Don't let the myths about car insurance drive you off the road
Wednesday 15 September 2010
Car insurance premiums are climbing at their fastest rate ever, according to the AA's latest Insurance Price Index. The price of a typical comprehensive car insurance premium, currently about £704, soared by a massive 30.9 per cent over the past 12 months.
It's leading to more people than ever illegally driving without insurance, risking having their car seized by police and crushed or sold if it is not claimed within 14 days. Uninsured drivers also face a £200 fixed penalty, six penalty points and £150 car recovery charges. And they will only be able to get their car back if they can prove they have bought valid insurance.
With some 160 people killed every year by uninsured drivers, police are cracking down on them. By using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology, which is linked to information on the Motor Insurance Database (MID) – the central record of 34 million insured vehicles in the UK – police are able to detect and seize uninsured vehicles at the roadside.
In fact police report that 180,000 vehicles were seized last year, taking the total to more than 600,000 since laws were introduced in 2005. Even more good news is the fact that last year 194,000 people were convicted in court for uninsured driving – that is one conviction every three minutes.
But the insurance industry says that some people fail to get adequate cover because they're put off by some of the insurance myths floating around. Some are ridiculous, while others sound plausible. Here we examine the most common misconceptions people have about car insurance.
Red cars cost more to insure
Many people believe that insurers automatically associate red with youth and aggressive driving but there really is no truth in that. In fact the AA says that there is no statistical evidence at all that a red car will increase your insurance premium.
Insurers use a variety of factors to calculate the cost of cover – such as the make and model of the car and its age and engine size, as well as taking into account your driving record and location. They don't take into account the colour of the car.
I will be covered if my car is stolen or vandalised
You will be covered, but only if you have fully-comprehensive insurance. Some third-party, fire and theft insurances do offer an element of cover for stolen vehicles or damage caused to a stolen vehicle that is subsequently recovered, but not all. You need to examine the policy's small print to discover what level of cover you have.
The police did not charge me so my no-claims is unaffected
Sorry, this is not always true. The police may not have been called, or have not deemed you criminally responsible for an accident, but it's your insurer which has the final decision as to whether your no-claims discount is affected or not. The accident will go on your permanent record and could become a factor on your rating.
If I get a speeding ticket my insurance rates will go up
Not necessarily. A first minor speeding ticket may not affect your insurance rate. However, the speed you were travelling will be noted and – if excessive – could lead to higher premiums. A second or third ticket will suggest you're a bit of a racer and premiums could start to rise steeply.
Anyone can drive my car as I have comprehensive cover
Not true. Insurers cover the driver, not the vehicle so anyone who drives your car must have their own comprehensive insurance in their own name or they will be uninsured. Even then, they will only be covered on a third-party basis so if anything happens to your car while they are driving it, you will not be covered for the damage.
My vehicle is worth what I paid for it
If your car is damaged beyond repair, vandalised or stolen, your insurer will only pay what it costs to replace it with a similar model that is on the market today, not what you paid for it. It doesn't matter if you splashed out £10,000 for it, your insurance only pays for a replacement vehicle, not a new one.
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 London council removes 'unacceptable' Stamford Hill posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 4 The response to my Pizza Express review has been overwhelming, and taught me a lot about journalism
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
iJobs Money & Business
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...
Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...
£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...
Day In a Page
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize