All you need to know about car insurance

Article by bythesea







Why do I need car insurance? Put quite simply – it’s the law. Insurance for your car is a necessity, not a luxury, as driving without insurance is an absolute offence.

Since 1930, and reinforced with the 1988 Road Traffic Act, all drivers in the UK are required to have at least third-party car insurance. So cheap car insurance is far better than no insurance for your car at all.

If you are caught driving without car insurance, what happens? Well, aside from a legal requirement to foot the bill of any third party or property damaged in an accident or incident, you may well face an additional fine plus a driving ban.

Driving without insurance for your car is a serious offence which can result in an immediate disqualification from driving. Police also have additional powers to impound, and possibly scrap, your car.

The estimated 20 per cent of young drivers who drive without insurance may not be aware of the risks, but they are serious.

Luckily, applying for cheap car insurance and renewing your car insurance policy annually has got a whole lot easier. In 2002, Confused.com launched the first online car insurance comparison site. An average enquiry takes minutes, so if you are renewing your car insurance, looking for cheap car insurance, or to change or upgrade your car insurance policy, Confused.com could save you money.

What level of car insurance cover do I need?

The minimum legal requirement for car insurance cover is third-party cover.

So why might you need a level of cover over and above the minimum legal requirement? Well, a greater number of drivers will have third party, fire & theft than third-party-only car insurance, as this will indemnify the vehicle user in the event that their pride and joy is stolen or burnt to a crisp.

In short, greater cover in terms of insurance for your car equals greater protection against those unexpected curveballs life throws at you. If you’re on a budget, replacing a stolen or damaged car would do more than dent your monthly outgoings – it could write them off completely. Do you have a spare couple of grand in your account right now?

If you’re looking for insurance for your car or to upgrade your policy, it’s worth shopping around. And be sure to check exactly what is included.

What drives the cost of car insurance?

If you’re interested in saving money on your car insurance (and, let’s face it, who isn’t), it’s worth getting a handle on the various factors that affect the price of your car insurance policy.

The price of your car insurance is dependent on a number of factors:

● Your personal details, such as address and driving history

● What car you drive

● Who owns and drives your vehicle

● How you use your car

● The type of cover you choose

You

First, let’s talk about you. Your age, gender and how many years you have been driving are all crucial to insurers to help them give you a competitive quote for cheap car insurance.

Building up a healthy no-claims bonus (NCB) is crucial to reducing car insurance premiums. It varies from company to company so it’s well worth comparing various car insurance quotes. It doesn’t matter that you’ve built up your NCB with a different company – sometimes it will be taken into account in your new insurer’s quote.

An NCB of five years or more, for example, can entitle drivers to a 70 to 75 per cent discount, even on cheap car insurance premiums.

Your address will also affect your quote so be sure to shop around for cheap car insurance every time you move. In general, city centre or rundown areas are considered higher risk, and make the premium higher. Parking in a garage or off the street may help this.

Other security measures, such as alarms and immobilisers, are often taken into account.

The car and your usage

The type of car you drive affects your car insurance premium, as cars are rated according to insurance groups. This is set by the Insurance Group Rating Panel and is set from 1 to 20. When buying a new car, it is worth taking these ratings into account before you shop around for insurance for your car.

The number of additional drivers, and their driving history, also affects your premium, as does your occupation and your annual mileage. Put simply, the more you use your car and the further you drive, the greater the risk of incident, hence the higher premium.

Drivers on the policy

Additional drivers don’t have to drive up car insurance costs. If you need to add another driver to the policy, it’s always worth sticking, say, a parent on your policy and then running an online search, as some car insurance companies might give a discount to acknowledge the experienced driver. However, do not add names of drivers if they will not actually be driving

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