Purchasing motor insurance for the first time can be a somewhat confusing experience. Consumers need to differentiate between simply opting for the cheapest level of coverage and actually purchasing the level of insurance they need. A thorough understanding of motor insurance within the UK can help weed out the good policies from the bad ones.
Before purchasing motor insurance, drivers must carry a valid UK driving license. If the license is provisional, the driver must be accompanied by a suitable experienced road user. Drivers who have only recently passed their test are required to display ‘P’ plates to indicate this. Vehicles must also carry a current MOT certificate as proof of a vehicle being roadworthy and a valid tax disc must also be displayed.
Unless otherwise specified, the only person who can legally drive an insured vehicle in the UK is the policyholder. However, additional drivers can be added to a valid policy at additional cost.
Although there are three main levels of coverage, drivers in the UK must carry the absolute minimum of third party motor insurance. This can be upgraded to third party (fire and theft) insurance or comprehensive cover. It is always advisable to carry as high a level of motor insurance as possible.
The cost of motor insurance can be reduced by increasing the excess levels on a policy. In the US, this is known as ‘increasing the deductible’ and a motorist can agree to cover a designated level of costs after an accident until a ceiling level is reached. Once this figure is surpassed, the insurance carrier will cover the remaining cost of repairs, bodily injury liability and property damage.