If you drive a vehicle in the UK, insurance is compulsory. The first crash course in car insurance will teach you that you will always find one insurance company that is prepared to undercut the next. But some companies have reduced the level of cover to cut their price. So you might just end up not being covered as well as you think.
Where to go?
While the old time insurance broker will research the market for you and offer personal service, they don’t come cheap. They will want their pound of meat for it.
Some online brokerages might do the trick. But keep in mind that they tend to work with their favourite insurers and that could limit your options.
You can go straight to an insurers. It’s easy and fast, but you might pay too much.
To solve all of this the new buzzword is “comparison websites”. Here you punch in your details and requirements and the site should tell you where to go. The benefit is that you get a wide range of options to choose from. But never forget to read the fine print.
What kind of vehicle insurance do you need?
You will be glad to hear there are only three: Third party; third party, fire and theft; and fully comprehensive.
While third party is cheap, it offers the minimum cover, which is liability for injuries to other people, including your passengers, damage to other peoples’ property, their passengers and damage caused by a caravan or trailer attached to your vehicle.
Third party, fire and theft provides the above cover, but includes damage caused to the vehicle by fire and the theft of the vehicle. Remember that if you are at fault in the event of an accident, repairs to your own vehicle are not covered.
Fully comprehensive covers accidents, pay out personal benefits after an accident, cover medical expenses and loss or damage to personal effects in the car.
How will they decide what my monthly payment must be?
There are many factors such as where you stay, your security measures such as alarms, the value and insurance category of the vehicle, your age and experience as a driver and even your occupation.
A big factor will be your claims history. The less you have claimed, the less you will pay.
Do I have to pay anything in case of an accident?
Yes. You will always pay an excess amount. It is an amount you pay before the insurer pays the rest. The higher your agreed excess, the lower your premium. The average is around £200.
Is it true that car insurance for women is cheaper?
Yes guys. Face it. It’s true. It’s generally accepted that women are less of a risk when it comes to insuring cars. Some insurance companies offer a cheaper car insurance policy for women drivers and there are even companies who specialise in insuring vehicles owned and driven by women.
What must I have before I apply?
Apart from the car, you need to know the make and model, have the registration number, your full post code, the number of years of no-claims, provide an address where the vehicle will be kept, the names and particulars of any other people who might use the vehicle, details about what the vehicle will be used for, annual mileage of the vehicle, details of previous claims or traffic convictions for at least the previous three years.
What to look out for?
Be honest. Don’t tell your insurer your car is kept in a garage to get a lower rate. If it’s stolen outside your home they will do an inspection. If there is no garage, your claim will be declined. The same goes for your no claims history. If you lie, you are bound to be found out.