It is common knowledge that car insurance premiums have increased consistently over the last few years. There are many reasons for this, including increased numbers of uninsured drivers, insurance fraud and lower investment returns.
While it may have become more difficult to get cheap car insurance, it is still possible. Knowing your way around the insurance options and the best ways to grab a bargain will put you ahead of the rest. So, it is time to get educated on car insurance; who knows, it could save you a fortune.
There are three basic types of car insurance available and which one you choose will depend on your circumstances. Car insurance is compulsory and if you do not have it you can be prosecuted and will end up with a fine and points on your licence. This will also mean that you may find it hard to get insurance in the future.
Comprehensive car insurance
This is the most expensive type of insurance you can buy. It will cover you for accidental damage to your own car and/or a third party’s car. This applies whether it was your fault or not.
You will also be covered for damage to property or injuries sustained by another person. In addition you will be able to claim if your car is stolen or vandalised and for the loss of any possessions which are kept inside the car. There are usually limits set on the amount you can claim, however.
Third party, fire and theft car insurance
As the name suggests, this type of insurance covers your car in the event of fire or theft, but not for accidents. Any damage to another person’s car or property will be covered. This is a good option if you car is not very expensive and if you think you would be able to survive without it if it is written off.
Third party only car insurance
This will cover you for injury or car damage caused to another person. Your own vehicle will not be covered and so it is really only suitable if your car is not worth insuring at all. This may be a good option for those on a tight budget, but it does come with risks.
If you own your car via a finance company you may want to take out Guaranteed Asset Protection in addition to your standard insurance policy. This agrees that if the car is written off the insurer will pay off any finance still owed on the car. It may also include paying for a deposit for a new car.
Insurance companies will often offer additions to your policy, including, mostly notably, breakdown cover. This is usually cheaper to buy as part of your insurance policy and can be invaluable if you travel away from home often. In addition to this, your policy may also cover you for legal expenses.
The cost of your premiums will be calculated based on a number of factors. Insurers base their quotes on the risk posed by the driver and the experience they have of other drivers with similar backgrounds. Premiums are usually based around following factors:
* Your age. Young drivers are statistically involved in more accidents.
* Your gender. Young men are on the whole more likely to drive faster and more recklessly than young women.
* Your job. If your jobs means that you must travel long distances or if you work shifts or long hours this could affect your premium.
* Your driving background. If you have points on your licence or a history of speeding or drink driving you can expect your premiums to be significantly higher.
* The type of car. More powerful and faster cars are often more expensive to insure. If you own a classic or unusual car it may be best to approach a specialist car insurer for the best quote.
* Where you live and how you store your car. Some areas will attract higher insurance rates because of car crime in the area. If you car is stored in a garage you may be able to get lower premiums.
The best way to get a lower car insurance quote is to try a comparison site. Not all insurers are listed on these so you may want to contact others directly. It is important that you do this every time your car insurance comes up for renewal as sometimes insurance companies only offer the best deals to new customers.
Hopefully the world of car insurance now seems less daunting and you will be confident when it comes to considering the ways in which you can lower your car insurance premiums.