Things to consider before renewing your motor insurance

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We are all well aware of the law when it comes to insuring our vehicles, and when renewal comes around each year, it’s easy to simply continue with your policy as it is without much further thought.

However, have you ever stopped to consider whether your policy is the most suitable one for your needs? We’ve put together a list of things to consider before you next renew your motor insurance.

Who drives your cars?

If you have children, household staff or even visiting family members using your vehicles, ensure your policy provides ‘any driver’ cover. Most policies will only cover the drivers named on your policy, meaning you could be left uninsured if anyone else is behind the wheel in the event of an incident. You may find some policies will offer cover for any driver over a certain age, or only for other people not living at your address.

How often are the cars used?

If you have own several vehicles, consider which are used more often than others. From an insurance perspective, a car that is out on the road more often is more likely to be involved in a claim – and you don’t want to be paying to cover a high-performance car for daily exposure if it only comes out at the weekends! If you’re currently insuring all of your cars on the basis of the same amount of use, you may find you’ll improve your premium rate with a more accurate reflection of this.

Where are the cars stored?

Vehicles left on parked on the street or an openly accessible driveway are innately more susceptible to theft or damage than those kept in a locked garage or other secure location. For certain higher value vehicles, your insurer may insist that the car is stored in a specific way to reduce the likelihood of it being targeted.

If higher value cars are kept on the street, be prepared that you may be required to fit a tracker or anti-theft device.

What are the cars used for?

Choosing the right class of use for your vehicles can be confusing, especially if you use them for lots of different reasons. Whether you only drive to work and back, only use your car on weekends or are constantly ferrying children around, it's important to ensure that the class of use you decide on is the right one.

Social, Domestic & Pleasure – this covers the vehicle for normal day-to-day driving such as visiting friends and family, popping to the shops, day trips and general driving for pleasure. It’s important to note that this doesn’t include commuting.

Social, Domestic, Pleasure & Commuting – includes all of the above plus driving to and from a place of work, or driving and parking your car as part of a longer commute. Again, it’s important to note that commuting does not constitute driving the car in connection with your employment. This is where business use comes in.

Business Use – covers driving of the vehicle in connection to your business. For example, driving to sites other than your permanent place of work or travelling for meetings. Note that this does not include commercial use, such as the transport of goods. There are several classes of business use, the specific descriptions of which vary from insurer to insurer.

Commercial Use – using your car for any other purpose will likely constitute commercial use. This would include the transportation of goods or paying passengers.

As with the frequency of use, it’s beneficial to make sure you aren’t paying more for a class of use you don’t need, but likewise, you need to choose the correct one to ensure you are fully insured in the eyes of the law. If you still aren’t certain which class to choose, it’s best to explain exactly how you intend to use the car and allow your broker or insurer to advise you.

What level of cover do you need?

Third party cover - will only provide cover for injuries or damages to others caused by an incident where you, or any other insured driver, are at fault. There is no cover in place for the insured vehicle or injuries to the insured driver. Third party cover is the most basic form of cover you can purchase and exists purely to protect you for your liability to others whilst on the road.

Third party, fire and theft – provides all cover for third parties, as well as theft of your vehicle and damage to it caused by fire.

Comprehensive – will cover damage to your vehicle in addition to all of the scenarios above. However, not all comprehensive policies are created equal. The best comprehensive policies on the market will also provide cover for windscreen replacements, courtesy cars, breakdown cover and cover for driving outside of the UK.

Check that your level of coverage is providing everything you would reasonably expect it to.

For impartial advice and motor insurance policies tailored to your lifestyle or business, call a member of our team today on 01285 885885 or contact us using the form below.