6 May, 2018

Car insurance: the most common FAQs

If you’re in the process of looking for a new car insurance policy, then it’s likely that there’ll be plenty of questions you want us to answer before you decide to commit. Choosing a car insurance policy can be particularly daunting if you’re a new driver, or if you’re looking for a better deal that will benefit you in the long run.

Why do I need car insurance?

It is a legal requirement to have up to date car insurance. Without valid insurance you will not be able to tax your vehicle, nor will you be protected against any damage that occurs to you, your car or members of the public if you’re involved in an accident.

How do I know which policy to buy?

There are three main types of policy to choose from: third party cover, third party fire and theft, and comprehensive.

  • Third party is the minimum legal level of car insurance. It protects other people, vehicles, and property in the event of an accident that was your fault.
  • Third party fire and theft cover protects you in the event of an accident you are deemed liable for, but it will also cover you if your car is stolen or damaged by fire. You can also make a claim if your car is damaged by attempted theft.
  • Comprehensive cover includes accident and third party liability cover that you’d get from any standard policy, but as well as the damage or theft of certain personal items, comprehensive cover will protect your whole car. As part of this, you may also be able to drive another’s car – with their permission.

What is a multi-car policy?

A multi-car policy allows motorists who live at the same address to cover their cars on the same policy, rather than taking out individual cover. This is often cheaper as the policyholders will receive a discount on their premium depending on the vehicle that they insure. As part of a multi-car policy, holders will keep their no claims bonus, and if one person makes a claim, it is only their no-claims that will be affected.

What is a black box?

As part of black box insurance your car will be fitted with a small black box that records speed, distance travelled, and the time of day or night that you’re on the road. It can show you if you need to make any changes to your driving style so that you can improve your driver score and bring down the cost of your insurance. This is also sometimes known as telematics insurance.

What’s an excess?

The excess is the amount that the policyholder is required to pay if they make a claim. A compulsory excess is imposed by the insurer, and a voluntary excess is an amount you agree to pay upfront if you make a claim. Choosing a higher voluntary excess can help to reduce your premium as it is the amount deducted from the total amount paid out or some insurers may ask you to pay it up front.

What is a no claims bonus?

For every year that you hold car insurance in your own name without making a claim, you’ll be awarded a no claims bonus. Your most recent renewal notice will let you know how much you have earned.

How do I keep my premiums low?

There are a number of ways to keep your insurance premiums low. These include limiting the mileage you use, driving safely with a black box fitted, increasing your voluntary excess and keeping your car in a garage at night. For more information take a look at this article about how to cut the cost of your car insurance.

Can I drive other vehicles on my insurance?

This will depend on the policy that you choose to take out. Even if you have fully comprehensive cover, it doesn’t mean that you are insured to drive other vehicles.

Will my medical condition affect my insurance?

If you have a DVLA-reportable medical condition, then most insurers won’t give you an online quote and will ask for further information. If you have a medical condition or a disability that you think may affect the cost of your insurance you should always declare it to your insurer otherwise your policy may be invalid if you make a claim.

How do I estimate mileage?

The amount of mileage that you cover could affect the cost of your insurance; therefore, it’s worth estimating a figure beforehand. To do this, calculate the amount you drive in a typical week and multiply it by 52, factoring in any longer trips you may take annually. You can also check your previous MOT certificates or service records to get a good idea.

Which insurance group is my car in?

Insurance groups will be calculated differently depending on the insurer you choose but will usually have a car insurance group finder to help you find the current rating from the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

How much will my car insurance cost?

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the average car insurance premium for UK motorists cost £485 per year. However, the amount that you’ll pay for your car insurance will depend on the cover that you choose as well as other factors including the type of car that you drive, your age and driving experience, and your history of claims.

There are ways that you can reduce the cost of your car insurance, and it’s always advised to compare quotes online so that you can find one that suits you best.

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