Cheap car insurance. Optional Legal Expense Cover Is Well Worth the Extra.
Peter, our freelance journalists doesn’t take kindly to people driving into his beloved car. No, he doesn’t use his fourteen stone of gym-honed muscle to exact retribution nor is he into road rage. Of course, he’s got his car comprehensively insured but he’s also covered another way. He’s got legal insurance. He included in his cheap car insurance as an optional extra. This extra cover allows him to claim for costs and losses excluded covered from normal comprehensive and third-party policies. So, four months ago when his car was whacked from behind at the traffic lights, the legal profession swung into action! Not for free you understand, after all who’s heard of a solicitor laboring for free. No, but it was free to Peter – his insurance company paid all his legal costs.
Whilst the garage appointed by his insurer made a beautiful job repairing his bent MX5, his comprehensive policy didn’t normally cover claims for personal injury or loss of earnings. So, the extra £2 a month Peter forked out for legal expense cover, became money well spent. He’s already received compensation for the broken wrist he suffered and negotiations for his loss of earnings are well advanced. One-handed journalists aren’t much use in our office, so he took a month off!
Legal expense insurance assists policyholders to claim back losses and compensation where the accident wasn’t their fault. The losses can include the cost of hiring a replacement car insurance quote whilst yours is in the garage and, for those not comprehensively insured, the costs of having your car repaired. As in Peter’s case, legal expense insurance will also fund claims for personal injury and loss of earnings.
Cover for legal expense is one of those insurances that’s under rated until it’s called on. The insurer will run the claim for you and sends the settlement cheque at the end of the process. All you must do is record the facts on the legal expense claim form, speak to the solicitor nominated by your insurer, be prepared to answer a few follow-up questions, and sit back. If the case goes to court, they’ll represent you and fight your corner – although you may also have to attend.
Most cheap car insurance policies sold on the Internet don’t automatically include legal expense cover – it’s normally an optional extra. That’s because price competition on the net is so fierce that the insurers prefer to keep their headline premiums down as low as possible.
You’ll find that the optional cost of legal expense cover does vary from insurer to insurer. For example, More Than comes in at £17.85 per year, car insurance quote Direct Line £19.95, Churchill £21 and Budget £24 per year. Just a few insurance companies such as Admiral, include some legal expense cover for free.
So, make sure you don’t forget legal expense cover when you buy cheap car insurance. Complicated claims for compensation can drag on your years especially if severe injury is involved, and final settlements can end up in millions.
Cheap car insurance. Premiums Driven Down By The Internet.
After so many experts have warned us that the cost of cheap car insurance is on the rise, what’s happened? It’s fallen! It’s mostly down to the growing impact of shopping online.
In the second half of 2005 the average cheap car insurance premium fell from £470.17 to £462.15. But it’s the silver surfers who’ve benefited most. During the last six months of last year, drivers over the age of 65 have seen their average premium car insurance quote fall by 4.5% from £342 to £347. What is most surprising are the huge differences in premiums between providers. Differences of 40% between the most expensive and the cheapest are common.
It seems that most motorists are not aware of this as every year, half of them automatically renew their insurance with their existing insurer. A further 19% only bother to get one competitive quotation.
And readers will be surprised who sells the expensive policies. A recent survey in “Which”, the consumer magazine, shows that Norwich Union – the UK’s biggest insurer – failed to come top in any of the 36 driver categories surveyed. Direct Line, another well-known name, only managed one top spot.
This is down to the marketing strategies of the big brand names. They have been building up their client base with low prices and heavy car insurance quote advertising and then gradually increase prices. They are clearly relying on apathy and brand loyalty to keep their clients. And with 50% automatically renewing, it works!
But if you decide to shop around, be careful. A low price isn’t everything. Some policies have mouth-wateringly low prices but skimp elsewhere.
For example, when your car is being repaired, do you want a courtesy car? Some policies only pay £100 or so for stolen audio equipment. Is that enough? Do you want to insure your personal belongings whilst they’re in your car? And crucially, some comprehensive car insurance quote policies won’t provide third party cover if you to drive another person’s car – even with their permission!
Before you decide, it’s wise to consider all these aspects.
But going back to price, if you think prices are cheapest on the Internet, you’re right! Internet quotations are normally 5% – 10% cheaper than telephone quotes.
When Internet shopping, most people look for the cheapest quote and then read the details about the cheapest policy to check out car insurance quote that they provide the cover that’s needed. You can hunt for the best deals by searching under “cheap car insurance” but some of the discount insurance sites are more easily found if you type in “discount cheap car insurance” or “cheap cheap car insurance”.
But please remember, when renewal time comes around go shopping again. Don’t automatically renew! It’s so easy on the Internet as I found this year. My previous insurer quoted me £945 and I eventually bought it for £702. A saving of £243 for 30 minutes work.
Cheap car insurance. Surf The Net For A Better Deal
Is it coming round to the time to renew your cheap car insurance? Do you, like 23% of car owners, just accept the quote and stay with your insurer? Does it matter that the premium is 5 or 10 per cent more expensive than last years? Maybe it’s just not worth the hassle of all those phone calls to goodness knows where, thumbing through the yellow pages or wearing out your shoe-leather downtown. In addition to this, Insurance companies offer the best rates to new customers, in order to gain their custom. Existing clients generally stay with them anyway.
What about the internet? It really is worth giving it a try. Do you know that, if you shop around you could, on average, save around £55, plus the extra online discount? It is estimated that more than 2.25 million car owners purchase their cheap car insurance online now. The internet is speedy and simple to use, and internet sales are generally growing amazingly fast.
Car insurers really want your business; they will be extremely competitive with pricing in order to win you over. There are around 100 of them in the UK and due to the strong competition in the industry; prices have held level for the past year or so. You can go to the individual insurers’ websites, comparison websites or use one that car insurance quote recommends specific insurers for different types of driver, whether they be the in the young, higher risk category or the experienced old driver with years of proven safe driving behind them. You will receive instant results and an unbelievable amount of advice and information. You’ll be asked to fill in your relevant details, for example the number of years you’ve been driving, whether there are any convictions, number of years of “no claims” for your discount. All easily answered and your no claims details should be on your renewal notice.
Apart from the straightforward individual cheap car insurance, new categories of insurance are coming on to the market. There is pay as you go options and multi-car policies. These used to be difficult to obtain unless you were in the car-trade. It certainly seems to be time to re-assess what’s available in the cheap car insurance line and get yourself up to date on what’s on offer. A short time browsing the internet will get you thinking along the right lines.
A word of warning though; The AA’s Ian Crowder says “If we don’t start to see modest price increases, then there could well be an unpleasant and sudden price hike. This will not be good for the industry’s reputation or out customers.” Insurers are beginning to show signs that they may not be able to continue to hold down prices for very much longer. Claims are accelerating. The average cost of accidental damage repair has risen, costing an additional 5% per year, even though there are fewer accidents. Claims for personal injury are rising fast and the cost of settling these is rising at around 12% per annum.
Don’t give your insurer the chance to use this as an excuse for a rising premium, get online and get sorted!
Cheap car insurance. Uninsured Cars To Be Crushed
Are you one of the one in twenty motorists who regularly drive without insurance? You’d better watch out – your car could be heading for the crusher and shipped off to the world’s biggest scrap smelter in China!
New powers now allow the police to seize, impound and crush any car found on the road without insurance. A pilot scheme was introduced in Durham last spring. Since then, police have impounded more than 1,200 cars. Of those car insurance quote around half have been crushed into cubes and packed off for smelting.
Operation Takeaway as the pilot scheme was known, has been such a big success, that police forces throughout the UK are enthusiastically polishing up their tow trucks. The scheme is now supported by a new national police database that’s supported by the insurance industry. It enables the police to check the insurance status of every car in the UK whilst they’re sitting in their patrol car.
Now if you’re caught red handed without cheap car insurance, you’re forced to hand your keys to the police at the roadside. There are no exceptions – this applies to everyone; it doesn’t matter if it’s just a forgetful mistake or conscious driving without insurance.
Then you’ll have to get your skates on! You’ve just 14 days to produce a valid insurance policy to the police and collect your car. And car insurance quote other costs mount up. Before you can collect your car, you have to pay the cost of curbside recovery (around £105) and the cost of secure storage – and that could easily amount to £15 a day. So, if you leave collecting your car to the 14th day, you could be in for a bill for £315.
And if you don’t reclaim your car, off to the crusher it goes!
During the pilot scheme, the cost of crushing the cars was partly funded by Direct Line. They have estimated that Operation Takeaway prevented up to 2,000 accidents. And many of the cars impounded by the police were found to be un-roadworthy.
A police spokesman said, “Uninsured drivers are often guilty of many other offences. Such as having neither driving license nor MOT certificate. We are doing everything in our power to get these dangerous and illegal drivers off our roads”.
Indeed, uninsured drivers are much greater problem than many of us would expect. The Department of Transport recently reported that 1 in 20 motorists regularly drive without insurance. Furthermore, research from the Association of British Insurers discovered that uninsured drivers are amongst the most dangerous on the roads. On average car insurance quote they cause one accident every six months and are three times more likely to be convicted of driving without due care and attention.
And who pays for those uninsured accidents? We do! The average cheap car insurance premium is loaded by £30 to cover the cost of damage caused by uninsured motorists. Across the UK that adds up to an extra £500 million paid out each year by the law-abiding motorists!
But that’s not the end of our financial pain. If an uninsured vehicle collides into your car, it’s still recorded as a “fault claim” on your policy. This means you’ll have to pay the excess when your car is repaired and unless you’ve got Claims Protection on your policy, your no-claims bonus will take a knocking. Over a two-year period, the reduction in your no claims bonus could easily cost £275 in higher premiums.
The move to take cars off the road and crush them has been warmly welcomed by the Association of British Insurers. The ABI has long criticized the leniency of punishment handed out by the courts to uninsured motorists but they still want tougher penalties. Offenders are typically fined just £150 to £200 – with time to pay – and this is much less than the average cheap car insurance premium. Surely this cannot be true justice!