How your occupation can affect your car insurance

4 min Read Published: 21 Nov 2011

When we complete a car insurance application form we never give much thought to our occupation, but the truth is what you put  in the occupation box could be adding to the overall cost of your premium.

So why do insurance companies increase premiums for certain occupations? 

There are number of reasons for this and the main ones are:

Moral Hazard

This relates to the attitude and conduct of people and how this affects their risk rating. Students tend to be rated higher along with Journalists where their lifestyle in or out of work could increase their chances of making a claim.

On the other hand police officers, solicitors and school teachers are often considered pillars of the community and therefore rated as a lower risk.

Risk of association

There are some occupations such as arts, entertainment and sport that could have the potential for higher claims due to the people with whom they associate, such as  high paid celebrities or sportsmen. Obviously a serious accident could end the career of a sportsman resulting in the high overall cost of such a claim.

Using the car for work

There are some occupations, such as tradesmen, where using your car for work could mean many miles per day as they travel from job to job. This would increase the risk of a claim and therefore increase the premium charged. Also many such occupations have the need to carry expensive tools or equipment that may be a temptation to a thief.

Working unsocial hours

If you work in an occupation where you do evening work, especially in the entertainment industry, then this could affect your premiums. Leaving your vehicle unoccupied during evening hours in vulnerable locations could increase the risk of theft or damage. Vehicles left close to public houses or nightclubs would be a good example.

Volunteer Work

Unbelievably volunteers who want to use their cars to help out their local communities may face higher premiums from some Insurers. Fortunately in August t this year 54 insurance brands, representing over 85% of the motor insurance market, made a commitment to not charge extra premiums to volunteer drivers. The commitment applies to private car insurance policies. Policyholders must be using their own vehicle and are allowed to accept expenses up to the HM Revenue and Customs mileage rates, currently 45p per mile, but will not be permitted to use their vehicle for hire or reward. If you are concerned that this could affect you check out ABI's list of Insurers and any conditions they may have around volunteer driving.

Is there anything I can do to keep my premiums down?

Well, obviously you can't lie about your occupation but you can make sure that you have not entered an occupation that is very broad in it's interpretation. The best way is to generate a few quotes online with variations on your occupation title, for instance the role of 'salesman' would suggest you do a lot of travelling, but you may be desk bound, a better title would be 'sales administrator' and this change may save you money.

If you can't find your exact occupation listed why not contact the insurance company, explain what you do, and obtain a more specific quote if you feel you are being charged to much.