Buying car insurance can sometimes be overwhelming – especially if you’re a first time driver, or you’re not entirely sure what you should be looking for. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you choose the most suitable car insurance policy to meet your needs.
1. What level of cover do I need?
First things first – it’s important to understand the level of insurance cover you require for your car. The minimum legal requirement is third party only insurance. However, there are a range of insurance options available, including comprehensive car insurance, so it’s important to choose the cover that’s right for you.
2. Is the vehicle value correct?
The value of your vehicle will play a role in how much you pay for your insurance, so if you underestimate this value when taking out insurance, this may affect your policy in the event of a claim. It’s important to note that, if you do make a claim on your policy, your insurer will only pay the current market value of your vehicle, factoring in wear and tear, rather than the amount you initially paid for it.
3. Is my annual mileage likely to increase?
Just because your annual mileage was 10,000 last year doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be the same this year. Consider what might have changed in your life that will affect your annual mileage – perhaps you’ve moved house or changed jobs, which has increased your daily commute. It’s important to declare the correct mileage to your insurer when taking out your car insurance, as this may also affect your annual price.
4. What additional covers are available?
Consider what covers are included as standard under your policy, and what extra covers might be useful to add on. For example, breakdown cover is not necessarily included as standard, but may prove useful if your car breaks down in the height of winter.
5. Can I afford my excess?
There are various different types of excess on a car insurance policy, which apply to different covers (for example, there may an excess for windscreen repair which differs from the policy excess). It’s useful to understand your excesses and how much you would be liable to pay in the event of a claim. It is possible to adjust these excesses to a level that you can afford, however this may impact your annual price, so it’s important to understand the affect this might have before reducing your excesses.
6. Could I get a discount by using Telematics?
Increasingly, drivers in the UK are agreeing (at the request of their insurers) to have their cars installed with Telematics in return for a more competitive price on their car insurance. A Telematics system, usually a ‘black box’ or an app provided by your insurer, is fitted to your vehicle and monitors various aspects of your driving.
7. Is the policy good value for money?
Taking everything into account, from your level of cover to your excesses, do you have the cover you need, and is the price right? If the policy is cheaper than you expected, it might be worth considering whether it includes all of the cover you need.