Compare Car Insurance
Car Insurance in the UK is compulsory under the 1988 Road Traffic Act and it is an offence to take a car onto a public highway without at least third party insurance in place. Most basic car insurance policies cover third party, fire and theft covering third party liabilities as well as damage to the car caused by fire or loss due to theft. Comprehensive car insurance which is more expensive covers third party, fire and theft but also covers any damage caused by the driver to the car being driven.
According to the Motor Insurers Bureau uninsured drivers (approximately two million motorists according to the department of transport) inflict approximately £380 million of damage on UK roads which is passed on in higher insurance premiums.
From June 2011 a new law called Continuous Insurance Enforcement came into effect to try and deal with this issue. Under this law a car must have a valid car insurance policy if it has a tax disc whether or not it is kept on a public highway or not and whether it is driven or not.
If a car is not being used its tax disc must be redeemed and the relevent declaration (SORN) completed to confirm that the car is being kept off public roads. The scheme will provide a new fixed penalty for people who ignore official reminders that their insurance has expired. the maximum penalty for offenders is £5,000 and an automatic endorsement of your driver license with 6 to 8 penalty points.
Different Types of Car Insurance
See below for different types of car insurance:
Type of Car Insurance
Car Insurance Features
Comprehensive Car Insurance
|As the name suggests provides cover both to third parties but also to you and your own car and passengers in the event of an accident. This type of cover usually allows you to drive another car (may only be on a third party basis).|
Car Legal Expenses Insurance
Normally sold as an add on to car insurance and provides legal expense cover in the event of a dispute e.g. if you are in an accident that is not your fault you may wish to claim back uninsured losses and legal expense cover will help you fund the legal costs.
Third Party Car Insurance
|Third party car insurance is the minimum cover required by UK law on a vehicle used ona public highway. If you have an accident this cover will protect you from having to pay for damage to other vehicles. You cannot make a claim against your own vehicle.|
Third Party Fire and Theft Car Insurance
|In addition to covering third party liabilites this cover also provides financial protection in the event of damage to your car in the event of fire or loss due to theft. |
Guide to buying car insurance
As with many things in life the more time you put into something the more you will get out and with buying car insurance spending some time understanding what to look out for can save you both time and money in the long run and should ensure that you end up with the right cover. Things to consider:
If you are under 25 you will generally pay more for car insurance. For teenagers the cost of car insurance can be very high. Some insurers provide young driver car insurance schemes e.g. The Co-op and Young Marmalade provide specialist insurance for younger drivers
To keep the cost of car insurance down many insurers provide you with the option of a voluntary excess on any claim. This is paid over and above any compulsory excess on the policy.
In the past specialist women's car insurance providers could offer a better deal. Women generally tend to make less expensive claims than men, and so insurance companies historically reflected this in offering cheaper premiums. However, in March 2012, the European Court of Justice ruled that insurance providers cannot discriminate on gender. This ruling came into effect from December 2012.
Some car insurers will adjust their car insurance premium based on the mileage you do. It is important you give an accurate indication of expected annual mileage to ensure you are not paying more than you need to. Check with your existing car insurer (if relevant) - If you already have an existing car check with your existing insurer about adding a second car onto the policy. Some car insurance companies will provide you with a discount for including a second vehicle - often called multi car insurance.
Using a Comparison website
Online comparison websites provide a useful and easy way of getting car insurance quotes. No car insurance comparison website covers the whole market so it makes sense to use more than one source to ensure you are getting the right cover at the right price. You should also note that some insurance companies do not appear on comparison websites e.g. Direct Line Car Insurance and Aviva Car Insurance
Using a Car Insurance broker
If you are not sure what cover you need or want somebody to help you through the process there are many car insurance brokers who will be happy to help. A good insurance broker will not help you in buying car insurance but also provide support in the event that you need to make a claim.If you intend to use a broker you should check their FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) registration on the FCA website.
Providing correct information
In assessing the insurance risk an insurance company will rely on the information that you give as being accurate. Information provided will determine whether insurance is provided and the cost of premiums. It is therefore important that any information you provide is correct e.g. information on any driving offences where you have been given points can have a material impact on the premium you are required to pay. Non disclosure of such information at the time of application can result in a non payout in the event of a claim. If you are using a car insurance broker this is where valuable advice can be provided.
Cheapest is not always best
With insurance you generally get what you pay for so before you sign up to an insurance policy you should be aware of what you are covered for and what is excluded. You should consider what you need and ensure you are adequately covered. This may mean you have to pay more to get what you want.
When you buy car insurance and you pay by direct debit some insurance companies will automatically renew your car insurance policy at the renewal date. You should recieve a written notice of the car insurance renewal and any increase in the premium. If you are not happy you need to be proactive and shop around before the renewal date and cancel the existing policy before renewal.
Changing your mind
You have the right to change your mind within a set period normally 14 days from purchase of the car insurance policy and have your money returned.