows why being a town clerk or a car washer is a high-risk profession?

Insurers do not just decide on which professions are risky through personal opinion. Working out risk is based on analysis of statistical data that show common risk factors.

A professional footballer taking a corner kick during a match
The cheapest professions for car insurance

Professions that involve a slightly slower pace of life come with lower insurance premiums, compared to fast-paced lifestyles such as that of a footballer.

Some roles might not be lower risk in themselves, but correlate with lifestyle choices that reduce risk. For example, take a profession that has relatively low pay but does not involve coming into contact with high-risk populations or going into risky areas.

A modest salary means someone is less likely to have a powerful, desirable car, and they might have a lower appetite for risk-taking overall. These low-risk professions such as therapists, librarians and archivists don’t tend to attract thrill-seeking types, after all.

Other professions that usually enjoy lower car insurance premiums include teachers, judges or jobs in the insurance profession itself. Police officers might also pay less for car insurance because they might have had additional driver training. Local government officials are also usually seen as a lower risk because it’s classed as a relatively low pressure role with regular working hours.

Clerical workers, PAs and medical secretaries are seen as relatively ‘safe’ professions in the eyes of insurers, too. These roles usually carry lower salaries. In turn, people are more likely to have lower value cars, which means they’re less likely to be stolen.

What can you do to reduce your insurance premiums if you are in a high-risk job?

If your job role is on the risky list, don’t despair. There are some steps you can take to reduce your risk profile and bring your premiums down. Let’s look at top tips for keeping your costs to a minimum.

Consider your job title carefully

It’s a very bad idea to lie to your insurance provider – you could be charged with fraud and your insurance policy could be invalidated, in a worst-case scenario. However, if your job role could truthfully be described in a few different ways, it is worth selecting a few different job titles to see if this impacts the quoted insurance price.

Add an extra driver

Insurers recalculate risk when another driver is added to a policy. If you are in a high-risk profession but have a partner or family member who is in a low-risk profession, it might be worth adding them to your insurance policy as a named driver. The pooled risk could result in a lower premium for you.

Other professions that usually enjoy lower car insurance premiums include teachers, judges or jobs in the insurance profession itself.

A man driving with a woman sitting in the passenger seat on her phone
Drive carefully

Making a claim on your insurance will push up premiums for several years. Aside from the life-changing impact that criminal charges could have, this could make insurance – especially young driver insurance – eye-wateringly expensive. Some insurers may even refuse to offer insurance at all.

Increase your vehicle security

Making your car more secure will give you a lower risk rating with your insurer. More modern cars tend to come with strong security features as standard, but for an older car, fitting an immobiliser, tracker or Thatcham-approved alarm may save you money.

Take the Pass Plus course

The Pass Plus course is a way to prove your driving skills. In return, insurers offer discounts on insurance premiums. It’s especially useful for younger drivers who would otherwise be paying steep young driver insurance premiums. The course must be taken within 12 months of passing your driving test. Check whether your insurer offers a discount before taking the course.

Opt for a less powerful car

Generally speaking, you will pay more for insurance if you drive a large car with a powerful engine. However, many car manufacturers are now reducing engine sizes to help meet carbon reduction targets. The best option is to buy a car that is the right size for your household and has an engine that is only as powerful as you need. An electric vehicle may also be a good option.

Buy fully-comp insurance

Comprehensive insurance provides more cover than third party, fire and theft policies – but it is often cheaper to buy. It might sound nonsensical, but remember that insurers make decisions based on hard statistical data. People who opt for the lowest level of insurance are also often people who take risks. Quotes for comprehensive insurance may be less despite offering more.

Pay in a lump sum

Spreading the cost of your insurance through the year might be unavoidable if you don’t have a stash of cash to spare. However, if you have the means to pay upfront then you could save money. You will usually be charged more to pay in instalments, partly because younger, riskier drivers are more likely to want to pay this way.

Making your car more secure will give you a lower risk rating with your insurer.

A person driving a car with two hands on the wheel with the sun shining through the windscreen
Don’t auto-renew your insurance

You pay more for convenience food – the same applies to insurance. If you sit back and let your insurance roll over, you can expect to pay more. Shopping around usually pays dividends, even if you end up negotiating with your current provider. Never renew at the last minute – you’ll be quoted lower prices around three weeks before your renewal date.

Pay the highest excess you can afford

Your insurance excess is the amount of a claim that you have to pay before your insurer steps in. The higher the excess, the lower the premium – because you are reducing the risk that the insurer has to pay out. Set the excess at an amount you could pay comfortably in the event of a claim, otherwise you may not be able to get your car back on the road if it is damaged.

Give a true picture of your annual mileage

It is best to know what your actual annual mileage is, rather than estimating it. Insurers charge more for drivers who are at either extreme of driving way over the annual average, or far beneath it. If you drive less than 5,000 miles per year, you could be charged extra. If you are in a high-mileage profession such as a taxi driver or delivery driver, you could also pay more. You should never misrepresent your annual mileage – if you are at either extreme, you might be better off getting specialist insurance or opting for black box insurance.

Store your car off the road

Keeping your car on the road overnight is another factor that increases your insurance premiums. If you are able to keep the vehicle on a private driveway or in a garage, this will save you money on insurance. Of course, it’s not always feasible to do this but it’s worth bearing in mind if you are looking to move to a new property.

If you are able to keep the vehicle on a private driveway or in a garage, this will save you money on insurance.

A brick garage in a field
Consider a telematics insurance policy

Insurance policies with a black box are a modern and highly effective way to reduce your insurance premiums, particularly if you’re a young driver or you have a powerful car. Rather than basing your risk profile on the typical driver with your characteristics, such as your job, location, age, car and so on, a telematics insurance policy uses a telematics device to collect data on your actual, real-life driving behaviour.

Smartdriverclub Insurance offers black box insurance using a Smartplug device that you fit into your car yourself. The small device monitors the way you drive, for example your speed, acceleration rate, and how often you drive at night. You can check out your own data using a smartphone app.

After one year, you will be quoted a new price for black box insurance renewal based on your driving over the last 12 months. For young drivers or those with powerful or highly desirable cars, this form of black box insurance can make a real difference to your bottom line.

Why not get in touch with Smartdriverclub today to find out more?