Why It’s Important To Insure Your Vehicle

Since the advent of the Road Traffic Act in 1988, insuring your vehicle for driving has been an unambiguous and unarguable must. Given the range and choice of insurance policies available, to fail to do so is not only grossly negligible it is also extremely dangerous to both yourself and other motorists.

Approximately a third of Britons choose not to buy insurance with their vehicle. Statistics released by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) show that around 1.4 million motorists are thought to be uninsured. An estimated 23,000 people are injured and 160 killed by uninsured, and often untraced, drivers every year. The cost of uninsured drivers to insurance firms stands at £500 million a year and increases each individual’s annual premium by an average of £30.

There are typically three types of vehicle insurance available. First, there is basic third party cover, legally the minimum insurance required. Third party covers you for damage caused to other people or their property during an accident. The second type of premium available is third party, fire and theft. Again, this covers damage to others and their property while also covering your vehicle for damage sustained during a theft, attempted theft or fire. If the vehicle is stolen and unrecovered, or lost in a fire, then the insurance company will pay you the value of the vehicle at the time of the accident. Finally, there is the all-encompassing safety net of comprehensive insurance cover.

Taking out a comprehensive premium is, of course, the most expensive form of insurance; it could, however, be well worth paying the extra pennies. As well as providing all the cover available in the first two categories, comprehensive insurance also protects your own vehicle against any problems sustained during an accident, even if you are at fault, as well as any malicious damage. Most comprehensive policies will carry an excess which is an amount you agree to pay towards any claim. If, for example, you make a claim for £1,000 and your excess is £250, you will be required to pay the first £250 of the claim and the insurance company will cover the rest.

Most premiums frequently offer a range of optional extras, enabling you to tailor your cover to suit your own specifications. These extras typically include breakdown cover, travel in Europe and using other vehicles with the owner’s permission.

One way to bring your monthly premium down is to offer to pay a higher voluntary excess. Typically, the more towards a potential claim you are prepared to contribute, the lower your monthly bill will be. Insurance premiums are affected by a variety of factors. Insurers will calculate a total amount by evaluating a person’s ‘risk level’. This is concluded by considering things including your claims history and driving record, therefore a clean licence and a no-claims history will benefit your quest for cheap car insurance.

Providers will also evaluate your personal circumstances, the amount of time you spend on the road, your home address and your parking arrangements. Again, savings can be made if your car is parked in a secure, locked garage or if you live in an area with low crime statistics and few potential accident ‘hotspots’.

Driving a vehicle on a road or public place without a minimum of third party cover is illegal. The consequences are typically a fixed penalty notice which dwarfs the cost of any premium and police involvement. Points on your licence are another potential punishment. For both legal and safety reasons, insuring your motor is a must; it needn’t, however, cost the Earth.

It’s well worth taking the time and effort to establish exactly what insurance you need before thoroughly researching the right cover for you. Doing so will avoid unnecessary expenses and enable you to travel the roads in safety.