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There are a number of key things to look for when you insure your car. So take a few minutes to read the pointers below and you'll be able to make a well-informed decision about a policy you can rely on.

Getting car insurance you can rely on

There are a number of key things to look for when you insure your car. So take a few minutes to read the pointers below and you'll be able to make a well-informed decision about a policy you can rely on.

Agreed value

The first question you should always ask is whether the insurance company offer an 'agreed value' or a 'market value' policy. With an agreed value policy, you agree up front exactly how much you will be paid if your car is written off or stolen. Whereas a market value policy pays you what the insurance company thinks your car is worth at claim time based on an independent valuation. And often, that can be less than you expected.

No claims bonus

Sometimes referred to as a no claims discount, a no claims bonus is a discount you get on your premiums when you've held vehicle insurance for a year or more without making a claim. After your first full year of insurance, you'll usually receive a no claims bonus of around 30%. The discount increases with each year of claim-free insurance up to a maximum of about 60%. But if you make a claim the discount is then reduced.

Discounts

It's well worth asking about any discounts you can get with an insurer. For instance, if you take up car insurance with AA Insurance, and if you're an AA Member, you'll receive AA Rewards Discounts based on how long you've been a member. This means you'll receive an additional discount straight away, which gets better over time.

Excess

The excess is the amount of money you contribute when you make a claim. It can be affected by various factors like who'll be driving the car, where you park your car overnight, whether your car has an alarm or an immobiliser, and what type of car you own. Make sure you read the fine print of your policy to avoid any nasty surprises when it's time to claim.

It's also worth considering various excess levels. If you choose a higher excess, you can reduce your premiums.

Courtesy rental vehicle

This is also something worth looking for as part of your policy - being offered a rental vehicle, or a contribution towards one, while your vehicle is being repaired. It can save you a lot of hassle and a lot of money.

Accommodation, towing and storage costs

Again, this is something you should check for in the fine print of your policy. If you have an accident out of town, see whether your insurance covers you for somewhere to stay, towing of your vehicle, and even storing your vehicle while it's being repaired. These are things that can end up costing you a lot of money if you don't have the right kind of insurance.


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