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Car Insurance

Insurance is probably the biggest yearly bill that you will pay for your car. That's why it's important to shop around for the best quote for you. Price is not the only consideration when obtaining a quote; the amount of cover you will receive includes drivers legal protection which cover court bills in the case of anything going to court, Coutesy cars, road side assistance, online quotations, named drivers, etc are all things which can affect a premium but it's up to you to decide what you really need. You do not need road side assistance if you are already in a motoring organisation like the AA. You might not need Legal Protection if you could qualify for legal aid.

There are three main types of car insurance that you can choose from

Third Party Only

Covers you for claims made by other people for bodily injury or damage to their property.

Third Party, Fire and Theft
As above, plus your car is covered if stolen or damaged by fire.

This gives you both of the above and also covers accidental damage to your car.

Which you choose is up to you. Fully comprehensive insurance is the best policy to have for peace of mind but will be more expensive. Third Party insurance could leave you out of pocket if a crash is your fault but the difference in Premiums over several years could be more than the cost of a repair and could therefore be cheaper in the long run.

Motor Insurance - things you should know

When taking out motor insurance it is a good idea to spend some time exploring all of the different policies and the companies offering them. Quotations can vary up to hundreds of pounds between the highest and lowest, so it is definitely worth getting as many quotes as possible. Don’t forget that insurance companies are dealing in a very competitive market so they will try and better or match any quote that you may already have.
Once you have chosen the company you are going to insure with, and have received the policy documentation, read it carefully-and the small print, and check that there are no mistakes - if there are any, make sure you get them changed. Finally once you have your complete policy keep it in a safe place incase you ever need it.

The bare minimum insurance is ‘third party’ cover-this type of cover will not protect you or your car, only the person you may be involved in an accident with. Few insurers will actually provide third party cover alone.

If your cover is comprehensive, the main items you will be covered for are:
• Accidental damage to your car
• Damage caused by fire, theft and malicious acts
• Repair or replacement of broken glass, and
• Injury to other people and damage to their property

Don’t be fooled by the word ‘comprehensive’, it can often mislead people…

Even if you have ‘comprehensive’ cover your policy will not pay for:
• The excess.
• Loss or damage to the car, arising from theft while the keys of your car have been left in or on the car.
• Loss of use, reduction in value, wear and tear, or mechanical, electrical or computer breakdowns, failures or breakage’s.
• Damage to tyres from braking or from punctures, cuts or bursts.
• Loss or damage as a result of pressure waves caused by an aircraft or other flying devices travelling at, or above, the speed of sound.
• Loss of value following a repair

Car Insurance Myths

• Your premium can’t go up if you have no-claims discount protection.

Wrong, it can. Protecting your no-claims discount only protects the percentage discount you get off your basic premium, it does not protect your basic premium itself. Therefore your basic premium can still rise.
Many factors can cause your premium to rise:
In some insurers’ small print, it says that they can increase your basic premium based on your claims history - therefore, if you claim, they reserve the right to put up your premiums despite your protected no claims discount.

Speeding fines won’t affect your insurance.

Up to a point this is true, however, there are exceptions. Some of the more cost-conscious (cheaper) insurers won’t allow even one speeding fine. Any insurance company will take a dim view of a more serious speeding offence, especially if it results in a ban.

Don’t report minor accidents, as they will increase your premium.

No, report any incident if it could result in a third party making a claim. It is unlikely that it will increase your premium, however, failing to report an incident may invalidate your insurance.
Even if you think an incident was too small to bother informing your insurers of, you do not know whether any other party involved may decide to make a claim. Therefore by reporting the incident you are protecting yourself against loss, by passing the risk over to your insurers.
Finally, remember that just because you report an incident to your insurers, it doesn’t mean that they will have to pay out.

My insurance quotes are too expensive - I can save money by putting the insurance in someone else’s name.

It sounds like a good idea, but it won’t help. You may think that putting the insurance in someone else’s name and having yourself as a named driver will be a clever way to cut your premium, and it may well do that. However the insurers will ask you how many cars there are in the house and how many drivers, and who mainly drives each car, if you do not answer truthfully you might find your cover is invalid.

How to cut the price of your car insurance:

• When choosing your car you should remember that the flashier the car, the higher
your insurance is likely to be. Therefore you should choose your car carefully.
Do not blow all off your budget on a really ‘flashy’ car, and then realise you can not afford the insurance. Sometimes however it may be in your favour to blow your budget on the car. For example, it may be worth spending slightly more and investing in a brand new car, as sometimes you may be able to get free insurance. The result might be that you end up with a brand new car, and have only paid the same as you would have done for a slightly older car plus the insurance. It’s surely worth spending some time investigating.

• Park your car in the garage. Where you keep your car overnight can affect the price of your car insurance. Your insurance is likely to be highest if the car is kept on the road over night, it is likely to decrease if parked up a driveway or decrease even further if it is hidden from view in the garage.

• Limit the number of drivers you allow to use your car, this should drastically reduce your premiums. Try to stick to just you or you and your partner only. The more names on the insurance, the higher the premium is likely to be.

• Increase your excess. This will decrease your premium, but remember that you will have to pay the agreed amount for the first part of any claim. So don’t wack up your excess and then complain about it if you have an accident. It’s up to you.

• Protect your no-claims discount. If you have been building up your no-claims discount for years it would be a nightmare to loose it, so some companies allow you to protect this discount for a small charge. Even the best, most careful drivers can have a bit of bad luck.

• Make your car very secure by installing an immobiliser that is to 'Thatcham Category 1'. However these are expensive to install, and so are probably only worthwhile on very expensive cars.

• Finally, shop around. Car insurance is a very competitive market, and so most companies will try to match or better another competitors quote.

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Procedure for stolen vehicles

Before you buy

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