When choosing a car insurance policy it can be quite confusing to know what’s important and what isn’t; what are the ‘must haves’ and what is important but not necessarily vital?
From key cover to car replacement, here are those elements the experts say decent motor cover must have, and what isn’t quite so important:
‘Must have’, vital policy features:
- Comprehensive cover
It goes without saying really, but you’ll want fully-comprehensive cover so that you’re protected no matter what the circumstance. This should include a reasonably high level of cover in all areas; from damage to your own vehicle, to legal liability levels.
- Loss and theft of keys
The insurer will pay for keys which operate the car ignition, immobiliser, steering lock, and alarm and garage door if they’re lost or stolen. The better policies would cover you for £300 or more per claim. Some policies also allow you to take out additional key cover, so you don’t have to claim on your policy.
- No claims discount protection
If you have to make at least one claim in a year, you’re no claims discount won’t be affected if you have no claims discount protection. The number of claims you’re allowed might be up to 3 a year as standard.
- Your belongings
The items you take with you in a car will be covered following an accident, theft or fire (clothes, bags, gadgets etc.). A minimum cover of £200 would be expected.
Windscreens are one of the most vulnerable parts of a car, they’re most commonly damaged and can be relatively expensive to replace. Take note that windscreen insurance may only cover the front window (i.e. the ‘windscreen’, and not sunroofs and side windows).
- Courtesy car during repairs
Imagine if you were suddenly were without your car? Your might not be able to get to work, ferry the kids around, do all the things you would normally do. Courtesy car cover means you could, as you’re provided with a vehicle while your car’s being fixed. However, this might not be worth having if you have a second vehicle.
- Guaranteed repairs
Having repair work covered is, of course, vital as it can cost thousands to repair a vehicle after it’s damaged. The cheapest policies, which only cover you for third-party fire and theft, don’t include repair damage to your vehicle.
- Car rescue cover
If you find yourself in an accident and can’t drive your vehicle away, you’ll want to make sure your insurer will cover the cost of removing it and taking it for repair.
Important, but not vital:
- Accident transport
If you get into an accident and can’t use your car, you’ll be transported away from the scene of the accident to your home.
- Hotel costs
If you’re in an accident a long way from home or on holiday and need accommodation while your car is fixed, it will be provided.
- Courtesy car after total loss
If your car is written off, you’ll get a similar or the same vehicle as a replacement while your claim is being settled. The car will usually only be provided for a limited time period.
- 24-hour helpline
Insurers are more and more offering 24-hour helplines for you to phone if you get in to difficulty while driving. The better policies will provide this as standard.
- Breakdown cover
Some drivers might consider cover if your car breaks down a ‘must have’, but it can add a relatively large amount to the cost of cover and many people are happy to go without it.
- ‘New’ car replacement
You’ll get a completely new car which is of the same specification if your car is stolen or damaged beyond repair. Note that while this is called ‘new’ car replacement, you are usually given up to a certain percentage of the list price of the written-off or stolen car, but not the total amount. Also the car at the time of the claim has to be under a certain age (usually 24 months old).
Nice to haves
- Stereo and satellite navigation insurance
If you have expensive stereo equipment and GPS, it could be worth thinking about adding this to a policy. Note that it often only covers you for the equipment that came with the car, not any that you bought additionally.
- Cover for driving abroad
If you go abroad fairly often, or even just once a year, it might be worth considering extending your cover to overseas driving. Some of the best policies include the same cover for when you’re driving abroad as in the UK, but many don’t.
- Enhanced courtesy car during repairs
Often, if you have ordinary courtesy car cover for if your needs significant repairs, you might only get a small car, which you might be quite happy with. But if you’re not, you can ensure you get a car which is the equivalent or larger version of the one at the garage.
As an online insurance broker, Policy Expert help our customers to compare cover and find a policy that’s right for them. Customer care is at the heart of everything we do and we have a dedicated customer service team on hand by phone, email, twitter and instant chat. For more information speak to one of our experts on 0203 014 9300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org