If you are looking for car insurance in the United Kingdom, you know that it can be very frustrating, because there are so many factors that must be taken into consideration but by going to a good online price comparison car insurance website, you can save yourself time and money by finding out quickly and easily how changing these factors can affect premiums.
As in most places in the world, car insurance in the United Kingdom is required by law in order to cover any costs of damages or injuries related to mishaps drivers might encounter. As an example, if you are driving and you cause an accident, your car insurance should cover not only damages to someone's vehicle or other property but also possibly medical expenses and compensation to third parties who are injured in the accident. In order to make sure that motorists in the UK are insured, The Motor Insurers' Bureau uses its Motor Insurance Database to help identify drivers who are uninsured by routinely performing spot checks on drivers. In cases where an untraced or uninsured driver causes injuries to a third party or causes damages to a third party's property, the third party should be compensated by the Motor Insurers' Bureau. This applies technically even though a policyholder may have breached terms of a policy they have. Should a car be stolen and the responsible party causes damages or injuries someone, the insurance company covering the car should cover the expenses involved.
Components Of A Car Insurance Policy
When you purchase online car insurance using a price comparison website as your guide, you will receive either a cover note, which is temporary or a full certificate of insurance; sometimes these can be downloaded immediately so you have proof of cover whilst you wait for the policy documents to arrive by post when will also receive a policy and payment schedule, as well as a booklet that explains the details of your policy. When your insurance packet arrives, make sure you read it thoroughly to make sure all details are correct. If they are not, you must contact your insurance company right away. Also, make sure when purchasing your car insurance that all information regarding your driving history, prior claims, and other personal information is correct or you may be denied cover should a need to file a claim arise. This point cannot be expressed too forcefully; failing to give full information to an insurer is a material breach of contract and insurers can, and very often do, use this fact to avoid paying out on claims.
Types of Car Insurance
As you begin your online price comparison car insurance journey, you should note that there are three basic car insurance policies to choose from. They are third party or TPO, third party plus fire and theft (TPFT) or comprehensive, which is the best cover you can purchase.
TP includes cover for liability for injury to a third party, and damages to a third party's property. It will not cover you for any accidental damage to your car.
TPFT covers all that TP offers plus fire damages, theft of your car or any damages to your car should it be stolen.
As noted, comprehensive car insurance is the best, because it covers all of the above and much more. For example, comprehensive will usually also cover accidental damage or loss of your car, personal effects, windscreen cover and any medical expenses incurred.
When you shop for comprehensive car insurance on a price comparison website, check the options offered as part of the policy closely. You may find a cheaper policy, but it could possibly be stripped of some of the amenities that usually come as part of a comprehensive package. For instance, a stripped down policy may eliminate cover for windscreens or personal effects. It's very important to check the details!
On the other hand, many policies do impose exclusions, and these should be highlighted in your documentation. As an example, many insurance companies will not cover you if you are under 25 years of age and drive a car other than your own. However, in an emergency, some insurers will allow drivers to borrow another car should your car need to be towed and/or repaired. These are the details that must be checked before you finally decide which policy to buy.
Car Insurance Excess
In car insurance, excess means the amount you are liable for on any claim filed and this only applies to comprehensive or TPFT policies. Say, for example, you hit a tree and damage your car. The cost to repair your car is £800 and your excess is £300. The insurance company pays £500, and you will pay the balance of £300. There is compulsory excess that is set by the insurance company and is determined by the details of your policy. If you are a young driver or drive a luxury vehicle, you may find that your excess is higher. There is also voluntary excess, which allows you to choose to set a higher excess and will help reduce the overall price of your car insurance policy. It is paid in addition to any compulsory excess set by your insurance company.
If you have driven for several years and have never filed a claim, you may receive a discount from your insurance company for a claim free record. Basically, this means that if you do file a claim, you could lose several years' bonus. The maximum no claims discount levels set by insurance companies is most often between four or five years, and once you reach the maximum, the insurance company will usually allow you to protect your bonus. This means that should you have to make a claim, you will not forfeit the bonus and still be eligible for the maximum discount allowed on your policy. Again, price comparison websites are a great way to check several insurance company's policies on discounts for claim free driving history.
Always Report Any Changes To Your Car Insurance Policy!
Anytime you want to make a change or have made a change that could affect your car insurance policy, let your company know so that the changes can be permanently made on your policy documentation. Any changes may affect your current premiums. For example if you move from a suburb to a city, your risk of a mishap increases, and your premiums may rise a bit; however failure to inform your insurer could mean that your policy was voided so it is vital to let the insurer know. If you decide to add on some expensive new alloy wheels or a new sound system to your policy, and the add on is not covered under your current policy, you may face an increase in premiums as well. Many price comparison car insurance websites will direct you to the proper location to make changes directly online to the insurance company you have chosen.
Should you decide to cancel your policy before it due to be renewed, you may also be charged a cancellation fee.
If you are involved in an accident or if your car is stolen, call your insurer immediately, even if you decide not to make a claim.
Since all car insurance companies offer different packages, it is extremely important to go over their policy documentation very carefully to see what is standard and what optional add ons are available. Extras can include legal protection if you need it, assistance for uninsured losses, solicitors assistance to follow a claim should you be injured, and recovery of medical losses, earnings and excess on policy. Breakdown cover is generally offered at different levels and is sometimes a standard inclusion and sometimes an optional extra and may include relay and recovery should your car have to be taken to a distant repair shop, home start for home or near home breakdowns and breakdown protection for European driving.
Basic comprehensive cover usually includes a courtesy car while your car is being repaired, but you usually have to take the car to an approved repairer. Basic cover should also provide a minimum payment to your or passengers for death, loss of eye sight and loss of or loss of use of a limb. Windscreen repairs and replacements are also usually included in comprehensive cover.
Shop Wisely On Price Comparison Car Insurance Websites
Now that you know a bit about car insurance, before you spend unnecessary hours searching insurance specialized websites, or waste time talking on the phone to insurance companies, it's time to go to a reputable price comparison car insurance website and gather quotes and information about what is included in various policies. You could find the cover you are looking for at the best price possible from some of the United Kingdom's leading insurers.
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