Do you really need car insurance add ons?
Car insurance used to be straightforward. Nowadays, you're spoilt for choice.
Using a switching tool to get the best deal is dead easy.
If you haven't already checked to see how much you could be saving on your current policy, then do it now!
But what about all those add ons that insurers offer?
Are they worth it?
Certainly, if price is the biggest factor for you, then you’re probably best going for a bog standard policy.
But, then again, if the worst happens and you have to claim, you might find that some add ons will actually save you money in the long run.
Here’s our selection of a few common car insurance add ons – ultimately, of course, only you can decide whether they’re really worth the cost.
This really depends on the level of cover.
You can get good, cheap deals from mainstream breakdown service providers, like the RAC and AA (so long as you challenge their renewal prices), so this may be little more than a nice-sounding add on.
But car insurers also offer pretty cheap deals. As always, you need to compare the level of cover with the cost.
Bottom line – check the terms and conditions to see what’s covered and whether your car qualifies because some policies have age restrictions on vehicles.
No claims discount protection
Probably a wise buy, as building up your no-claims discount is one of the best ways of getting the cost of your insurance down. But protecting your no claims might not be cheap.
If you have built up a good few years, investing in keeping your discount is a smart move.
But don’t be caught out by a nasty surprise if you do have to claim on your insurance. Even if you have no-claims protection, you can still expect your renewal premium to rise – you just get the discount on a higher premium.
Bottom line – probably a good investment, especially if you have several years of discount built up.
Your windscreen is almost certainly already covered under a comprehensive policy.
But, just as with other areas, such as a broken wing mirror, for example, you’re very unlikely to ever claim because the effect on your next premium will probably be greater than the cost of repairing it yourself.
Plus, there’s an excess to pay anyway.
Windscreen cover means you can have a separate policy only covering your screen. It often also covers repairs to chips before they develop into a fully shattered screen.
Bottom line – see what it adds to the policy’s cost. Compare the risk with the cost of paying for repairs yourself. Does it add up?
All car insurance has to offer third-party coverage within the EU, but for comprehensive, you need extra cover. How all this will work after Brexit is an unknown at the moment.
But if you’re a regular driver on the continent, EU cover could be valuable and work out cheaper than taking out temporary additional cover every time you travel.
Bottom line – whether it’s worthwhile depends on how often you drive in other EU countries.
EU cover - worth it if you drive to Europe regularly
More people than ever turn to a solicitor if something goes wrong.
These days, you could easily find yourself being sued for compensation if you have an accident.
Knowing that if you’re pursued through the courts for uninsured losses, you will have some financial muscle behind you can be very reassuring.
It’s probably not going to happen, but if it does, it can be hugely costly. Insurance is at it’s best when it’s covering you for very unlikely, but potentially catastrophic events.
Check how much the cover extends to – it usually varies between £50k and £100k.
Bottom line – is NOT having it worth the risk?
Third party cover for other cars
This means you are free to drive other people’s cars (with their permission!) and will be covered for third-party claims. So, you won’t be covered for any damage you cause to their car.
Bottom line – might be useful for some people, but most of us will probably feel happier driving someone else’s car only if we know we’re covered fully comp when we’re at the wheel.
If your car is off the road for any reason, this cover will ensure you have another set of wheels, at least temporarily.
Bottom line – Many garages will provide you with a courtesy car while yours is off the road. It’ll may be a very temporary loan of a car anyway – and you should check exactly what circumstances apply before a courtesy car will be granted.
Almost all comprehensive car insurance policies will cover you to a certain extent for loss of contents from your car – so long as the items are not on plain view.
This extra offers a maximum amount that can be claimed to replace the items.
Bottom line – smarter to never to leave valuables in your unattended car.
If you need to make a complaint about your car insurer, post on A Spokesman Said - we'll fight your corner.
WHEN DID YOU LAST SWITCH YOUR CAR INSURANCE PROVIDER?
Last year 65% of customers didn't switch their car insurance to try and get a better deal.