Questions to ask your car insurer before signing up


The words cheap and car insurance are unlikely to go together these days – so the best drivers can do is find the best deal at the best price.

With one 18-year-old driver quoted £17,800 to insure a £400 Volkswagen Polo, it’s important motorists put together a car insurance checklist so they can compare deals and do not miss out on vital benefits.

So here are a few questions to ask about car insurance:

Is there a compulsory excess?

Many insurers manipulate the cost of cover by increasing the compulsory excess – which is the amount the driver pays towards the first claim in any single year.

Are legal and medical expenses capped?

Different insurers will offer varying levels of cover at different prices. Check through the details to make sure this cover offers the right terms.

Does the policy cover a replacement car?

If you car is off the road, what sort of car do you get and how long do you have use of the vehicle? Not all policies include this as part of the quote – replacement or courtesy cars are often optional add-ons at an extra cost.

Market-value or book value options

Market value is always better than book value if your insurance company has to pay out to replace your car if it is written-off. Market value considers mileage and condition, where book value is the trade price.

No claims discounts (NCD)

What’s the maximum NCD and what happens to the discount if I pay to protect it? Often a driver’s premium will increase if there is a claim even if they have a protected NCD.

Driving other cars

If a driver has comprehensive car insurance, generally, they are covered to drive any other cars – but at the reduced level of insurance covered by third party, fire and theft. This covers other road users but not the car the motorist is driving.

 Driving for work

Drivers with a SD&P policy – social, domestic and pleasure – and drive somewhere while at work, like training or to another works site, may not have insurance cover.  Check with work and the insurer what happens in this case.

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