Car Insurance - Frequently Asked Questions

My car has been written off and my insurance company is offering hundreds of pounds less than I paid for it. Why?

The value of your car at the time of the accident is your entitlement to which the insurers will pay.

If you are unhappy with this value you can either send your insurers proof of its current value, i.e. price guide pages, current adverts of similar vehicles, or pay for an independent engineer to view the wreckage to assess and estimate your car's pre-accident value.

Be sure to weigh up the bigger insurance claim against the engineers fees before taking any sort of action.

As a result of a traffic accident my car was smashed up and I was completely innocent. Why do I have to lose my no claims bonus?

Any claim on your policy means that your insurers can reduce the amount of concession you may receive.

A no claim bonus means precisely this and not a no blame bonus, as blame unfortunately is not the issue.

However if the damage is of minimal cost, evaluate the possibility of taking on repair costs yourself as opposed to losing your no claims bonus.

Loose brickwork has been blown off my neighbour's house and has damaged my car. Clearly it must be my neighbours who are responsible for damage costs. Are they?

Legal matters take precedence in such an incident. If you want your neighbour to pay the damage costs you will have to consult a legal advisor and assess the likelihood that you can successfully sue them. It is not sufficient that they owned the brickwork. You will have to legally prove their accountability.

Consider your options of getting involved in a legal case against making a claim on your policy, which assumes you have fully comprehensive cover. If not, only a successful legal case would reimburse any damage costs.

Who can drive my car?

This will be clearly laid out within your policy agreement. If you are under 25 years of age the policy may restrict driving to you or named drivers. Outline your specific needs to the insurer before buying a policy.

Insurance companies will take the following details into account:

You and any named drivers:

  • Age
  • Driving experience
  • Past claims
  • Convictions
  • Postcode

Your vehicle:

  • Expense
  • Type/model
  • Age
  • Security
  • Repair costs
  • Where stored (garage or other)
  • Use (Business or private)

Is excess included in all policies?

No. It usually relates only to accidental damage and theft claims. There is frequently an automatic excess payment of £50 or £100 and often more for young or inexperienced drivers.

When does my cover commence? Can it be backdated?

It generally starts at the time you buy a policy. You will receive a cover note to specify the time and date. It cannot be backdated.

If I have an accident or other incident and I don't want to make a claim, do I have to tell my insurer?

Yes, you should report all accidents, fires or thefts even if you do not wish to claim.

Do I get no claim discount/bonus? (NCD/NCB)

Yes, your insurer will usually reduce your premium if insurance in your name exists for the last 12 months of your policy without making a claim. Discounts on average for a one year NCB are around 30% increasing to approximately 60% after four claim free years of driving.

How does ULR (uninsured loss recovery) work for me?

ULR is sometimes known as 'legal expenses insurance'. It helps you claim from someone who has caused an accident. If you have been injured or need a hire car until yours is repaired or you may even want to claim back your excess, ULR provides cover for these events. Importantly, take care any ULR cover is supplied by an insurance company as other non-insurance companies offer similar schemes but cannot give you the same level of security and protection.