10 things to check when choosing a car insurance policy

4 min Read Published: 14 Sep 2023

10 things to check when choosing a car insurance policy

When choosing the best car insurance policy you need to look beyond just the premium. Here is a checklist to ensure that you get the best value for money and not just the cheapest car insurance policy:

1. Have you got the right cover?

There are different types of car insurance policies and when taking out a policy you need to ensure you have the right policy with the cover you need. Find out the different policy types in our article, 'What are the different types of car insurance?'

2. What is the policy excess?

Car insurance policies have a compulsory excess as well as a voluntary excess which is payable in the event of a claim. A compulsory excess is set by the insurer and the voluntary excess is the amount you can choose to contribute towards the claim. When you make a claim the total excess payable is the compulsory excess combined with the voluntary excess you have chosen. The higher the excess on your car insurance policy the lower your premium. However, as this is the amount that is payable upon making a claim you need to ensure this is affordable. When comparing car insurance policies you should compare the amount of compulsory excess that the insurers impose as this can affect the policy premium. Find out more in our article, 'Car insurance excess explained'. 

3. Is windscreen cover included?

A good car insurance policy will include windscreen cover which will either replace or repair a damaged windscreen. Make sure you check whether sunroofs are included and whether there is a limit on the amount which the insurer will pay out if you don't use their approved repair company. Also, check the level of excess you'll have to pay in the event of the claim and how many claims you can make in a year.

4. Have you got lost or stolen key cover?

Does your car insurance policy cover lost or stolen keys? Usually, a comprehensive policy will cover the cost of getting replacements or you may have to add it as an optional extra but this is likely to come at an additional cost. Our article, 'Car insurance key cover: Is it worth it?' explains more.

5. Have you got no claims protection?

Does your car insurance policy include no claims protection? No claims protection will mean that your no claims should be protected in the event of a claim. As you build up your no claims you may see a discount on your future car insurance policies. Find out if no claims protection is worth it in our article, 'What is no-claims discount and is it worth protecting?'

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6. Is a courtesy car included?

If you have a comprehensive car insurance policy a courtesy car may be included. A courtesy car will be supplied in the event of an accident if your car needs to be repaired.

7. Have you got breakdown cover?

A courtesy car will be supplied in the event of an accident if your car needs to be repaired. If you have a comprehensive car insurance policy a courtesy car should be included. Check the size of the courtesy car that will be provided and whether it will fit your needs. Sometimes you have to pay more to upgrade your policy so that it provides a larger courtesy car.

8. Are your personal belongings covered?

Are your personal belongings covered on your car insurance policy and does this include things that you may store in your boot overnight such as your child's pushchair? If you have personal belongings cover you need to check how much you are insured for and how much will pay out should these items become lost or damaged. A decent policy will provide a few hundred pounds worth of cover, but will probably not cover cash or cards that are stolen. Before purchasing your policy make sure you are happy with the level of personal belongings cover and if not then ensure your home insurance policy provides sufficient cover for your belongings outside of the home.

9. Are your legal expenses covered?

Legal expense cover is the legal help you will get to recover your 'uninsured losses' following an accident that was not your fault e.g. personal injury claims. You need to check whether this is included in your car insurance policy, if not you may need to purchase it as an additional extra. Do check if you have motor legal protection elsewhere though as you may already be covered. Legal protection may be included in your home insurance policy or with your packaged bank account. If this is the case you may not need to include it on your car insurance policy and could therefore save money.

10. How much are the admin fees?

Take a look at the T&Cs of your car insurance policy to check how much it costs to make administration changes during the middle of the policy (such as if you buy a new car) or to cancel the policy altogether.

How to buy car insurance

One of the easiest ways to purchase a car insurance policy is via a comparison site such as Quotezone*. Comparison sites allow you to compare multiple providers at once and can help you to find the cheapest deal. When using a comparison site to compare providers you need to ensure that you are comparing policies that have the right amount of cover that you need. We have partnered with Quotezone* so that you can search and compare quotes from over 110 UK car insurance providers.

When comparing cover you should also ensure you check the excess on the car insurance policies as this can impact the price of the policy. You may end up paying more when you make a claim as this made the car insurance policy cheaper when you purchased it. Another thing to consider when purchasing car insurance is that most comparison sites are not whole of market which means that you may not be getting the best deal.



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