DRIVING without being insured is against the law around the UK roads regardless of what your needs.
And even though you aren't a first-time car buyer, insuring your vehicle can often be confusing, and frequently make you paying a lot more than you have to.
We have divided the various options that come with the insurance process to assist you to understand everything you need to know with regards to being covered when driving.
What are the basic requirements?
For all drivers, third-party insurance is the minimum level of cover you must have before getting on the road.
This happens because it covers the property of other road users, so that they aren't disadvantaged if you cause any sort of accident and can't purchase the harm.
If you are involved in an accident that is deemed to become your fault, third-party insurance covers the price of repairing another person's car, as well as any medical expenses they might incur.
This type of cover does NOT cover you or your own vehicle.
Do I want fire and theft cover?
Third-party, fire and theft insurance gives you a little more cover, but still isn't as safe as having comprehensive insurance.
Policies within this bracket will help you to make claims if you car is stolen, damaged in an attempted theft, or suffers fire damage, over the regular third-party claims.
If you aren't sure whether third-party or fire and theft cover is enough for the vehicle, consider its value and the potential cost involved in having it repaired or replaced.
Generally, if your motor is an older, inexpensive model that isn't likely to fetch more than around lb1,000 in resale, third-party is probably all the cover you'll need.
But if you own a newer, more costly type of car, paying for comprehensive insurance coverage is most likely likely to be cheaper than paying for new parts from your own pocket.
Why must i bother with comprehensive insurance?
Fully comp cover, or comprehensive car insurance, provides you with among the highest amounts of protection while out on the road.
While it covers you for any damage to other drivers and their property, fully comp insurance means you and your own car will always be protected.
Even if an accident is deemed to become your fault, if you have comprehensive cover, the insurer covers your hospital bills, in addition to repairs for your car.
A quirk of the industry also means fully comp policies are often cheaper than third party deals.
What about optional extras?
Despite claiming to become "fully comprehensive", that kind of insurance often doesn't include absolutely all you might be charged for in case of any sort of accident.
Depending in your insurer, you may need to add optional extras for your policy to pay for you completely.
The most common extras are:
- Courtesy car – some insurers may charge more to provide you with a car hire while your personal has been repaired.
- Breakdown – usually with a fee attached, some providers will throw it directly into sweeten the deal
- Legal expenses – legal expenses are hardly ever standard inclusions. They prevent you from paying a large amount if the accident finds you in court trying to recover repair costs.
- Personal injury – while comprehensive insurance already covers problems for yourself, it's limited to a specific amount. You can increase the expense you are covered for in the event of extensive medical bills.
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How do I get a no-claims bonus?
One way you can lessen the cost of your vehicle insurance premium is by using your no-claims bonus (NCB).
A NCB counts the number of years you've been an active driver, and haven't made a claim on your insurance policy.
Insurers uses this record to calculate a price reduction, or bonus, which is deducted from your premium.
A driver with a large NCB generally suggests they are a secure driver, which makes insurers more inclined to provide them a less expensive policy.
For new drivers, you'll have to develop your own NCB bonus by going several years continuously without creating a claim.
In some cases, insurers may offer a protected NCB, which allows drivers to make a certain quantity of claims without their discount being affected.
What factors can impact how much I pay?
Insurers have a number of different factors into consideration when calculating your policy.
Quite often, a couple of various age or gender attempting to insure the very same car will be given totally different prices in the same insurer.
This happens because there are factors apart from the car you drive that determine the amount an insurance company will need you to pay.
The most typical factors that may affect cost are:
- Age – This is usually based on accident statistics, with younger drivers deemed "riskier", seeing them pay more for their insurance.
- Location – Depending on where you reside, accidents may be more or less common in your town. Residing in a very populated region will probably boost your premium.
- Gender – Just like age, this is based on statistics. Men are involved in more accidents globally than women, making them more expensive to insure.
- Claims history – In the same manner a NCB can easily see your policy discounted, a person having a large number of claims might be charged more by their insurer.
- Previous convictions – If you have previously been found guilty of a driving offence, you are deemed much more of a danger to an insurer, and can need to pay out more to become covered.
- Predicted mileage – The greater time spent on the highway, the greater chance you have of being involved in an accident, meaning you'll pay more. Insurers may also bring your occupation into account whether it means you spend longer in your car.
Can I drive abroad with my policy?
If you wish to drive your car outside of the UK, you have to check your policy covers you for international driving before you go overseas.
In most cases, your insurer will extend your policy to pay for you in Europe should you aren't already, however this will generally just be the most basic third-party insurance, regardless of your policy type in the UK.
If your insurer won't extend your fully comp insurance policy for free, you are normally capable of paying for an optional extra which gives you cover in Europe.