Always get several quotes before finalising your insurance purchase. Most online insurance websites allow you to save your quote, come back, select it and pay for it later. Many brokers gather quotes from many insurance providers but don't presume that because one broker has checked hundreds of providers that they have gathered you the best price, some brokers may have special deals with providers and can get bigger discounts. If yours is a specialist vehicle, then go to the specialist insurer that deals with your type of vehicle.
paying for your quote online
If you are buying online from a reputable supplier, your credit card details will be secure, if you are unsure about entering your details, then your application can be finalized by speaking to an operator. There are anti fraud mechanisms in place for buying items online and ironically it is most probably less secure making transactions on the telephone. If the unforeseen does occur, your credit card company should foot the bill for any fraudulent actions.
types of cover
The type of cover that you wish to take is up to you, for many it is down to cost, for others it is an automatic choice based upon the age or value of vehicle, fully comp is a bit lavish for your tatty old banger. Different insurance companies specialise in different areas, some like young people, others don't, some like the men, others prefer the lady driver.
some terms and types of cover
This is the most expensive cover but offers far more protection. You are covered for third party risks, but also damage to your own vehicle.
Third party, fire and theft -
Third Party Fire and Theft offers the cover of Third Party (above) but also adds cover for your own car. This means that if your car is damaged by fire, or is stolen, the insurer will pay the replacement costs.
Third party only -
This is the minimum level of cover required by UK law and the cheapest option.
It covers you only for claims made against you by other people for damage to them, their property, or their motor vehicle/s. Your insurance company will only pay your liability to the other people involved in the accident. If your car is written off or stolen you will not receive compensation.
Excess - how much you have to pay towards any claim.
Market value - how much your car is deemed to have been worth at the time of the accident, based upon known values or cars of a similar age and condition.
what you need to get an online quote
vehicle details(age, estimated value, date of purchase, any special features, where kept overnight), information for any additional drivers, credit/debit card, pen, paper.
what is not covered
you will need to refer to the specifics of your policy, but if things such as in car audio equipment, car phones, windscreen replacements, towing trailers or being insired to drive other peoples cars or cover for others are of concern then review your policy documents or get any extras added. Remember, there are many things that could jeopardise or invalidate your insurance ie. if you have no tax (road fund licence), or MOT, your policy will be invalid, unless for example you can prove there is an exceptional reason, you may be traveling to an MOT test centre and have an accident, wether or not this invalidates your insurance is down to the insurer, failing to lock your vehicle, or not keeping the vehicle stored in your garage overnight... like you said you did on your application will all have implications upon any claims.
1. Promptly notify the police and call for an ambulance if anyone is hurt.
2. Cooperate with the authorities who come to the scene.
3. Take reasonable steps to protect your vehicle from another loss. Consider moving it out of the flow of traffic.
4. Try to record everything at the scene. Your notes should include details of the accident, identification of the vehicles and people involved, witness details and the names and numbers of all emergency personnel. Take pictures if possible.
5. Insist on breath tests if you suspect drugs or alcohol are involved.
6. Do not accept money. Do not accept fault. Do not agree to forget about the auto accident. When you get home you may find the damage is greater than you first thought.
7. File your claim as quickly as possible.
8. Have the insurance company inspect and appraise the damage before any steps are taken to repair it, get permission from your insurance before hiring a replacement vehicle.
9. The other party may accept resposibility at the scene to pasify your anger, but they may tell a different story later.
10. If the vehicles involved have suffered previous damage, agree this damage with the other driver, do not end up paying to repair their previous accidents as well.
11. Your own insurance company may have other requirements, always read your policy document.
keep your premiums down
Top 10 ways to drive down the long-term cost of car insurance.
Restrict drivers on your policy to just one named other.
Only add teenagers if absolutely necessary; or add them temporarily, for example during university holidays.
Keep vehicle modifications to a minimum, as they will push up the price of the replacement value.
Pay your premium in full instead of in monthly instalments, because insurers will offer a discount on a lump sum but add a surcharge for instalments.
Install security measures such as an alarm or immobiliser.
Park your car on the driveway or in a garage where possible, to reduce likelihood of theft or damage.
The fewer miles you drive, the cheaper your cover. Make sure your insurer has an accurate estimate of your annual mileage.
things to consider
What is the policy excess and what is the maximum the company will pay out?
Are there any mandatory excesses for accidental or malicious damage?
What level of no claim discount can I receive?
How will additional security on my car affect the premium?
How many claims does my protected bonus allow me?
Do I get a courtesy car for any claims, and if so for how long and under what circumstances? Do I have to pay extra to insure it?
Do windscreen claims affect my no claims discount?
Can I drive abroad with my standard policy?
Can I use my preferred garage for repairs in the case of a claim?
Will I have to fill in lots of claim forms when claiming?
Will I get a discount if I have been driving with no claims for several years but have not had a policy in my own name?
Is motor legal protection included?
Does the policy offer roadside breakdown assistance?
Does cover include personal injury, personal belongings or replacement locks?
Will your no-claims bonus be affected if the accident wasn't your fault or the cost can't be recovered?
Can you transfer your no-claims bonus built up while driving on somebody else's insurance?
Can you transfer your no-claims bonus on to a second car?
When you make a claim, do you speak to the broker who sold you the policy or the insurer?
If your vehicle is 'written off' by your insurance company (cost of repair exceeds value of vehicle and it is deemed beyond economic repair) differing insurance companies will have procedures in place, for example, some insurers may allow you to buy the vehicle back and make it road worthy, the road worthy-ness of a previously written off vehicle will need to be independantly verified by an assessor. Some insurers may not take this approach, you will need to ask your insurers or check your policy to find out what your options are.