Car insurance is compulsory in the UK, and all drivers must have at least one third-party cover. This gives you financial protection in the event of an incident, where you are at fault, that causes damage or injury to another person, a vehicle or property. it doesn’t cover your own car or belongings, but it does cover your passengers.
Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your own car, treatment for any injuries you sustain, and coverage if your car is stolen.
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what is the law regarding car insurance?
If you drive without insurance, you could receive a fixed fine of £300 and/or six penalty points on your driving licence. If your case goes to court, you could receive an unlimited fine or a driving ban.
But it’s also a crime to own a car that isn’t insured. The government introduced the “Continuous Enforcement of Insurance” (CIE) in 2011. This law means that it is an offense to keep a vehicle uninsured unless it has a valid Legal Off-Road Notice (SORN) registered with the DVLA.
Not having insurance can ultimately result in your car being impounded and destroyed.
Is my car insured?
You can check if your car is insured by entering your registration number in the car insurance database (mid) and confirming that you are the registered owner or manager of the vehicle.
The search is free and the database will confirm whether or not your vehicle is insured. but it won’t tell you who your insurer is or when your policy ends.
Which insurer do I have a policy with?
When you buy car insurance, your insurer will send you a “Certificate of Insurance” that lists the insurer, details of your car, your personal details, and when coverage begins and ends.
If you can’t find this, check your bank statements and/or emails to see if there is a payment to an auto insurance company.
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if you still can’t find out who your insurer is, you can send a ‘data subject access request’ to mid, which costs £4.
How do I find my auto insurance renewal date?
The end date of your auto insurance will be stated on your certificate of insurance. this is known as the “renewal date”.
If you can’t find your certificate, contact your insurer and ask when your insurance ends.
Most insurers send you a reminder about a month before your insurance expires. the email or letter will include a renewal price for next year’s coverage. however, you are under no obligation to agree to this and are free to change insurers.
How do I make changes to my auto insurance?
When you shop for auto insurance, the insurer will ask you a series of questions and calculate your premium based on your answers.
If any of these details change during the insurance period, you must notify the insurer. For example, you must tell her insurer if she moves house, changes jobs, changes her name, or makes changes to her car.
If you don’t keep your insurer up to date with changes in your personal information, your policy could become invalid if you need to file a claim.
what is automatic renewal?
Some auto insurers “auto-renew” policies when they expire. this means they will automatically enroll you for another year of coverage and charge the premium to the credit or debit card they have on file for you.
You enter into this agreement when you first purchase coverage with a particular company; part of the process will be your acceptance of the automatic renewal routine and the provision of bank details so that the insurer can take the premium from your account or card when the policy expires.
This may sound great as it means your car will always be insured, but it may not be as good for your wallet as cheaper or superior coverage may be available elsewhere.
Beginning January 1 of this year, auto insurers will no longer be able to charge existing customers more for their renewal than a new customer would be charged for an equivalent policy. but the price offered to you could still be a long way from the best that is available elsewhere.
It’s always worth looking around at renewal time to check you’re getting the cheapest deal.
It might also be a good decision to opt out of auto-renewal altogether – some insurers allow you to do this when you buy a policy, while others insist that you call to opt out once the policy is in operation.
If your policy automatically renews and you didn’t want to, you’ll have a two-week cooling-off period in which you can cancel your policy and get your money back (cancellation fees may apply). but do not cancel without having another policy in force; remember, your car must be insured at all times.
When is the best time to get a renewal quote?
Don’t put off buying a new auto insurance policy to the last minute – coverage tends to get more expensive as the renewal date approaches.
This is because insurers believe you are more likely to accept a higher price as you run out of time before your renewal date.
what is the best way to pay for car insurance?
You’ll get a better deal if you pay for auto insurance annually, not monthly.
Monthly payments may be more convenient, but you’ll pay more. This is because the insurer is giving you a loan for the annual amount and will charge you interest on the money borrowed; The annual interest rate of this credit can reach 40%.
If you’re organized, you can spread the cost using a 0% purchase credit card. just make sure you pay off the credit card balance before the 0% interest period ends.