What optional extras should I look for in a policy?
OK let’s start by listing what we think could be overlooked when you get a car insurance quote:When choosing a car insurance policy you should not always go for the cheap option. The cheap car insurance quote maybe great for your pocket in the short-term, but what would happen if you had an accident or claim and an oversight had been made by taking the cheap option? Well this article will tell you what to look for and why you should be considering each option carefully.
- No Claims Protection
- Windscreen / Window Cover
- Roadside Assistance or Breakdown Cover
- Courtesy Car when your car is in for repair, loss assessment or theft
- Car Contents
- Personal Entertainment Systems Cover
- Named Drivers at No Extra Cost
- Zero Interest Monthly Payments
- Insurance against Uninsured Drivers
- Free Legal Costs
No Claims Protection
To protect your No Claims Bonus you will usually require four years worth of claim-free driving. For a small addition to your premium you can protect your no claims bonus for up to three claims within a stated period in the contract. It is advisable to ask for this option as it is not always offered.
Windscreen / Window Cover
This type of cover is widely available on a comprehensive policy (but not always so it is worth checking). However on a third party fire and theft policy it is usually an extra or not available at all so remember to ask to enable you to make a good comparison between various companies.
Roadside Assistance or Breakdown Cover
Breakdown Cover is only sometimes included in comprehensive policies so it is a good idea to mark this item as a question on your checklist when consulting with your insurance broker or when you are requesting an online car insurance quote. Breakdown usually starts at around £40 per year so if it is included in a policy then you will have made a good saving.
Courtesy Car when your car is in for repair, loss assessment or theft
Many companies offer a courtesy car when you have had an accident. However remember to read the small print – always check the maximum amount of time you are allowed a courtesy car for and check if the car is available for use immediately after an accident just in case your car ends up to be a total loss. Always check to see if a courtesy car is available after your car has been stolen as many people are left without a vehicle for up to six weeks after the theft. Usually a car insurance company will not act for 30 days from the dat of theft in case your vehicle is recovered in that period.
Check for the amount of compensation you would receive for your cars contents (if any). Just remember, your laptop or expensive camera will not be covered by your home insurance unless you request it in the home insurance policy. Again check the excess against this type of theft.
Personal Entertainment Systems Cover
Many young drivers these days have expensive audio and visual systems fitted in their vehicle. A standard policy will usually only cover your equipment up to the value of around £200 so be aware if you have spent lots of hard earned cash on electrical entertainment, spend a little extra on your premium to cover the possible loss of it.
Named Drivers at No Extra Cost
Some policies will let you include a named driver for your vehicle at no extra charge. This is not commonplace but will save you at least £30 on average should the option be available.
Zero Interest Monthly Payments
Always ask what payment plans are available for your insurance policy. Many companies charge at least an extra £40 on your policy for spreading the cost however some companies offer an interest free option. Should you wish to pay your premium in a lump sum, ask if a discount is available for this as companies and brokers can be more flexible than you think – every little helps!
Insurance against Uninsured Drivers
Over 2 million drivers in the UK are uninsured so today the likelihood of you having an accident with one of them could be high. Always check with your insurance broker or company to see if your policy covers you against the uninsured because if they don’t it means you would lose everything unless you were injured, in which case you could make a personal injury claim through the MIB (Motor Insurance Bureau). These claims can take years to complete.
Free Legal Costs
Last but not least always check to see if you are elligible for free legal costs usually worth around £25. Most companies do offer this these days but it is wise to cover all bases before making your decision.
If you use this article as a basic checklist before taking out a car insurance policy then you should be in good stead for making the right decision.