Facts About… Car Insurance

As a driving instructor, I am often complained at about the cost of driving lessons. Pupils and pupils’ parents seem to think that driving lessons are expensive and that discounts should be given out left, right and centre.

My usual line of argument is the cost of driving once the test has been passed – Insurance, MOT, repairs, fuel, etc. – and the comparison with other trades – e.g. Plumbers, electricians, mechanics – who charge much, much more per hour.

My point is usually taken once the maths has been done, in fact I quite often leave them thinking that driving lessons would be cheap at twice the price… If only!

Anyway, the point to this page is to explain the necessary evil of Car Insurance.

Why is Car Insurance necessary?

Many new drivers can’t understand why it costs them over £1000 to insure their car, when they only paid £800 to buy the car!!

The first and most important part of car insurance to understand is that you are not insuring your car, you are insuring against damage caused by your car.

If you crash into another car, a house or even a pedestrian, you need to be covered in case you are sued for damages.

If you accidentally ran someone over and broke both their legs… ‘Sorry’ would not be enough. Without insurance you could be liable for tens of thousands in compensation, not to mention the hefty fine for not having car insurance in the first place.

Even the most basic Cheap Car Insurance cover would prevent this from becoming a problem.

Are there different levels of car insurance?

The basic level of car insurance is Third Party Only. This covers you for any damage or injury to other people and their property. It does not cover you or your car at all.

The next level is Third Party, Fire and Theft. This covers other people and your car in the event of ‘fire or theft’. Quite self explanatory.

But the top level, the level all driving instructors must have, is comprehensive car insurance. This covers you for any and all damage to your car, yourself and other people. Assuming the insurance company can’t find a way of wriggling out of payment!

Below is a table of some of the top insurance companies. Most of them allow you to get a quote for car insurance on-line and most will cover new drivers. I have made some comments along side each one, but for more information I suggest you visit their websites.

Company and My Comments Quote:
Lloyds TSB – One of several banks that have moved into the insurance world. A large company like Lloyds TSB should give you confidence though. You get to choose your policy excess online, anything from £0 to £200. The less you choose, the more your premium, naturally. £386.40
Prudential – Another bank in the insurance world. Similar to Lloyds. £475.65
NatWest What you should know about these banks is that they can get you cheaper car insurance than many ‘insurance’ companies. Because of the large volume of orders they can get a substantial discount which they pass on to you… in theory! £200 excess minimum £332.85
Direct Line –Extremely helpful website. Lots of information covering types of insurance cover, claims, legal protection, etc. I particularly like the FAQ page, they seem to have anticipated everything. £150 excess minimum £328.65
Churchill – Give the dog a bone. A very quick quote system that allows you to store your information and come back later if you need… Plus you do get to own one of those nodding Churchills. Fantastic. £500.85
Esure – Mices Prices? Well not bad, but not the cheapest this month. 10% discount to new customers on car, home and travel insurance. Lots of information on their website. £150 excess minimum. £297.00
Halifax Insurance – Who gives you Extra? Not the Halifax it would seem! They did quote cheaper than most of the others, but I noticed they don’t cover you to drive other cars on your policy. Unusual. 10% discount online though. £150 excess minimum. £303.36
EasyMoney – From the man who brought us EasyJet… It’s Stelios! Give it a try. £377.43
Post Office – It would seem that the Post Office can turn it’s hand to anything. In this case, the best they came up with was from Zurich, as were a few of the others, but the process was very simple and you have to agree that they are a name to trust. £310.44
Budget Insurance – A simple to use website, the home page taking you straight through to the quotes page. Either car, van or home. Put in your details and away you go, even has a vehicle reg recognition system. £323.95
People’s Choice – Could not locate my Post Code!!! £XXXX

*example quote uses the following data: June 2010. 36 year old male. Living in the Midlands, insuring a Ford Fiesta LX worth £2000 and keeping it on a private driveway. Fully comprehensive with £100 excess on policy.

Any other questions?

If you do have any questions or concerns about car insurance and can’t find the answers on any of the websites listed above, send me an email and I’ll do my best to find the answer for you.