Welcome to Insurance Reviews where your find all you need to know about a range of different types of insurance.
Everybody needs insurance, from Landlord Insurance to Gas Boiler Insurance or car insurance, sometimes itís compulsory where by law you need insurance like car insurance, youíre not allowed to drive your car on the road without insurance, in fact youíre not even allowed to keep your car parked at the side of the road without insurance, and sometimes the insurance is not compulsory but a good idea like Travel Insurance, Pet Insurance or Funeral Insurance.
Car insurance comes in two types, thereís third party fire and theft insurance which is cheaper but only insures you for any damage you do to another car or anything else on the road and as the name suggests fire and theft, the more expensive insurance is called fully comprehensive insurance or fully comp for short.
With fully comprehensive insurance you are also insured for damage to your own car, if you hit another car, third party fire and theft will pay for car repair bills for the other car but not for your own car, fully comprehensive pays the repair bills for your own car too, unless you have an old car that is not worth much money and wouldnít bother repairing if it got damaged then fully comprehensive is the better insurance.
Fully Comprehensive Insurance
Additionally, fully comprehensive insurance also covers things like whiplash to you or someone else in your car where third party insurance might not, I say might not as it will probably (depending on the policy) cover your passengers but not you.
Third Party Insurance
Third party insurance will also not cover the contents of your car so if your car is broken into say by the window being smashed then with fully comp youíre be able to claim for the value of your belongings, for example you might have a Sat Nav or mobile phone in the car at the time of the robbery and your be able to claim if they are stolen.
Fully comprehensive car insurance will also cover you for things like a broken window, the damage can be caused by any means such as a stone chip breaking the windscreen or causing a large crack or from someone breaking into your car, with third party insurance your windscreen breaking would not be covered, note that you might have to pay whatís called a premium, where you must pay the first fifty pounds of the replacement or repair cost before the insurance company will cover the rest of the repair bill.
The premium is designed to stop frivolous claims, if you have a small crack and donít want to pay a premium which could be any value from fifty to one hundred and fifty pounds depending on the value of the car, you might not claim knowing that you must pay the premium and that saves the insurance companies money as they wonít have to pay out if you donít claim.
No Claims Bonus
Car insurance also comes with whatís called a no claims bonus, this means that if you donít claim on your insurance that year the next year your insurance will be slightly cheaper and each additional year that you donít claim your insurance will be cheaper still, of course this is another way that the insurance companies encourage you not to make a claim and therefore save themselves some money.
Itís not just cars that you have to insure to use on the road but bikes too, with bike insurance the cost of the insurance is related to the power of the bike, if you have a 50cc moped the insurance will be much cheaper than a 1000cc super bike, again as with car insurance your required by law to have bike insurance, although with bike insurance itís important to get a fully comprehensive policy because your far more exposed on a bike and in the event of an accident more likely to hurt yourself, so fully comprehensive insurance will pay your medical bills where third party insurance wonít.
Itís not just the power of the bike or car that determines the cost of the insurance but the age of the driver, if your young your thought to be far more inexperienced at driving than someone who is older and has been driving for several years, and in fact statistically your much more likely to have an accident in your first year of driving than you are in any other year of driving so your premium will be higher in those first few years.
Young drivers will often go on their parents insurance, what this means is that they are a named driver on someone elseís insurance policy, this makes the insurance cheaper because itís the person who owns the insurance who is assessed for the insurance premium and if they also have several years of no claims bonus the insurance will again be cheaper, now thatís not to say that insurance companies wonít charge additional money for named drivers or indeed young named drivers, but it will still be cheaper than having your own insurance.
Whilst being on your parentís insurance sounds like a good idea, after all itís cheaper, you will not accumulate your own no claims bonus as it will be your parents who will get the no claims bonus (assuming you donít crash your or their car and your parents need to make a claim).
Named Driver On Your Parents Insurance
Having named drivers on one insurance policy is different from having whatís called multi-car insurance, this is when you insure several cars on the same insurance policy, this is cheaper than having several different insurance polices, itís normally difficult or time consuming to setup as you have to transfer your current insurance to the multi-car policy or add another car as the other cars insurance expires, beware of additional costs called service charges every time you add or remove a car from the policy.
Of course, itís not just cars and bikes that need insurance on the road but vans too, van insurance typically costs more than car insurance because itís assumed your using the van for business and your using the van many more hours each day than you might the car, a van might be used to make frequent drop offs or on the road delivering most of the day whilst a car or bike might just be used for commuting or for a run to the shops.
You have to declare what you will use the car, bike or van for and this determines the cost of the insurance as well, the more you use the vehicle the more likely it is that you will have an accident just because youíre using it more, other things that will push up the cost of the insurance is whether the car, van or bike is left in a garage overnight or on the street, if on the street there is a greater chance of the bike or car being stolen or the van being broken into to steal the tools inside or just from vandalism left unattended at night.
If you lie on your insurance and say the car is left in a garage overnight or that you donít use the car for commuting when you do then when you have an accident and need to make a claim you wonít be able to say it was in a garage when it wasnít or that you where commuting when you had an accident at Tescoís whilst shopping, itís worth mentioning that it is also fraud to lie on an insurance application, at best your insurance will be void and you simply will have the insurance removed or the cover reduced when the insurance company finds out you were untruthful or at worst your be taken to court.
You can get a quote online as most people do but still many people want to speak to someone and explain something about their insurance needs that they canít easily do in a web form, also itís so much easier and nicer speaking to people than a machine, but whatever suits you your be able to get a quite thatís right for you, itís a myth that all insurance company call centres are in India and youíre have trouble communicating with the customer service people, most insurance companies are in Ireland, Manchester or Birmingham, well their call centres are because there have been studies on what accent customers find most reassuring and thatís accents from Ireland, Birmingham and Manchester.
Over Fifty Insurance
If your over fifty your insurance is likely to be cheaper for several reasons, firstly you have probably been driving for many years and so are more experienced and less likely to have an accident on the road and second your probably a safer and slower driver than you were in your youth, and drivers that donít speed and take notice of all traffic conditions are safer drivers, safer drivers have less accidents and therefore cost the insurance companies less money in pay-outs so over fifties get cheap car insurance.
Cheaper Insurance For Women Drivers
Itís not only the over fifties who have cheap insurance but ladies too, women driverís, statistics have shown are safer drivers than men, so again the ladies get cheaper insurance because they are naturally safer on the road, less likely to race their car or break the law or drink and drive.
When buying insurance or even getting a quote make sure the insurance company your buying insurance from is a member of BIBA (British Insurance Brokers Association) what this means is that you have some protection from this industry body and its members must follow strict guidelines or else they will be held to account by the insurance association.
Note that BIBA is a brokers association, an insurance broker is a company that offers you insurance, answers your questions and takes your money but does not actually provide you with insurance, the actual insurance comes from whatís called an underwriter, thatís the actual insurance company that is providing you with the insurance, in the same way that Tesco is an insurance broker providing you with insurance from any number of insurance companies, in fact you might buy insurance from Tesco who might use the LV (Liverpool and Victoria) insurance company one year and then when you go to renew your insurance your find that although itís still Tesco insurance the underwriter has changed to Standard Life insurance.
When you renew your insurance what your actually offered will change from year to year, insurance polices change and the insurance brokers use different companies that offer similar but not exactly the same insurance, so your no claims bonus might go down or your free windscreen replacement might suddenly attract a premium so review the documents the insurance company or broker sends you on renewal.
Remember that if your using a comparison site to buy your insurance you want them to be unbiased, offering you the best insurance because it is the best for you (depending on the options you have selected) and not because itís the insurance company that offers the price comparison site or broker the most money for selling their insurance policies.
If you change insurance companies so that when your insurance expires you donít renew with the same broker or insurance company your have to transfer out your no claims bonus, usually you fill in a form to tell the new insurance company your details, name, address, car to be insured etc. and list how many years no claims bonus you have, this will either be as a number of years like five years no claims or as a range like between two and five years no claims, donít be tempted to lie and say you have more years of no claims bonus than you do as the new insurance company will check with the old insurance company as insurance companies share databases of their customers between each other (on a limited basis as thereís lots of data protection requirements that companies must meet).
For your car, van or bike insurance you might want to consider breakdown insurance, this is when for a fee or free depending on the deal you have the insurance comes with breakdown cover, usually from the AA, RAC or Green Flag, with the RAC and especially Green Flag being popular choices for insurance companies to offer, possibly because the AA needs no further introduction as itís the most widely known breakdown cover, the thinking behind offering free or cheap breakdown cover with the insurance is that your very likely to stay with the same breakdown cover and renew each year even if you donít continue with the insurance.