Why do we need car insurance?
Car insurance is something that is required for all drivers in the UK, and covers against their liability to other people as stipulated under the Road Traffic Act 1988. Whether you are learner driver or you hold a full licence - you MUST have at least third party insurance. Insurance not only protects you in the event of an accident, where your car or the other party's car is damaged, it can also protect you against theft & vandalism, injury to other drivers, passengers, pedestrians and their property.
The only occasion where it is ok to NOT have insurance, is if your car has been declared by you, off-road under what's called a SORN (Statutory off Road Notification)
What types of car insurance cover are there?
The three main types of car insurance in the UK are:-
Third Party - Is the most basic and minimum level of cover required by law. It will cover you in situations such as bumping into the back of someone in front of you and insures against personal injury to the other driver, injury to other passengers, damage to their vehicle, damage to any third party property and their excess. Third party does NOT cover any damage to your car or your injuries if you are at fault.
Third Party Fire & Theft - Again this covers any third party injury, damage to their car and their property if you are deemed liable. It also covers your own car for damage by fire, theft and damage to your vehicle in an attempted theft.
Comprehensive - Is the highest level of cover you can opt for. It insures everything in the 2 covers above, but more importantly, it covers any damage or injury whether it was your fault or not. It also insures other risks such as flood and accidental damage to your vehicle. Some fully comp insurances allow you to drive other people's cars on a third party basis without the need of being named on their policy too! This is however subject to your insurer, and if it is stated on your Certificate of Motor Insurance.
The consequences for driving without insurance
Driving without insurance is a serious offence. It makes you a huge danger to other road users and can result in a minimum fixed penalty of £300 and 6 points on your licence. If the case goes to court, you could be facing an unlimited fine, have your car impounded and be disqualified from driving altogether! Convictions of this nature can stay on your record for up to 5 years! Not only are you running the risk of losing £100's-£1000's of pounds, this could easily affect your job, depending on your occupation and make your commute to work very difficult. No more convenient trips to the shops, no more fun days out either... and these are just to name a few!
It can be confusing, to know which insurance you need, because one size does not fit all. Make sure you check what cover is the right one for you before you head out on the road!