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High voluntary excess 'may not be wisest move'

April 04, 2012

Consumers should think twice before pushing up the voluntary excess on their insurance products.

Agreeing to pay a high voluntary excess can help to cut the cost of private medical insurance and other insurance products, but it is only advisable if the policyholder is sure they can afford this when they come to make a claim.

That is the latest advice from the Independent on Sunday's Chiara Cavaglieri, who revealed that adding a voluntary excess usually leads to cheaper premiums.

"So as long as you don't need to claim, you pay less for your insurance over the year," she explained.

However, Ms Cavaglieri pointed out that people need to be able to pay the agreed voluntary excess if disaster strikes.

A recent survey by InsureMyExcess.com revealed that one in three people who had recently claimed on their car, house, pet or private medical insurance had struggled to pay the excess.

The website's Matt Tumbridge told the Independent that it is "no surprise" that consumers are increasing their voluntary excess to save money on their premiums, but that it is "a time bomb waiting to explode for many households".

Other ways to bring down premiums on products such as health insurance include giving up smoking, as insurers view non-smokers as less of a risk since they tend to enjoy better health.

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