Category Archive: Car Insurance

  1. Car Insurance Jargon Buster (Part 2)

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    Car insurance terminology can be confusing and there can be a lot of detail to take in when it comes to understanding the small print. To help cut through the confusing language and decipher some of those mysterious acronyms we’ve put together a two part car insurance jargon buster.

    In this our second part we look at everything from fault claims to write offs. For A-D please click here for part one.

    Fault Claims: When you make a claim but your insurer cannot recover the cost from the third party. This could be if you are deemed to have caused an accident or for other reasons that aren’t your fault but where there is no other known party involved such as theft or vandalism.

    FCA: The Financial Conduct Authority regulated the car insurance industry as well as other financial services companies.

    Green Card: A document that proves to non EU countries that your insurance provider provides the minimum insurance necessary to drive in the country.

    Insurable Interest: This is the basic requirement of taking out car insurance and refers to the fact you have an interest in the vehicle being insured and would suffer a loss if it were damaged.

    Main Driver: The person who drives the car most of the time as stipulated on the insurance policy.

    MID: The Motor Insurance Database is a record of every insured car in the UK.

    Optional Extras: Also known as Add Ons, these are benefits, such as breakdown cover and replacement vehicles, that can be added to your policy for a fee.

    Policy: This is the main document between you and your insurance provider. It will detail all the terms of your insurance, including the premium and term. Not to be confused with the certificate of insurance, which is required by law.

    Premium: The amount paid to your insurance provider to hold the policy. This can be paid in monthly instalments or in one yearly sum.

    Schedule: This document forms part of the contract between you and your insurer and shows things like your excess and any endorsements you might have.

    SORN: Statutory Off Road Notifications can be obtained from the DVLA are required by law if you plan on not using your vehicle and are keeping it off the public road.

    Third Party, Fire and Theft: Will cover your vehicle for theft and fire as well as damage from third parties only.

    Voluntary Excess: This is the fee you pay to your insurance provider towards the cost of a claim. You can set your own voluntary excess before taking out the policy, with a higher excess usually resulting in a lower premium.

    Write off: If the cost associated with repairing your vehicle is more than your insurance company deems the vehicle to be worth then it will be considered a write off.

  2. Car Insurance Jargon Buster (Part 1)

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    To the non-initiated, understanding all the ins and outs of car insurance can seem like learning a whole other language. As well as the array of specific terminology there are a lot of important acronyms that it really pays to understand.

    To help you make sense of this confusing array of terminology we’ve put together this insurance jargon buster. This is part 1, with part 2 to follow in January.

    ABI: The Association of British Insurers is a trade body comprised of 250 leading insurance companies and accounts for over 90% of the UK insurance market.

    Act of God: An event which is not the fault of any individual and is unpredictable such as a lightning or meteor strike. Acts of God may not be covered in your policy and are often separate from extreme weather events like flooding or falling trees.

    Betterment: A payment made by an insured party that recognises the fact that their vehicle will be worth more as the result of repairs relating to an insurance claim.

    Certificate of insurance: This is a document that is required by law and shows the car being insured, who is allowed to use the car and the classes of use (see below).

    Class of Use: A term used by insurance companies to determine what you use your car for and how often. There are three classes of use: Social, domestic and pleasure; Commuting; Business use The class of use you select will often have a big bearing on your insurance premium. It’s very important you are certain what class you fall into as supplying inaccurate information could invalidate your policy.

    Comprehensive cover (or fully comprehensive): This will cover you and your vehicle as well as the vehicles of third parties if you are at fault.

    Compulsory excess: This is a set amount you need to pay to your insurer when making a claim. The level of your compulsory excess will depend on how much of a risk you are judged by the insurer.

    Conviction Code: If you commit a motoring offence the DVLA (see below) will add a four digit conviction code to your licence.

    Cover note: A document that shows you have temporary car insurance while your insurer is preparing your policy documents and certificate of insurance. Some insurance companies don’t issue cover notes and will instead issue you with a certificate on the day you accept the insurance.

    Duty of disclosure: When you take out a car insurance policy you have a duty to inform your insurer of any changes in your circumstances, such as change of address or a modification to your car.

    DOC: Drive Other Cars (DOC) is a type of cover that some insurance policies will include and means you are insured to drive another person’s car, with their permission. This will usually only be third party cover and cannot be for day to day use.

    DVLA: The Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency is the body responsible for issuing licences and collecting car tax for all drivers in Great Britain.

     

  3. Car Insurance Myths Debunked

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    There are a lot of pervasive myths when it comes to car insurance and car insurance companies. A lot of them are born out of simple misunderstandings that then get exaggerated. Others may only apply to the majority of insurance companies but aren’t a hard and fast rule.

    Below are some common car insurance myths debunked.

     

    • Personal property in my car is covered
      Although your car insurance will cover you for the theft of your vehicle and any damage sustained to it as the result of an accident or a criminal act, any personal property you have in the car is not covered. That’s worth bearing in mind next time you leave your expensive golf clubs in the boot.
    • Courtesy cars are standard on car insurance policies
      Some insurance policies will include a courtesy car as standard but many others will only offer this service as an optional extra, whilst some won’t offer it at all. If you take an insurance policy out with us at DNA we will supply you with a replacement vehicle if the accident wasn’t your fault.
    • I can keep my costs down by becoming a named driver on my parent’s insurance
      Becoming a named driver on someone else’s insurance policy means you cannot be the main driver of that vehicle. This is often done by parents to keep insurance costs down for a son or daughter who has just passed their test and is known as ‘fronting’, which can land you with a large fine and six points on your licence. For a young driver this means a ban.
    • A speeding ticket will automatically cause my premium to rise
      This isn’t always the case and will vary from insurer to insurer. Quite often three points on your licence will have no bearing on your premium, although multiple points may start to see your insurance costs rise.
    • I won’t be able to get car insurance if I have a driving conviction
      Although many insurance companies won’t insure you if you have a conviction for a driving offence like drink driving that doesn’t mean you can’t get insured. At DNA Insurance we offer insurance to drivers with criminal or motoring convictions.

     

    There are a lot more myths concerning car insurance but like so many things in life it pays not to believe everything you hear and take the time do a your own research. You never know, you might be pleasantly surprised.

    If you have a motoring conviction or have been banned from driving in the past, visit our Convicted Driver Insurance page to see how we can help you get back on the road. Alternatively give one of our friendly team a call on 03445 732400.

  4. The Top Three Causes of a Motor Vehicle Breakdown (and how to Spot them)

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    Whether it’s happened to you or not, breaking down and getting stranded with your vehicle by the side of the road is everyone’s idea of a nightmare. Whilst it is strongly advisable to take out motor breakdown cover, it is possible to spot some problems before they occur.

    We’ve looked at what the experts say (including Which, the AA, the RAC and Green Flag) and summarised four of the top causes of motor vehicle breakdown as well as how to spot them.

    Flat Battery

    The number one culprit of all breakdowns (between 18% and 20% according to the experts), especially in the winter months, is a flat or faulty battery. Flat batteries are more common with vehicles that only take short journeys. This doesn’t allow the battery to properly charge properly, running it down faster. If this is you, then try to take your car for a longer drive every now again if possible. Also make sure the terminals are protected from corrosion with a layer of petroleum jelly or grease every time your car is serviced.

    How to spot: The engine may turn over more slowly and the red battery light on the dashboard may start to flicker.

    Lost Keys

    Although not technically a cause of a mechanical or electrical breakdown, lost keys are responsible, rather embarrassingly, for a huge number of callouts. There’s not really much more to say about this than keep a spare set and try not to lose them if you’re out. Car dealers will be able to order you a replacement set but this can take weeks.

    How to spot: A growing sense of panic, followed by that sinking feeling of knowing you’ve totally screwed up.

    Flat Tyre or Blowout

    The most common culprit for a blowout or flat is under inflating your tyres. This is easily avoidable simply by making sure you change them when necessary and making sure the tyre pressure is correct. Sometimes a flat is unavoidable if you hit debris in the road, so always make sure you carry a spare tyre with you as well as the means of fitting it, no matter how good a condition your tyres are in beforehand.

    How to spot: Sluggish steering and one tyre losing pressure faster than the others could be signs you have a slow puncture.

    Other Culprits

    These three causes of motor vehicle breakdown are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to breakdown. Other major culprits include, faulty starter motors, alternators, distributor caps, spark plugs and fuel problems (using the wrong fuel). Most are avoidable by getting your car in for a regular service and checking things like tyre pressure oil levels yourself.

    For more info on what to do in case of a breakdown, the AA have produced this very useful guide.

    At DNA Insurance, most of our policies come with the option of breakdown cover. Call one of our team for more details on 08445 732 400.

  5. Disqualified Drivers Facing Tougher Sentences

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    It is an unfortunate fact that a number of people are on the road illegally; either they are driving a vehicle without an appropriate licence, have failed to properly cover themselves and their vehicle with car insurance, or are disqualified from driving yet still continue to get behind the wheel of a car. Luckily, the DVLA keeps a record of all drivers that have been disqualified, as well as which vehicles in the UK are legally allowed on the road, which helps the police can catch those that are on the road illegally.

    However, some have claimed that the punishments for those that cause harm to others while on the road are too lenient, which is why Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has announced that disqualified drivers who cause harm or death on the road will now face tougher sentencing. Previously, disqualified drivers who caused death were only sentenced to two years in prison, however after appeals from victims’ families this has now been increased to ten years. Furthermore, Mr Grayling has brought in a new law which states that disqualified drivers who cause serious injury will now face up to four years in jail.

    Discussing the new, tougher rules, Mr Grayling said: “I want to make our roads safer and ensure people who cause harm face tough penalties. Disqualified drivers should not be on our roads for good reason. Those who choose to defy a ban imposed by a court and go on to destroy innocent lives must face serious consequences for the terrible impact of their actions. Today, we are sending a clear message that anyone who does will face much tougher punishment.”

    It is expected for the new laws to come into place as early as the beginning of 2015, and the Justice Secretary has also claimed that he will be reviewing other punishments for driving offences in the near future in order to make sure that those who break the law receive adequate sentences. Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan has supported Mr Grayling’s proposal and agrees that those who drive without car insurance should also face tougher sentencing, however he also added that the UK’s prisons are currently overcrowded.

    Mr Khan said: “The government also needs to assure the public that they have enough space in prison to cope with the increased demand. The current shortage of space and increased overcrowding on their watch has led to serious problems in our prisons.” Mr Grayling has been supported by a number of motoring groups and charities such as Brake and the AA, with Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, saying: “We have long campaigned for a shake-up of charges and penalties for risky and irresponsible drivers who kill and injure on our roads.”

    Meanwhile, AA president Edmund King said: “A small proportion of drivers are serial offenders who need to be taken off the road. We support these changes as a deterrent to not re-offend or as a means of stopping those imprisoned who seem intent to be serial re-offenders.”

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