There are lots of things that affect the price of your car insurance.
There’s the obvious stuff, like your age and the vehicle you drive. But then there’s the more surprising stuff. Like your job title.
Yes, even what you do for a living can make your car insurance cheaper or more expensive.
But being clever (without being dishonest) about how you describe your job could get you a cheaper policy.
Here’s how it works.
Occupation and car insurance: how it can change your price
Car insurance prices are based on data about how people drive.
If certain people tend to make more claims, people similar to them will also be charged more.
For example, if people who live in Leeds are more expensive to insure, having a Leeds address will bump up your price.
This kind of pricing is also common with different age groups. That’s why younger drivers infamously pay so much for insurance.
Your job title is another way for insurers to work out what kind of driver you’re going to be.
If the data says that chefs make more claims than primary school teachers, chefs will get more expensive premiums. The “cheapest” jobs for car insurance are the ones that cost the least to insure.
So it’s not about how much you drive for work, or whether you carry expensive equipment around with you. It’s about how people with the same job title as you tend to drive.
Picking the “best” job title to get cheaper car insurance
When you buy insurance, your insurer will have a list of job titles. You need to pick one from the list that matches what you do.
There’s usually more than one accurate option.
If you work as a chef, you could also be a “caterer”. If you work as a journalist, you could also call yourself a “writer”.
As long as the title you pick fits what you do, your insurance will be valid. So it’s worth comparing a few different options to see which gets you the lowest quote.
But don’t lie about your occupation
There’s a not-so-fine line between tweaking your job description to get cheaper insurance and lying.
If the job you choose when buying your insurance doesn’t match what you actually do, your insurance might not be valid.
That means if you do have an accident, your insurer won’t pay out.
It might also mean your policy gets “voided”. And this might make it harder (or more expensive) to get insurance in future.
So make sure the job title you put down reflects what you actually do for a living. Because a job can be “technically correct” but still misleading.
Let’s say you’re a window cleaner. You could technically describe yourself as a cleaner – you do clean things, after all – but it wouldn’t be an accurate way to describe your job.
Because, in practice, most people would agree that those jobs aren’t the same.
There’s no easy way to figure out whether the job you’ve chosen is “close enough”. You just have to use your judgement. And if you’re not sure, it’s best to check with your insurer.
Telling your insurer when you change jobs
If you’re promoted from Marketing Executive to Senior Marketing Executive, your insurance would probably still be valid if you didn’t tell your insurer about the change.
But if you’ve gone from being a Marketing Executive to a Software Engineer, you’d need to let them know.
If your job title changes, and you’re not sure if you need to tell your insurer, it’s best to play it safe and get in touch with them.
And even if you don’t let them know mid-policy, you should update your job title when you renew your insurance.
The problem with updating your job title is that many insurers charge an admin fee for updating your personal details. And a change of job title counts as a change to your personal details. The admin fees varies between insurers.
(We don’t think that’s fair. That’s why we’re building a monthly subscription car insurance with no admin fees for updating your personal details – including your job.)
Getting car insurance if you’re “unemployed”
People who don’t have a job tend to pay more for car insurance.
But not everyone who doesn’t have a job is technically “unemployed”. So make sure you pick the option that most accurately reflects your situation.
If you’re retired, for example, you could pay a lot less for your insurance.
Things are trickier if you’re between jobs.
Let’s say you recently quit your job, but you’ve already been offered another one. You’re starting in a couple of months. And before you start, you want to buy a car.
That means you need to sort out insurance.
In this case, it’s difficult to know what to put down as your occupation. Because even though you don’t have a job, you’re not really unemployed.
In this situation, it’s probably fine to use the job title you’ll have in your new job. Especially if you have a formal offer letter you can use as evidence.
But it’s worth checking with your insurer. Different companies have different attitudes to these things.
And if you’re on maternity or paternity leave, that doesn’t count as unemployment. You still have a job, you’re just on leave.
Gendered job titles shouldn’t change your quote
Since 2010, it’s been illegal for insurers to give different prices to men and women. That includes “gendered” job titles.
A “policewoman” shouldn’t be offered a lower quote than a “policeman” or “police officer”, for example.
But the “cheapest” job titles list is made up of jobs that are typically done by women. So by changing quotes based on job titles, insurers effectively end up charging men more than women for their insurance anyway.
If you work in an expensive industry, look at specialist brokers
Some industries are always pricey. Anything involving professional sports, for example, will bump up the price of your car insurance.
If you work in an expensive industry, it might be worth speaking to a specialist insurance broker. They’ll help you find a good deal.
Driving for work doesn’t (usually) affect the price of your car insurance
Driving for work doesn’t usually change the price of your car insurance.
That’s because most standard insurance policies don’t cover you for driving for work. They only cover you for commuting to and from the same place of work every day.
If you visit clients, or regularly do any other kinds of driving for work, you’ll probably need a separate policy.
These policies are called business use car insurance.