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12th Oct 2014

What You Need To Know About… Car Insurance

Always haggle!


We’ve previously spoke about buying a secondhand car and getting your NCT but you can’t hit the road until you have your insurance up to date.

These days, every penny counts and even though it can be a bit of a pain, it really does pay to shop around.

Here’s our top tips!

What type of cover do I need?

There are three choices for the average customer: third party, third party with fire and theft and comprehensive.

Third Party cover will pay for damage caused to other people’s property and compensation or costs related to injuries they sustain in an accident that it deemed to be the fault of the covered driver.

Third Party, Fire And Theft offers the same level of cover as third party only policies, as well as protection against loss or damage if your own car is burnt or stolen. If your car would be quite cheap to replace, this might be a more affordable option than getting full comprehensive cover.

Comprehensive includes cover for damage to your own vehicle as well as any damage suffered by others from a range of causes, including accident, fire and theft. This is the most expensive policy.

What is a No Claims Bonus?

This refers to the amount of time that you have been insured without making a claim on your insurance and the more that you have, the cheaper your policy will be as you’ll get a discount for each year.

What do I need to look out for?

As they say, the devil is in the detail so don’t assume that one comprehensive policy is the same as another. There are several extras that can be included such as full no claims protection (where you retain your full discount even in the case of an accident) and step-back bonus protection (where you will only lose a certain percentage). Some policies allow for ‘open’ driving, meaning that other people are ensured when driving your car, while others offer windscreen protection, breakdown assistance and personal accident cover so make sure to read the full details before making a choice.

What’s the best way to get a good deal?

There are many different opinions on this one but the general consensus is check out your options and haggle!

First off, get online and put your details into the many car insurance comparison sites, which will give you an indication of what each company has to offer.

Next up, call the local offices of the leading car insurers in your area and see what quote you are offered. Taking directly to a member of staff can often result in a much better deal as they have a little more lee-way when it comes to discounts and don’t be afraid to haggle if another insurer has offered you a cheaper quote. Calling a broker can also be a time-efficient way to find a reasonable deal.

What’s all this about gender equalisation?

Prior to 2012, policies issued to female drivers were typically lower than those offered to men as insurance companies deemed the latter to have a higher risk factor based on previous claim information. However, the European Court Of Justice subsequently ruled that this was in breach of gender equality and forced insurers to equalise their approach.

Those who have noticed the biggest difference from this are female drivers under the age of 25, who would have noticed an increase in their premium, while men of the same age would notice a decrease.

What else can affect my policy cost?

According to the AA, the area in which you live and drive, the type of car you own, your age and driving history are some of the other factors that influence your car insurance premium.

Happy driving!