If you’re new to taking our car insurance, there are a few things you should know before you commit.
It’s a legal must
First and foremost car insurance is a legal requirement, you can’t drive without it. All motorists must have insurance for their vehicle before they set out on the road.
Insurance is based on trust
The entire insurance industry, whether car related or otherwise, is based on trust. Therefore, you must answer all the questions on your application truthfully, or your insurance is unlikely to be valid. If you make a claim and any of the information is found to be false or incorrect, your claim may not be covered. Remember, as time goes on, you must notify your insurance company of any changes in your circumstances.
The details of the cover
You also need to ensure that your car insurance provides the cover you require, at the right level. So check the detail of the policy to ascertain that it covers all of the elements and eventualities you require.
Your insurance premium
You’ll find that a number of points are taken into consideration when your car insurance premium is calculated.
Your age is one major factor affecting your insurance premium. So, generally speaking, if you’re a young driver, your insurance will prove more expensive, that’s because insurance is calculated on risk and young drivers tend to make more claims.
Your driving experience
Driving experience is also taken into account when calculating your premium, so if you’ve been a qualified driver for less than six months, your premiums are likely to be higher. However, there are things you can do to help this, like installing a telematics or ‘black box’ system approved by your insurance company.
Your driving history
In addition to the time you’ve been a qualified driver, any driving convictions or points that you have on your licence will affect the cost of your insurance. However, it’s imperative that you reveal any convictions to your insurer or your cover is unlikely to be valid. In fact, it’s illegal to withhold information about your convictions when your insurance provider asks for the details. Moreover, any mistakes you make or instances of nondisclosure, will not only affect your insurance this year but in many years to come as well. So it’s in your best interests, to be honest from the offset.
Moreover, in addition to your age and experience as a driver, your job will also be a factor taken into consideration when calculating your insurance costs. Some occupations tend to be charged less than others, so if you’re a nurse, social worker or dental nurse, your costs will tend to be lower.
Though you must always be truthful, it may be that there is more than one way of describing your job and one leads to a lower insurance premium quote than another. For instance, as the Telegraph found out when a photographer described himself as a ‘studio photographer’ as opposed to a ‘wedding photographer’, his quote was lower.
Your address is another point taken into consideration when calculating your premium. If the area in which you live has high levels of car crime, your premium is likely to cost more.
The vehicle you choose to drive will also have a huge impact on your insurance premiums. Cars are assigned an insurance group by the Association of British Insurers, and the scheme is administered by their research centre Thatcham Research, so you can find out more about your car’s ranking on their website.
Your vehicle’s use
Moreover, the purpose for which you plan to use your vehicle will also affect your premiums. So if you’re using it for business purposes, plan to keep tools in the vehicle, or you’ll be driving in the rush hour, your premium may rise.
Type of insurance
Car insurance is split into three types: fully comprehensive, third party, fire and theft or third party. However, don’t fall into the trap of assuming the lowest level of cover will be the cheapest. Often those drivers who opt for a fully comprehensive policy are seen as more responsible and hence less risky, so therefore their costs can be lower.
Moreover, your premium can also be lower if you opt for a higher excess, meaning you’ll pay more in the event of an incident before your insurance provider pays out.
Your insurance provider
As with all insurance policies the details, cost and cover will differ from provider to provider, so do shop around to find the right deal. Don’t simply rely on price comparison websites, talk to an experienced insurance broker, such as Call Wiser to find a policy that suits your needs.