Friday, April 6, 2012

What won’t car insurance cover?

Car insurance is vital to have in place if you own a car. It is against the law to drive a car without insurance and if you were to be involved in an accident – whether or not it was your fault – you are unlikely to receive any kind of pay-out, even from the other party’s insurers (and you are
likely to get a visit from the police).

Fully-comprehensive car insurance should pay out sufficiently to put you back in the position you were in a minute before an accident, or to provide you with sufficient money to replace your car with one of the same value and of the same kind if yours is stolen. It will also pay for all the third party’s costs if you cause an accident, and will cover the cost of any personal injury claim made by the third party.

Third Party, Fire and Theft policies cover the third party’s losses, and will pay out if your car is destroyed by fire or is stolen and not recovered.

However, there are some things that even fully-comprehensive policies won’t pay out for and it’s worth remembering these things when searching for cheap car insurance quotes. Remember to look for the best car insurance – not just the cheapest – to maximise the amount that you are likely to recover in the event that you need to make a claim.

The sorts of things not covered by insurance are:

- General wear-and-tear (as may be discovered at an MOT – things like brake pads, tyres, cam belts and so on);
- Breakdowns;
- Depreciation of the vehicle (just because you paid £20,000 for it five years ago won’t mean you get £20,000 back for it when you have an accident or if it is stolen – you’ll get the market value of the car as at the date of the claim);
- Anything caused because you were drunk or on drugs or using a mobile phone;
- Anything caused by a person who shouldn’t have been driving the car (e.g. someone not insured, or not holding a licence);
- Damage caused when the car was being used for travel on business, if your policy is to cover social and domestic travel only.

Whether or not you are covered for any loss of the contents of your car (including stereo equipment, hopping in the boot, satellite navigation systems, child seats etc.) will depend entirely on the policy. If your car insurance doesn’t cover these items it is worth checking your home insurance policy.

It is normally recommended that if you are involved in a car accident – however minor – you should replace your child car seat. This is because small amounts of damage done to a child car seat (which may not be visible to the naked eye) can render them ineffective at protecting a child in a more serious accident. Some policies automatically allow you to claim for the cost of a replacement car seat whilst others do not – it is worth checking the terms and conditions if this is likely to apply to you.

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