UK car insurance is there to protect all drivers on the road. Obtaining car insurance in the United Kingdom is an easy process once you know how to meet the law's requirements.
Requirements for UK Car Insurance
Every driver using the public roads in the United Kingdom must carry proper car insurance to protect other people who may be injured in an accident. Although there are several different policies available, the UK car insurance laws only require drivers to carry third-party coverage.
A third-party policy covers passengers in your car, people in another car, and property damaged in an accident. In the event that you are at fault for an accident, your third-party coverage will handle the financial aspect of any injury or damage-related compensation.
This policy does not cover damage to the driver's vehicle or injuries to the driver. If the fault of the accident lies with the other vehicle's driver, you would be covered by his or her third-party coverage.
There are many options available to drivers who want more protection than what's offered with standard third-party policies. Popular selections include:
- Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive insurance covers your vehicle in an accident that is your fault or if the car is damaged by something other than another car, such as vandalism or a storm. Supplements to this coverage include roadside assistance, a rental car while your vehicle is being fixed or replaced, and towing services. Although this is more coverage than required by UK car insurance laws, this is a common level of protection among UK drivers.
- Legal expenses insurance: Legal expenses insurance pays for legal costs such as lawyer fees and court expenses. This can be helpful if you need to sue another driver for additional accident-related expenses or if you need to defend yourself against such a lawsuit.
- Third party fire and theft cover: This is the same as standard third-party coverage, but also covers your vehicle for any damage caused by fire or attempted theft. This coverage will pay to repair parts of the car that are damaged or will replace the entire vehicle if it's stolen or destroyed.
Applying for Coverage
UK car insurance companies make it easy to apply for coverage by offering customers the option of working out a quote over the phone or the Internet. Many major insurance suppliers, like Budget and Norwich Union, have extensive websites that allow customers to get a quote, apply for insurance, and file claims.Some websites work like a broker by comparing rates from several different companies after you fill out just one form. These sites, such as Quoteline Direct, can save you a lot of time and help narrow your choices.
Whether applying online or by phone, you'll need to share a lot of personal information about yourself so the insurance company can calculate your rate. Have the following information on-hand when you're ready to apply for insurance:
- Personal information such as name, address, age, and telephone. You'll need to provide this information for each person on your policy.
- Vehicle information, including make, model, and year.
- How the car is used. Example: driving to work each day in the city or for occasional weekend travel.
- Where the car is garaged.
- Your driving history, including any traffic violations or accidents.
Direct Car Insurance Providers in the UK
- Churchill Car Insurance offers a number of benefits to its customers. Along with reasonable rates, policyholders can take advantage of the five-year warranty on repairs performed at an approved garage. If the car is less than 12 months old and is totaled in an accident, the company will pay for a new one to replace it. The company also provides personal injury coverage for the policyholder and passengers and its comprehensive policy also protects personal items in the vehicle when an accident occurs.
- Privilege Car Insurance also provides its policyholders with a long-term guarantee on repairs following a collision and will replace a vehicle that is less than a year old if it cannot be repaired. This company will also pay the cost of replacing car seats following an accident or when the car is stolen and not recovered. There is no coverage limit for manufacturer-installed car stereos.
- Tesco Car Insurance offers discounts to customers who buy a policy online. This provider sells policies to drivers who are over 18 years of age and who are permanent UK residents. All repairs performed by an authorized shop come with a three-year guarantee.
No Claims Discount
UK car insurance plans encourage a history of safe-driving by giving discounts to drivers who do not file claims. Discounts can be seen in as little as two years of claim-free driving and increase each year. A driver with no claims for four years can expect a 60 percent reduction on their annual insurance premiums. If you do make a claim during the life of your policy, your discount may be reduced or you can keep the discount by paying a fee. The discount does not generally carry over from one car to another, so if you add another vehicle to your insurance plan, you may have to start over. Most insurers, however, will honor a "no claims" discount started on another policy.
Each company determines its own guidelines for the "no claims" discount so ask your potential insurance company what its rules are.
UK Car Insurance for Women
UK research indicates that women are less likely to get in car accidents or file claims on their car insurance, so they are rewarded for their safety with a discount. Although discounts may vary at different insurance companies, women can generally expect at least a 10 percent discount over their male counterparts. There are even insurance companies that work specifically with women, like Diva Insurance and Girl Motor.
UK car insurance buyers can get the best rates and policy terms by shopping around and getting quotes from several companies before making a decision to buy a policy. Considering the coverage options and benefits offered by insurance providers will help the driver to make the right choice.