Beware of these common misconceptions before you get a car insurance policy, as you might get caught out later on.
Shopping around to get the best car insurance quote is one of the best ways to save money on cover, and that’s a fact.
But there are a lot of misunderstandings about car cover which could mean you pay more than you need to.
Myth 1: You’re automatically insured to drive other cars if you have a comprehensive policy
This may be the case on some policies, but it doesn’t apply every time.
Driving-other-cars (DOC) cover is unlikely to be extended to the under-25s, and may also depend on your occupation.
Myth 2: Your renewal price is guaranteed to be cheaper than the prices your insurer offers to new customers
Sadly this isn’t the case. Renewal premiums and premiums for new customers are often calculated differently.
That’s why it’s worth comparing prices every time – you might be able to grab a lower-priced policy as a new customer.
Myth 3: Garaging your car means cheaper premiums
Oddly enough, this isn’t always the case either.
In some cases, a car parked in a garage overnight can be riskier than parking it out in the street.
This is all down to statistics – it could be that a particular area has a higher number of accidents due to people hitting their car while parking in a garage.
Myth 4: Driving for business use means higher premiums than social or commuting use
This isn’t always true. People who use their car for business may have more to lose if they damage their car.
They’re assumed to take better care of it than someone who just uses it for the school run, and so may not necessarily have a higher price.
Myth 5: Once you reach 25 your premiums fall dramatically
It’s the golden age for young drivers everywhere – once you hit 25, you suddenly get cheap car insurance. Right?
Sadly, this isn’t the case. Although age is a key factor in working out prices, it’s just one of many factors that make up how much you pay.
Myth 6: Third-party cover is cheaper than comprehensive
It stands to reason that if you have a downgraded level of cover, you pay less for it.
Nope. Some insurers have raised premiums for third-party only or third-party, fire and theft cover because of the number of higher-risk drivers who sign up for these kinds of policy.
Myth 7: Non-fault claims won’t affect your insurance premium
This is a weird one. You’d think that if an accident wasn’t your fault, then the other person’s insurance would go up, not yours.
In fact, statistics show that after having a non-fault claim you are more likely to have a fault claim not long after.
Myth 8: You’re always guaranteed a courtesy car if you have an accident
A courtesy car is likely to be subject to availability. And in most cases it’s only offered if the car is repairable and taken to an insurers’ approved mechanic.
If the car is stolen or written off, a courtesy car isn’t always provided. At this point, you may wish you'd chosen hire car as an add-on when taking out the policy.
Myth 9: I don’t have to tell my insurer about convictions that aren’t on my licence anymore
Most insurers ask if you’ve had any convictions within the last five years.
In some cases the conviction might no longer be valid, but you still need to declare that to your insurer - eg speeding convictions that are spent after four years.
Myth 10: Your insurance covers you for any accident that you cause
Usually, but not always. If you crashed and were convicted of drink-driving, your insurer would be likely to turn down your claim.
The same applies if you were negligent or caused the damage intentionally.