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Why do you need car insurance?
Car insurance is required by law for anyone driving a car on a public highway. The Road Traffic Act 1988 means that all motorists must have a minimum level of cover in place. This is to protect anyone who might be hurt as a result of an accident you are involved in.
So, whether you are a learner or an experienced driver, you are going to need a car insurance policy. It covers the cost of repairing or replacing your car in the event it is damaged in an accident.
As cars are often one of the most expensive things people own, it is important to make sure you are not left out of pocket if the worst happens. Even careful drivers can be involved in accidents which are not their fault, and without insurance, could be left picking up a hefty bill to get back on the road again.
So, whether you drive a classic car, a family car, or a sports car, you need to have peace of mind with the right insurance cover. Driving without the right insurance is illegal, so it is important to have cover in place before you drive your car anywhere.
What if I don’t have car insurance?
If you drive a car without insurance, you will be committing an offence. The penalty can be fine, or you might be disqualified from driving altogether, losing your licence. Driving without insurance is a serious matter. If you are caught, you are likely to receive six to eight penalty points on your licence, and your car may also be seized or destroyed by police.
What is covered by your policy?
Owning a car can be a significant financial commitment. Repairs and replacement parts can be costly. If you are involved in an accident, having insurance cover means that your policy will cover the cost of any repairs. This will mean you are able to carry on motoring without having to buy a new car or lose any money.
Driving involves a degree of risk. There are various types of car insurance cover available to protect you in the event you are hurt or hurt someone else or damage another person’s property whilst driving your car. The main types of cover are as follows:
This is the legal minimum level of cover required. You need to have at least this level of coverage to legally drive on the road. In the event you are involved in an accident, your insurance policy will cover the cost of repairs to any other vehicle damaged as a result.
It will also cover the cost of a claim by any passengers in your vehicle. However, this type of cover will not include the cost of replacing or repairing your own car.
Third-party, fire and theft.
As above, this type of policy will cover any costs brought by a third party for an incident you are liable for. In addition, if your vehicle is damaged or written off as a result of the fire, or is stolen, this type of policy will cover the cost of a replacement car.
Comprehensive car insurance
This is the highest level of coverage available. Your own car and you are covered if you have an accident. You are also covered against claims brought against you by third parties, as well as damage by fire or theft.
How can I get cheap car insurance coverage?
There is a range of insurers who will be able to provide cover, so always shop around and compare quotes from a range of different providers. Insurers will calculate the cost of your insurance policy based on a few factors, so you will need to have the following information to hand:
- Make and model of the car. Most insurers will ask you for the car number plate, but this is not essential. If you have made any modifications to the car, such as lowered suspension, or engine modifications, you will also need to declare them to your insurer, as these can affect the value of your car.
- Details of your driving licence. You will need to declare whether you have any previous driving convictions or points on your licence. These will affect the cost of your policy, as convicted drivers are seen as having a higher risk of making a claim.
- Driver details. If you want to insure any additional named drivers on your policy, you will need to have their details too.
- Any previous claims. In order to determine the risk of you making a claim, your insurer will need to know the details of any previous claims.
What is a no-claims bonus?
If you have never made a car insurance claim, you will build up a ‘no-claims bonus with your insurer. This will mean that when you come to renew your policy, you should be eligible for a discounted rate. You can usually build up a no-claims bonus for a period of 9 years. Your no-claims bonus should still apply even if you are involved in an accident, but it is not your fault.
How to save money on car insurance?
There are a few steps you can take to reduce the cost of your car insurance policy:
- Compare quotes from a range of different providers
- Increase your voluntary excess. The excess is the amount you pay before the policy begins to cover costs. A higher excess can reduce overall premium costs
- Protect your no-claims discount. If you are involved in an accident where only minor repairs are needed, covering the costs yourself could be more cost-effective in the long run than making a claim and losing your no-claims bonus.
- Reduce the risk of theft by keeping your car secure. Fit security locks, alarms or tracking devices.
- Reduce your mileage. The fewer miles you drive, the lower the risk of an accident, which can bring down policy costs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What about young drivers?
Can I use my no claims bonus on more than one car?
No. You will normally need to have a separate no-claims bonus for each car you drive.
Do named drivers get the same cover as the policyholder?
A named driver is a person specified on your policy as permitted to drive your car. It is important to check the details of your policy, but in most cases with comprehensive insurance, a named driver will have the same cover as the policyholder.