Every motorist is different and hence there are various different car insurance policies to cater for their needs.
For example, a recently passed young driver which chooses to insure a third-hand vehicle will not wish to have the same cover as an experienced driver who drives a prestige car which they often take to Europe.
Given the number of car insurers and car insurance policies it can be confusing to work out which best meets your requirements. To help, we have listed some of the things to watch for below.
By UK law, all motorists must have a minimum level of third party cover to drive. The number of uninsured drivers in the UK is estimated to be around 1 million and the UK government is keen to crack that number down with continuous insurance enforcement.
The car insurance laws require all vehicles to have car insurance even if the vehicle is kept in the garage of a home. If you own a vehicle which you don’t use, then you call the DVLA to apply for a Statutory off Road Notification/ SORN which exempts the vehicle from obtaining car insurance as it is not being used on the road.
In some instances the police will seize and may be even destroy the vehicle.
Types of Car Insurance.
In fact there are 3 different types of motor insurance, as per the above, the minimum required one is the third party car insurance which insures a pay-out for the person making a claim against you. The insurance will compensate for any injuries to the person and damage caused to the vehicle.
For example, if you crash into your friend’s vehicle then third party will pay to have his vehicle repaired but this wouldn’t apply to the damage sustained on your own vehicle.
A higher level of cover from third party only is the third party, fire and theft cover. This not only covers the claimant’s vehicle but also covers your vehicle if it is stolen or damaged in a fire.
Finally, you have the comprehensive car insurance which is the most popular. It provides cover for you and the claimant. Also, it typically comes with extras such as inclusive legal expenses insurance.
The type of cover which is best suited is dependent on personal circumstances, such that if you have an old car which is not worth much then third party insurance may be adequate for your needs, but if you have a more valuable car then its best advised to get comprehensive car insurance cover.
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Often third party insurance cover is cheaper than comprehensive as it does provide less cover, but this is not always the case. Over recent years, there has been an increase in the number of young people taking out third party cover as they are the most eager to cut costs.
However the reason why premiums are higher for young drivers is because statistically they are most likely to be involved in an accident. Hence, driving the cost of third party cover up and hence, in some instances it’s cheaper to get comprehensive car insurance cover.
Given the higher costs, young drivers often add an older/experienced motorist to their insurance policy – typically a parent or guardian. This allows the costs to go down as the insurer expects the experienced driver to be using the vehicle in some cases and hence the risk of an accident has been reduced.
However, at this point it is important to note that fronting is illegal. Fronting occurs when young drivers add the older motorist as the main driver rather than just a named driver. If you are the main driver of the vehicle then it is important that you make this clear to the insurance company else your policy may be declared void when it comes to making a claim.
No Claims Discount
If you don’t claim from your insurance company, then you would be seen as a low risk motorist and hence rewarded with cheap insurance premium quotes. In some instances you can even get up to 80% discount on the quote if you have had 5 years of consecutive no claims.
Repairs such as on the windscreen usually don’t affect your no claims record and in some instances it might be worth paying for little damages to protect the no claims discount.
Moreover your no claims discount is transferable between insurance companies; however the level of discount will vary. To add, the no claims discount is only accrued by the main driver of the vehicle and not by any additional named drivers. In recent cases, some insurers do allow the named driver to obtain a no claims discount subject to them taking out the insurance policy as a main driver form the same insurance provider.
Other Ways of Reducing Premiums
Apart from the above, you should also look at the whole market to see the price levels offered by other car insurance companies in the market. Comparison services offered by Free Price Compare are free, independent and very easy to use, allowing you to make a decision quickly.
To add, the security of the vehicle is also a deciding factor in the final quote offered to you by the insurance companies, such that having your car in a private garage with a fitted immobiliser is much safer then it being parked on the road without an alarm.
Furthermore, there is a growing popularity in the number of motorists and insurance providers offering the so called “black box”, which is fitted into your vehicle to allow for tracking and monitoring of driving habits such as high speed driving and time of driving – drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident during the night then during day time hours. So if you don’t drive too frequently and only during day time hours, the box will effectively match your insurance risk and hence the premiums will drop.
Driving Outside the UK
Should you decide to take the car to Europe, it is important to check what kind of cover you will be provided with your current insurance provider. In most cases, the insurance company will automatically downgrade your cover to third party only or whichever the legal minimum is for the particular country.
However, in some cases, the insurance company will maintain the level of cover you have in the UK for a specified period of time whilst abroad. It is advisable that you check with the insurance company before embarking on your expedition.
Making a claim
In most cases, you will most likely make a claim on your car insurance and your insurance company should provide you guidance throughout the process. Hence, you should contact them first whilst the incident is still fresh and easy to recall. For the claim, you should also gather as much evidence as you can- such as photos of the incident. The insurance company will then send you a claims form which you fill out in as much detail as possible. The claims department will then review the case and if successful they will make the payment to you for the damage suffered.
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