Car Insurance Basics

What is motor insurance?

Owning and driving a car means taking on many risks to yourself and others. When a traffic accident happens, damage, injuries, loss or all of these factors may be inflicted upon you and others. Damage and loss of your property may also occur. Fire, theft, vandalism and natural disasters are other possible risks.

Motor insurance is a contract between you and the insurer, specifying each party's rights and obligations. Essentially your insurer promises to provide specific coverage for you in return for your payment of premium.

Insurance companies provide motor insurance through personal auto policies (PAP'S). A PAP is a contract between you and your insurer, specifying each party's right and obligations. Essentially, your insurer promises to provide specific coverage for you in return for your payment of a premium.

Motor insurance is designed to protect yourself and others against these risks. It provides financial cover and can also offer other services (eg. A hire car if your vehicle is under repair from accident damage) when the need arises.

Why do I need it?

It's the law! The minimal legal requirement to drive in the UK is Third Party Only, this insures against loss and injury to others. If you are the cause of an accident the insurer will pay your liability to other people involved in the accident.

Important: Third Party Only does not cover for damage, loss or theft of your own vehicle or possessions.

What do I need to know?

Firstly, educate yourself on how to read and understand a motor insurance policy. Any help you need with insurance terminology can be found in our A to Z glossary.

What's the right policy for me?

You need to find a sense of balance between coverage and cost. Figure out the suitable level of coverage by consideration by the following factors:

  • The value of your possessions you must protect.
  • The value of your vehicle.
  • The amount of money you're prepared to spend
  • Your tolerance of the possible risks.
  • The insurer should fit your policy to your personal needs.
  • For further advice and cost reduction tips visit Reduce Your Quote.

Buying your policy

To ensure you are getting the best possible deal, shop around, evaluate and compare all the appropriate policies that provide the cover you need. Think about policies in terms of price, coverage, excess, flexibility and the reputation of the insurer.

The Insurance Centre can reduce the amount of time and money you spend on this by accessing literally 100's of policies from the UK's most economical and respected insurance providers, giving you the most competitive quotes immediately online.

See also: A to Z Glossary | Cost Reduction Tips | Frequently Asked Questions