Insurance Premium Excesses: Millions Of Brits Don’t Think About Impact Of Increasing Theirs Until They Make A Claim

02 October 2013

New research(1) from Sainsbury’s Bank reveals that over the last three years, 7.4 million Brits voluntarily increased the excess on a car or home insurance policy when purchasing the cover, in order to lower their premium. However, 21% of those subsequently involved in an incident hadn’t considered the implications in terms of the additional outlay, at the claim stage.

Most insurance policies will specify a standard excess which is the minimum amount to be paid in the event of a claim. It is now common place for insurers to also offer the option of adding a voluntary excess. This means new policyholders can choose to add an additional excess on top of their compulsory excess, increasing the amount that they will need to pay when making a claim. Opting to add a voluntary excess can have a favourable impact on the policy’s premium and can make a significant difference to monthly premium payments.

The supermarket bank’s research findings(1) reveal that, over the past three years, 15% of adults have voluntarily increased the excess on their car or home insurance policies in order to reduce the premium, increasing their excess by an average of £327.

Sainsbury’s Bank is encouraging motorists and homeowners to fully consider voluntary excess options as part of the whole picture. It’s a good idea to look into whether upping the excess will make a valuable enough saving on a premium and, if it does, is the motorist / homeowner comfortable with the additional outlay, should they need to make a claim on their insurance policy?

Ben Tyte, Head of Insurances at Sainsbury’s Bank, said: “Insurance is there to assist you when you need it most. If you’re thinking about selecting a higher excess to reduce your monthly premium, be sure that this won’t cause you any financial difficulty when it comes to making a claim. For example, if you later feel that you can’t justify a claim in relation to the excess, this could be an unnecessarily stressful and expensive experience. We’d encourage homeowners and motorists to think carefully about the excess they select on their policies, as well as ensuring they choose good quality cover.”
13% of car and home insurance policy holders who voluntarily increased the excess on their policies have suffered an accident or damage to their car or home that they could claim for under the terms of their policy. However, one in three of these people (35%) said it wasn’t worth making the claim as they had raised the excess too much.


Nearly four in 10 of those who suffered an incident (38%) made a claim but had to use their savings to cover the excess, 16% had to use their credit card to pay the excess and 16% had to borrow money from a friend or relative to do so.

Ben added
: “Those considering raising their excess should also consider other ways to reduce their insurance premium, for example, investing extra time in shopping around for the best cover at the most competitive price and looking for discounts and benefits.”
New Sainsbury’s car insurance customers could benefit from prices as little as £224(2) and Sainsbury’s customers with a Nectar card could also receive double Nectar points on their Sainsbury’s shopping and fuel for two years(3). Offer ends 9th September 2013.
New home insurance customers could benefit from a discount of up to 50%(4) if they have been claim free for five years and those customers with a Nectar card will also receive an additional discount of up to 15%(5) on their premium. Customers purchasing combined buildings and contents cover directly from Sainsbury’s Bank (over the phone or online) also receive 5,000 Nectar points.(6)

For further information on Sainsbury’s car insurance, call 0800 096 1836 and for more information on home insurance call 0800 260 0719. Alternatively, visit or pick up a leaflet instore.



For further information, please contact:

Ian Morris, Citigate Dewe Rogerson: 020 7282 1037
Lorna Gilmour, Sainsbury’s Bank: 0131 338 2863



Notes to editors:


(1)    Sainsbury’s Bank commissioned ICM to survey 2,000 GB adults. Respondents were interviewed by ICM in an online survey between 8th-10th March 2013. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.  ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.  Further information at

(2)    Prices for as little as £224: 10% of all new customers who bought Sainsbury’s car insurance from the 1st September 2012 – 28th February 2013 paid £224 or less. Source: U K Insurance Limited. The premium excludes Motor Legal Protection or interest payments if applicable.

(3)    Double Nectar: 1) Double Nectar offer available only to customers who take out a new Sainsbury’s comprehensive car insurance policy. 2) Customers must renew their policy at first renewal for double points to continue. 3) If the policy is cancelled, double points will cease from the cancellation date. 4) Only the first car insurance policy registered against each Nectar account will qualify for double points. 5) Base points on qualifying spend in Sainsbury’s will be collected as normal. A bonus equal to the total of these points each calendar month (subject to a monthly maximum of 2,500 points) will be credited to the Nectar account by the 10th of the following month, for up to 24 months from the policy cover start date. Excludes all Bonus point offers and points from Sainsbury’s Energy, Telecoms, Digital, Bank, Diets and all other Sainsbury’s services. 6) The monthly bonus will only be calculated on, and credited to, the Nectar card nominated at the time of application. The nominated card must also be used at the time of each Sainsbury’s purchase and points will not be allocated retrospectively. 7) The Nectar loyalty programme is operated independently of Sainsbury’s Bank by Aimia Coalition Loyalty UK Ltd; and the collection and use of points is governed by the Nectar Collector Rules, set out in the registration pack and available at 8) Sainsbury’s Bank reserves the right to alter, cancel or withdraw the offer without prior notice.

(4)   Up to 50% offer includes an up to 25% introductory discount applied to the annual home insurance premium and not to      additional extras.

(5)  Up to 15% based on your circumstances and loyalty information. Sainsbury’s customers will receive a discounted rate based on information related to transactions made in Sainsbury’s supermarkets using your Nectar card. At least 10% of Nectar customers who are Sainsbury’s shoppers will achieve the maximum discount of 15%.

(6)    The points will be issued a minimum of 60 days after policy start date, providing policy still live. Only one award of 5,000 Nectar points will be issued per household.


Sainsbury’s Bank:


To view our latest press releases and product information, please visit the Sainsbury’s Bank online media centre at


Sainsbury’s was the first major British supermarket to open a bank, commencing trading in February 1997. Benefiting from a fantastic, trusted brand that enables us to combine the shopping experience with personal finance, Sainsbury’s Bank provides a range of quality products including insurances, credit cards, savings and loans. Our proposition is to make shopping more rewarding by offering customers great products at fair prices, while consistently rewarding shoppers for their loyalty and being easy to do business with at all times. Our products consistently top best buy tables and regularly win awards for quality, price and service.


So far in 2013, the Bank has been awarded ‘Personal Loan Provider of the Year’ – Consumer Moneyfacts, ‘Best Loan Provider’ – Money Supermarket Supers and ‘Best Credit Card for Rewards’ – Moneynet.


Sainsbury’s Bank has its own banking licence, is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (register no. 184514), except for Credit Cards and Loans where it is licensed by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) license no. 421897. The Bank has an independent membership to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.


Direct Line Group plc

U K Insurance Limited is the underwriter of Sainsbury’s Bank car insurance and Sainsbury’s Bank home insurance and are part of the Direct Line Group PLC. Direct Line Group plc (Direct Line Group) is headquartered in Bromley; it has operations in the UK, Germany and Italy.


Through its number of well-known brands Direct Line Group offers a wide range of general insurance products to consumers. These brands include; Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. It also offers insurance services for third party brands through its Partnerships division. In the commercial sector, its NIG and Direct Line for Business operations provide insurance products for businesses via brokers or direct respectively.


In addition to insurance services, Direct Line Group continues to provide support and reassurance to millions of UK motorists through its Green Flag breakdown recovery service and Tracker stolen vehicle recovery and telematics business.


U K Insurance is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.