There are few things more exciting than getting a new car. The smooth acceleration, the responsive brakes, that distinctive smell – it all adds to the thrill. But while many of us take great pleasure in driving, there are some aspects of car ownership that are less enjoyable.
Sorting out insurance is certainly one of them. It’s a legal requirement, of course, but with so many providers to choose from, it can feel like a daunting and complicated task. It can pay to shop around for the best deal but to do that you need to know exactly what you’re looking for, how the cover works and how much it’s likely to cost.
There are many different types of car insurance, as well as a variety of technical terms that can seem confusing, so it’s important that you understand the ins and outs before you settle on a policy. At Jardine Motors, we’re here to help. This is car insurance explained.
What is car insurance?
Car insurance is there to protect you and your finances in the event of your vehicle being involved in an accident, stolen, damaged by fire or vandalised. The insurance company will then offer a settlement that is designed to cover the cost of the necessary repair work, or equal to the vehicle’s value at the time of being written off.
What Does Car Insurance Cover?
Exactly what is included in your car insurance will depend on the type of policy you have taken out. Some will protect you against all of the instances mentioned above, whereas other forms will only cover certain aspects. You can find more information on the different types of car insurance below.
It’s important to note that you will only have to claim on your policy when you are at fault for the accident. If someone else is to blame, they should be claiming through their policy.
Can you drive a car without insurance?
No. In this country, car insurance is a legal obligation if you are using it to drive on the road or in a public place. If you are found to be driving without it, you risk a fixed penalty of up to £300 and six points on your licence. Should the case end up in court, you could face an unlimited fine and disqualification from driving.
What are the different types of car insurance?
There are three main types of car insurance, each offering a slightly different level of cover. They are known as:
- Fully comprehensive
- Third-party, fire and theft
There is also gap insurance, but this is an optional extra and is not a legal requirement in the way that a standard policy is. Gap insurance covers the difference between your settlement figure and the amount you paid for the vehicle in the first place. This is especially useful for new cars, which can depreciate in value quickly and could leave you significantly out of pocket in the event of a write-off. However, we’ll focus on the three main policy types outlined above.
What Does Comprehensive Car Insurance Cover?
This is the highest level of car insurance and can often work out to be the cheapest. This type of policy protects you for:
- Damage to your vehicle, even if you were to blame for the accident
- Fire damage
- Your car being stolen
- Damage to another person and their property
What Does Third-Party, Fire and Theft Cover?
The major difference between this policy and a fully comprehensive one is that you are not covered for repairs to your vehicle if the accident was your fault. You are protected in the event of:
- Theft of your car
- Fire damage to your car
- Damage to someone else and their property
What Is Third-Party Car Insurance?
This is the most basic level of car insurance, offering the least protection. With third-party, you are only covered for:
- Damage to another person and their property
Do you need specialist electric car insurance?
The data shows that the number of new electric car registrations continues to rise, which is great news for our environment. And as zero-emission vehicles become increasingly popular, many providers are adapting their policy offerings. So, while it’s true that you can take out dedicated electric car insurance, it’s not a requirement, and many providers will cover your EV with a standard policy.
Are Electric Cars Cheaper To Insure?
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to offer a straight answer to this question as, like all other vehicles, the cost of your electric car insurance policy will vary based on a number of things. The make and model of your EV will likely determine the price of your premium as will the availability of specialist repairers and parts, not to mention external factors such as your age and driving history.
What is excess in car insurance?
The excess is a relatively small amount you will have to pay when you make a claim. Your insurers will cover the vast majority, but they will have a pre-set fee that you will be required to pay, regardless of the size of your claim. Some providers offer you the chance to increase your voluntary excess, which enables you to reduce the price of your premium.
How much is car insurance in the UK?
There is no one set price for car insurance in this country. The cost of your premium will vary widely depending on a number of factors, including:
- The vehicle’s make, model and engine size. Newer, more powerful cars are likely to cost more to insure.
- Any modifications you have made to the car. These can make repairs more expensive, so your premium is likely to rise.
- Where you live and where you store the vehicle. If crime rates are low and you use a secure garage, your insurance is likely to cost less.
- How old you are. Younger drivers tend to face higher premiums as they are deemed a greater risk.
- Previous experience. If you have a history of accidents and claims, your cover is likely to be more expensive.
- Mileage. Those who cover tens of thousands of miles a year are likely to pay more, than drivers who only use their cars to nip to the shops once a week.
How to get cheap car insurance
There are many ways to help lower the cost of your car insurance. Taking the time to shop around for the best deal can prove worthwhile, as can paying your premium annually rather than via monthly instalments.
Building up your no-claims bonus will help your insurers to see you as a lower risk, while the addition of other drivers can also prove cost-effective. You should also be careful about any modifications you make to your vehicle, as you may need to inform your insurers of the changes, which could cause your premium to rise.
Choose the car before the cover with Jardine Motors
Hopefully, this guide has offered plenty of useful advice on the different types of car insurance, what they cover and the factors that can affect the price of your premium. And here at Jardine Motors, that’s not all we can help with.
We have a wide range of new and used vehicles, including a superb selection of electric and hybrid models designed to meet your every need. We can also provide expert finance advice to help you work out the best way to pay for your purchase, not to mention various ways to protect your pride and joy through specifically tailored service plans.
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