Browse Month

April 2016

10 Surprising Things That Can Invalidate Your Car Insurance

There are an estimated one million uninsured drivers on Britain’s roads and that is what is partly to blame for the spiralling costs of motor insurance. You probably think that those people who are driving without insurance should be punished, but did you know that you could be driving uninsured and not even know it? There are reasons that would mean that, when it comes to the crunch, your car insurance won’t pay out. Here are ten of the surprising ways in which you could be invalidating your motor vehicle insurance.

1. You’ve upgraded your car

If you don’t notify your insurer when you upgrade your car, you could well find that your car insurance is invalid. This doesn’t only apply to the obvious things, like increasing the engine size of your vehicle, it could also apply to something as simple as fitting alloy wheels.

2. Allowing your dog to run loose inside the vehicle

If you allow your dog to romp around inside your car then, quite obviously it could distract you from your driving. If you have an accident then your dog could get the blame and you wouldn’t get any money from your insurer.

3. Being in arrears on your instalment plan

You need to make sure that all your car insurance instalments are kept up to date because if you have one payment that is outstanding, it will invalidate your car insurance, even if you have kept up the payments since that one missed payment.

4. Allowing your MOT to expire

If you forgot to take your car in for an MOT, then that could mean that you are no longer insured. Insurers will view a lack of a valid MOT as being an indication that the vehicle is not roadworthy and that will contravene the terms of your motor vehicle policy.

5. Using your car for business

You have to check the small print on some policies as to what is classed as business use and what is not. On some motor polices, your insurance will not cover you for using your own car to drive to a one-off business meeting. Some insurance policies don’t even cover you for your daily commute.

6. Leaving your keys inside the car

Are you one of those people who leave the keys in the ignition of your car sometimes? Even if you leave your vehicle unattended with the keys in it for just a minute you will be uninsured. If you need to pop back indoors because you forgot something, take your car keys with you.

7. Car sharing

If you are taking friends to work in your car and they pay you for it, be careful that your insurance company does not take that as being an indication that you are running a taxi service. If you start to make any money at all out of car sharing, you could be invalidating your motor insurance.

8. Not abiding by road signs

If you ignore road signs that tell you a road is closed, or is not suitable for motor vehicles, then don’t ignore the signs. Even if the road looks OK to you, if you have an accident, you won’t be covered by your insurance if there was a sign that told you not to go there.

9. Starting a new job

Be careful if you get a promotion at work or if you change your job. Different professions are assumed to have different levels of risk so, what your job title says, could affect your insurance premiums. You need to advise your insurance company when you change your job, or they may not pay out when you need them to.

10. Not disclosing the driving history of a named driver

If you add a named driver to your car insurance policy, then you need to disclose details of any accidents that they have had in the past. Failure to tell your insurance company about the history of a named driver could mean that you are not insured to drive your car.

A Good Auto Insurance Policy

· Insure your home and car with the same company – Insuring your car with the same company that is insuring your home makes you legible for a discount that is referred to as multi-line discount. Thus, you pay less than you would if you insured your car and home with separate companies. Even then, you need to be sure about the possible discount before making a commitment to get your auto insurance from the company that is insuring your home because not all companies offer the multi-line discount.

· Insure all your cars in one policy – If you have more than one car, you can insure them all under one policy to qualify for the multi-vehicle discount. This lets you enjoy savings on both auto mobiles. Just like the multi-line discount, you need to check if the discount if offered before signing up.

· Maintain a clean driving record – Your driving records are a factor when calculating your auto insurance rate. Consequently, your insurance rates are affected by traffic tickets spanning up to three years and six years for accidents. Having a bad driving record means that you pay extra premiums making your auto insurance expensive.

· Go for a low risk car – Your auto insurance premiums is determined on the basis on the car’s history. If your car is highly likely to be stolen or be involved in an accident then you will pay more in insurance premiums.

· Opt for a Pay-As-You-Drive Policy – This is especially recommended if you do not drive for long distances. Therefore, consider going for a policy based on your annual or monthly mileage. The pay-as-you-drive policy lets your premium to fluctuate depending on your frequency behind the wheel as a record of your mileage is kept through monthly and annual reports that are shared with the policy provider.

· Take precaution against possible theft – Installing an anti-theft device in your car may also contribute to lowering your auto insurance premiums as it lessens the risk of theft.

· Let insurance companies bid for you – When you shop for your vehicle’s insurance and deliberately let companies that offer insurance know that you are not settled yet can get you a better deal. That is, you can choose to tell one business what the other is offering so that they give them a chance to counter the offer to your advantage.

In conclusion, there are many factors that determine how much you will pay in premiums. Thus, it is possible to lower your auto insurance premiums yet enjoy great service.

A good auto insurance policy will not only cater for your protection as a vehicle owner in the event of an accident but also take into account damages that may be caused to third parties.


Getting the Right Van and Managing Insurance Costs On a Fleet of Vehicles

Starting a new business or knowing you are ready to move up to the next level of a business can be an exciting time.

There are so many things to consider, however, that it is important to research and plan carefully in order to set a realistic budget that matches the expected increase in business.

This is especially the case if you are going to need to invest in additional tools or transport, such as vans, for the business.

Among the considerations when looking for the right van are size, security, fuel efficiency and also how easy it will be to customise to the business’ requirements and to get repairs should they be necessary. The cost of van insurance will also need to be considered and will vary depending on the contents to be transported.

It may be, therefore, that a well-known make, like Ford, for example, is the best option for a new van not least because getting comparison quotes from insurers for Ford insurance should not be a problem.

This company offers vans in a range of sizes, from the smaller Fiesta model right through to the Transit, which comes in a range of sizes and cab configurations to allow for passengers.

So the first question will be what the van will be used for.

What will be the size or weight of the typical load? Will it be used to carry specialist tools or equipment and what kind of security is needed? How will the load be accessed, for example will you need side doors?

The next question is whether the van or vans will be used for a single purpose, such as deliveries, or multiple purposes, such as dropping off workers to jobs as well as carrying their tools or equipment.

Panel vans, which include the popular Ford Transit, are better suited to larger deliveries or contractors such as plumbers who need to carry a substantial amount of equipment for multiple jobs.

Chassis cabs from manufacturers allow you to build the van to your own specification if your size or other requirements can’t be met by any of the categories above.

Finally, expected mileage may also make a difference to your Ford insurance, as well as wear and tear on the van.

Getting exactly the right vehicle for the needs of the business can be important as it will contribute to the company’s reputation and efficiency.

Keeping overheads under control is a major concern for businesses in managing their cash flow and turnover.

For a business that needs a significant number of vehicles as part of its operations keeping fleet hire or purchase and maintenance costs down and securing the best van insurance deals will be important.

Businesses should have good information about the driving history, ages and any health issues its drivers are likely to have and also to ensure that they are offered training in safe and economical driving behaviour.

Among the considerations for fleet managers are what types of vehicles will be most useful and whether it would be more cost effective to lease or buy the fleet.

It may also be helpful to negotiate with suppliers to see whether an exclusive contract to buy or lease the whole fleet using one manufacturer will lead to saving.

Suppose the business needs a range of vans from the smaller car-like designs for local work and larger transporters for larger jobs. Availability of a full range from manufacturers like VW, Ford or Vauxhall and how readily they can be modified to suit the particular business may be a key part of the research when a fleet contract is coming to an end and the business is shopping around for replacements.

VW, for example, offers a range from the Caddy to the Transporter (large panel vans) and after offering a wide choice of options to cover every aspect of the business operation.

Van insurance deals will be part of the calculation.

When existing insurance is coming up for renewal if is worth shopping around to compare prices and asking lots of questions.

It is important when looking at renewing or new Ford, Vauxhall or VW insurance to know whether any vehicles in the fleet are likely to be regarded by insurers as more accident prone, what kind of additional costs there are for high mileage and whether additional security measures or drive behaviour monitoring can bring down the premium costs.

The insurers’ assessment of the value of a vehicle can make a difference also. This may affect the choice of manufacturer the business will opt for when buying, leasing or replacing its fleet.

Proper initial research and shopping around should be habitual good practise for businesses whether it is for fleet purchase, lease or for the best insurance deals.

10 Things About Car Insurance That You May Not Have Known

Many people don’t take a great deal of notice of their car insurance and, when the time comes for their auto insurance to be renewed, they simply renew it with their existing insurer. If you don’t shop around for car insurance, then you will end up paying more than you need to and, if you don’t check the small print on your policy, you might actually not be insured at all. So, if you don’t give a second thought to your motor vehicle insurance, check out these facts and tips about car insurance that might surprise you.

1. Pay your insurance premiums in one go

It may be convenient to pay your car insurance in twelve monthly payments, but it will nearly always be far more expensive than paying the whole amount up front. Most insurers add an exorbitant price for spreading the payments. It could cost you as much as 30% more.

2. Don’t overdo the excess

A lot of people get caught out by agreeing to an insurance excess over and above what they can really afford to pay. Yes, a high excess will reduce your car insurance premiums, but don’t forget that, if you have an accident, you are going to have to find that cash for repairs.

3. Tell the truth to your insurer

Be honest about what you use your car for, where you park it, and who is going to drive it. If you say that your car will be locked in a garage overnight, and it is stolen from the street outside your home, you could be in for a nasty surprise when you come to make a claim.

4. Check how comprehensive your fully comprehensive cover really is

The word ‘fully’ in fully comprehensive can mean different things to different insurers, especially if you opted for the cheapest policy that you could find. Typically, the cheaper car insurance policies won’t include a courtesy car, windscreen cover, or legal cover, so it’s worth checking your policy to see exactly what you are getting for your money.

5. Don’t make a claim unless you really have to

If you have a minor accident, it is very often cheaper to pay for the repairs yourself than to claim it on your insurance. You should still tell the insurer about the accident, because that is often a policy requirement, but claiming may well result in an increase your premiums and excess.

6. Your premiums can still rise, even if you have protected your no claims bonus

If you have an accident, your premiums could still rise, even if you have protected your no claims bonus. Your percentage bonus may well stay intact, but the underlying cost of your insurance will rise and, therefore, you will pay more.

7. Always take photographs if you have an accident

If you do have an accident, however slight the damage may seem, always take photographs of both your vehicle and the other persons. Unfortunately, there are a lot of dishonest people who will exaggerate their claims to their insurance company and lie about the circumstances of an accident. If you can, get the contact details of any witnesses too.

8. Don’t just automatically renew, shop around first

Insurance companies offer their best deals to new customers, so it is always worth shopping around for your car insurance. You can get your insurance broker to do for you, or check out a price comparison site, but always get several quotes before you decide.

9. Always notify your insurer of any changes in circumstances

Don’t forget to notify your insurer of any changes in circumstances, or you could invalidate your insurance. That includes moving home, changing jobs, any modifications you make to the vehicle and even if you have started driving your car to work.

10. Don’t rely solely on comparison websites for the best deal

Don’t forget that not all the insurance companies allow their details to be published on price comparison websites. To enable these companies to compete, they often offer better deals than you will find on the comparison sites.