Car Insurance FAQs
Do I need car insurance?
Anyone who drives a vehicle is legally obliged to have insurance against the risk of causing damage or injury to another driver, when using that vehicle. Insurance also covers the driver themselves. Anyone caught without insurance runs the risk of court action, a criminal prosecution and a ban from the road.
So you need insurance for driving cars, but as one might expect there are a huge number of factors that affect the premium costs.
What types of car insurance exist?
There are generally three types:
- Third party: covering liability for injury to others, property damage, and liability while towing a trailer.
- Third party fire and theft: same as above, but also covering fire and theft including any damage to your vehicle inflicted while the theft took place.
- Comprehensive: same as above, but also covering loss or damage to your vehicle and its windscreen, and other things such as medical expenses.
What affects the cost of car insurance?
- Make and model of car
- Security of car – e.g. where it is parked, use of immobilisers
- Driving history – number of claims etc.
- Social demographic – see below
- Haggling! Don't be afraid to negotiate; after all, there are plenty of other insurers out there…
- Telematics – installing a black box so that an insurer can monitor your driving habits and adjust them accordingly is a good way to drive down prices. Check if your insurer offers such a service.
How do my life circumstances affect the cost of my premium?
Social demographic is one of the factors that is most tricky to understand, and each insurer has their own guidelines and algorithms to arrive at a final cost. One might understand mileage and speeding tickets being factors, but what about occupation and number of children?
Insurers do not reveal their exact reasoning for arriving at a particular figure. Your job could have a major effect, for example; a job that requires plenty of driving such as a rep or even a journalist could cost you more when it comes to renewal.
Do I need business insurance?
Not if the only driving you do is commuting to and from work.
There are various business use classes, to cover anything from driving to multiple places of work and also covering your spouse, to delivery of light goods, through to occupations such as taxi driving or courier services.
Do I have to own the car to insure it?
Not always, although this is by far the most common scenario. You can insure a car for someone else, such as a son, daughter or partner, and you can also insure yourself before you buy it. You will be required to tell the insurer that you are not the owner or registered keeper, and some may refuse to insure you in this instance.
Can I drive someone else's car?
Possibly, although you should check the terms of your cover before getting behind the wheel. There may be certain classes of drivers who cannot drive other cars under their insurance, such as newly-passed drivers.
How important is No Claims Bonus?
Ideally, drivers who have not made a claim for several years (or decades) should be paying a very low sum for their insurance, as they are clearly less of a risk for insurers than someone who has been involved in several accidents. However, the reality is sometimes more complex.
For each year that you drive without making a claim, your insurer will award one year no claim bonus (NCB). Certainly, the first five years of building up an NCB are beneficial, as after that costs will generally start to fall rapidly.
After a certain period of driving (such as five years) a driver can pay to protect their NCB, so that the discount endures even if they have an accident. However, the way a discount is applied varies between insurers. Most allow you to make one claim in a year, or two claims in three years, and still keep your NCB. At the end of each year make sure you keep your proof of NCB, so you can use it for renewal.
What else do I need to know?
- As tempting as it may be to tell a white lie to lower your premium, there really is little point in being dishonest. If you are caught the insurer could cancel your policy or charge the ‘correct' amount. A non-disclosure will also need to be admitted on all future applications. However, there may be some exceptions if technical errors are made.
- As with most insurance types, it is usually far cheaper to pay in one lump sum than monthly.
How can I get a cheap quote?
One way to get a cheap quote is through using a comparison website. We have partnered with Quotezone.co.uk who compare 100+ car insurance providers and are 100% independent meaning they are not owned or have investment from any insurance company.