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Choosing an insurance company

Choosing an insurance company

Life is risky business, especially when it comes to driving a car. Here’s how to navigate the world of insurance, and get the cover that’s right for you.

Decide what type of policy you want

Before you start looking at individual policies, think about what it is you want insurance for – that is, what do you want to protect? At the very least, you’ll want third-party insurance. This covers any damage you cause to someone else’s property, so you can be sure that if you total a car that’s worth more money than you’ve ever seen, you won’t have to sell your house to pay for it (whew).

A more comprehensive insurance plan will cover you for damage to your vehicle. Insurance companies are likely to offer you ‘extras’, such as special cover for your windscreen. To avoid agreeing to insurance you don’t really need, take your time and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Also make sure you’re not already covered under any existing insurance.

Do your research

This may be as simple as a quick poll of your Facebook friends, or you may want to look for customer reviews online. Either way, make sure you ask around to see how others found the service of a particular insurance provider before you commit. While the odd negative review can usually be taken with a grain of salt, a string of unhappy customers should spark alarm bells. If you’re under 25, ask other people your age who their provider is – different companies have different prices for young drivers.

Shop around

Now that you’ve got a good idea of what you need and what’s out there, it’s time to get into specifics. Some insurance companies can offer you a quote online – otherwise, give them a call to see how much they’ll charge. It’s worth getting a range of quotes – you may be surprised at how much variation there is between companies. Always be honest with your insurer – otherwise any later claims could be turned down.

Check the fine print

Make sure you read your policy carefully. All insurance policies will include some conditions or exclusions, and it’s important you know what these are from the outset rather than find out when you go to make a claim.

Get the best price

If you like a particular company’s policy or reputation, but they don’t offer you the cheapest price, you can always try letting the first company know what their competitors have offered you, to see if you can negotiate a deal. Make sure you consider whether the difference in price simply reflects a difference in policy – it’s much easier to compare prices than it is to compare what you are and aren’t covered for. If you’re going to ask for a discount, it’s best to be sure you’re comparing apples with apples.

Now that your insurance is sorted, keep your new ride safe with tips on deterring car thieves