It’s mandatory for drivers to insure their vehicles – legally, if you’re found to be in possession of a vehicle that you haven’t registered as being off the road and out of use (SORN), you’re susceptible to court prosecution, fines of up to £1,000 and even impounding or destruction of your vehicle. We will be covering what car insurance policies are available to buy depending on your circumstances in this article.
If you’re unsure about what car insurance is, why you need it, and what kind of policy is right for you, we at Arkwright Insurance have put together this short guide to get you started.
What is car insurance?
Essentially, car insurance covers costs involved when damage occurs to your vehicle or yourself, or damage is caused by your vehicle, through a motoring incident. Depending on your policy type, car insurance covers an array of costs – such as your vehicle catching fire or being vandalised, damaged caused by an accident or collision, or if your vehicle is stolen.
A wide range of factors impact how much you will pay for car insurance premiums – which are typically paid annually or monthly – such as the value of your car, its engine size, your area of residence, the area you work in, where you keep your vehicle when it’s not in use, the age, experience and driving history of those covered by the policy, and so on. These factors indicate the level of risk towards associated with your car, which will then determine how much insurance companies think you should pay towards protecting it.
How to choose the right type of policy
Deciding on a car insurance policy can be tricky if you’re not aware of the different kinds available, and which kind of policy is most suitable for you and your driving style – but it’s worth bearing in mind that you won’t usually have to make a claim if you’re involved in an accident that was officially ruled as being caused by the fault of another party.
Third-party only cover
Also known as TPO, third-party only cover is usually the cheapest policy you can go for, but it’s the least comprehensive. It’ll cover damage caused to others or their property, but won’t cover your own.
Third-party, fire & theft cover
Third-party, fire and theft cover (TPFT) offers the same cover as a TPO policy, but will also pay out if your car is stolen or is damaged by a fire. However, it won’t cover you or your car in any other situation, so you won’t receive a payout if you’re involved in an accident where you were at fault.
This kind of cover provides the protection of both previously mentioned policies, but also spans to cover you and your vehicle against a much wider range of damages or loss. You’ll be able to claim if your car is damaged or written off in an accident, or if you’ve been injured in one, and you’ll also benefit from more comprehensive vehicle cover – most policies will cover more minor things such as your windscreen, and will often offer courtesy cars if yours is off the road.
In terms of deciding which policy is best for you, it’s best to assess whether or not you could afford to cover your own costs if you or your car suffered injury. As a general rule, if you wouldn’t be able to finance the replacement of your vehicle, legal fees, or even cover monies lost due to injury should an accident occur when you’re at fault, opt for a more comprehensive policy.
What to look out for when choosing a car insurance policy
Firstly, you should always assess the excess of a policy – excess is the amount you will pay towards making a claim. While it’s often refunded if you’re not found to be at fault, you need to ensure you can afford excess payments to begin with.
Usually, the cheaper the premiums, the higher the excess – if you’ve set money aside should an accident occur, it may be a good option to opt for a higher excess and increase the voluntary excess on the policy. If not, try and find a better balance between premium and excess payment.
You should also look out for added extras with a policy – many insurers offer extras such as breakdown cover, key loss cover or windscreen cover with their policies to make them more attractive. It may be worth paying slightly more in premiums for a policy with more convenient benefits
How to compare car insurance quotes
When looking for a policy, most drivers tend to use price comparison websites or gain and compare multiple car insurance quotes online – however, insurance brokers can often offer a more convenient solution.
Insurance brokers have a plethora of exclusive deals available to them, and a relationship with multiple providers. They’re able to assess your situation with a more professional and informed knowledge, and find you a deal that’s often more competitive than when searching alone as a consumer.
We at Arkwright even offer an easy online quote and buy car insurance form, which will assess your criteria and scour our database for the most affordable yet highest-performing deal suitable for your needs. If you’re looking for a car insurance compare with Arkwright Insurance.