Car Insurance Continued

What influences cost?

The main factors are the area in which you live - for example, you'll pay more if you live and drive in a crowded urban area than if you live out in the country - and the type of car that you drive - some cars are more likely to be involved in accidents or more expensive to repair. Age is also important - younger drivers are higher risks and are charged more. Some companies give favourable terms to 'mature' (50+) drivers. There are many other factors which insurers consider such as whether you use your car for business, and your occupation.

Points to note

- The more people allowed to drive your car, the more you'll have to pay in insurance premiums, particularly if anyone is under 25. It might be cheaper for younger drivers to buy an older car, rather than share yours.

- If you don't have a garage but leave your car in the street in a high-risk area, you might not be covered against some risks, and you might be charged more. It might be cheaper in the long run to rent a lock-up garage and pay less to your insurer. If yo>- Some companies give a discount for older cars, such as those over three years old or five years old - the discount could be anything up to 20 per cent.

- Some insurers charge lower premiums for women because on average they have a better claims record.

- You can reduce your premiums by building up a 'no claims discount' (NCD - sometimes called a 'no claims bonus'). With most companies you get the maximum discount after four years without a claim. If you do make a claim you lose part of the discount unle>- You can reduce your premiums if you agree to take out a `voluntary excess' ). Watch out for compulsory excesses for example, if a young person's driving

- Be wary of the words 'any driver' - this doesn't literally mean `anyone'. The proposal form will have asked various questions about intended drivers (whether any have convictions, physical infirmities, and so on). It's up to you to check that people you>How much to insure for

Go for the kind of policy best suited to both your car and your pocket. Your brand new, fairly new, or old but very expensive car deserves comprehensive cover. But if you run an old banger for which major repairs wouldn't make sense because of the cost compared to the value of the car, third party, fire and theft may be the sensible choice.

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Car Insurance

cause problems: some companies look on a suite as a single item for insurance purposes while others say that it consists of three separate items. The Ombudsman has given the view that a policyholder is not entitled to a new suite just because one chair is damaged. But some insurers will pay for an entire suite to be recovered, while others may give an ex gratia payment (in other words they pay but admit no liability).

How much to insure for

As with buildings cover, don't under-insure your house contents. Go round every room in the house (and outbuildings) and add up what it would... see: Car Insurance

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