Like it or not, car insurance is a necessary evil; a pre-requisite for a vehicle tax disc in the UK, it is also a legal requirement when driving in the UK as well as an essential when hiring a car or campervan abroad, or buying and driving your own vehicle.
Most people nowadays go online and look on comparison sites to find the cheapest policy possible. Many companies offer deals and advertising gimmicks to lure customers in, and for some, the cheapest often means a very basic policy. At DUInsure, we believe that you can provide great car insurance at a low cost.
We are pleased to be able to offer car insurance to drivers who hold a current full New Zealand, Australian, USA, Canadian or South African driving licence and are looking to drive in the UK, with cover for European trips also included. We also offer car insurance for UK citizens who are aged 25 or over.
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Understanding Car Insurance
There are three main types of car insurance cover. Each offers a little more than the previous policy with the most cover being offered by a fully comprehensive cover.
- Third Party Only – This policy is often the cheapest to be found and automatically covers legal liability for death or injury to any third party including passengers. It also covers damage to other people's property, medical treatment following an accident and provides a minimum cover for the driver.
- Third Party Fire and Theft – This is a step up from the basic third party policy and offers additional cover for fire, theft, and attempted theft to the insured vehicle. It may also provide cover for windscreen or window glass damage.
- Fully Comprehensive – This provides all of the cover available within third party and third party fire and theft policies and automatically includes accidental or malicious damage to the insured vehicle, personal accident benefits and covers loss or damage to some personal effects.
A car insurance policy will be invalidated should the driver's licence expires or the vehicle is used for purposes other than social, domestic and pleasure purposes.
Optional Extras and Deals
Some companies may offer a discount for multi-car insurance, or promise cover should there be an accident involving an uninsured driver. Then there are no claim discounts, which act as a reward system for careful drivers, vandalism protection, and a whole host of other extras added to entice new clients.
While many of these inducements look tempting, some may never materialise due to restrictions within the small print making it almost impossible to make a claim. And of course, extras have to be paid for somewhere so 'great deals' may actually reflect on other policies, making them far less of a bargain than they first appeared.
Vehicle Insurance for Driving Overseas
It makes sense to have as much cover as possible when driving overseas. Different vehicles, strange roads, driving on the opposite side of the road to home and rather distinctive driving styles can sometimes cause accidents, and the last thing any driver wants is to be liable for legal costs and damage in a strange country. Moreover, as many people enjoy touring in campervans or motor homes, good insurance cover is essential to protect what can be an expensive vehicle as well as a mobile holiday home.
This is where companies like Downunder Insurance are worth their weight in gold. Providing no nonsense motor and van tour insurance for Australian, New Zealander, South African, American and Canadian travellers, Downunder offers a policy that covers travels in the UK and Europe for up to twelve months, making it ideal for those planning an extended trip to explore new countries. There are no gimmicks or inducements; just simple to understand insurance that covers a driver's needs at sensible prices to suit all budgets. Downunder also provides general motor insurance, which can be difficult for overseas visitors to obtain during temporary visits or working holidays within the UK. Don't forget that any motoring outwith the EU requires a 'green card', which proves that any car insurance held provides the minimum cover in the country you plan to drive in.
Breakdown cover is enormously beneficial to those with campervans and motor homes, and purchasing a separate policy dedicated to this kind of cover can often be cheaper than subscribing to some of the well-known 'breakdown and rescue' companies. A breakdown insurance policy offers a dedicated 24-hour emergency assistance number as well as call out and roadside assistance. Downunder provides such a policy, which also covers transportation of the vehicle to a repairer, a hire car, or overnight bed and breakfast accommodation, ensuring nobody is left stranded with nowhere to sleep.
Hiring a Rental Car
Although car hire companies often offer insurance, it is important to check whether any other drivers are covered and whether this is with the same benefits as the main driver. Within Europe, a UK policy should cover any insurance requirements but will only be at a Third Party level. It might be wise to take out comprehensive cover for travelling abroad with either your main insurers or a specialist company like Downunder.
For those travelling abroad, make sure you sign up for a CDW (collision damage waiver) where available. This is an optional damage coverage often available when renting a vehicle. This transfers some of the risk from the car renter to the rental company but is not an insurance policy. A CDW is a waiver between the renter and the hire car company that the company relinquishes their right to charge the renter for valid damages to the vehicle. Some credit cards also offer a damage waiver, as well as theft, vandalism, chipping a window and other incidents affecting the condition of a hire car.