Types of car insurance

Trying to work out what kind of car insurance to buy? With so many policies to choose from, it can be a difficult and overwhelming task trying to work out which cover best suits your needs.

While it's tempting to go for the cheapest policy, you also want to be confident that if you have a bump and need to make a claim your insurer will be there for you. It's important to take the time to work out what you need and make sure you choose a policy that gives you ample cover for a competitive price.

Baffled by the types of car insurance on offer? We can help. Below is a simple guide to car insurance types to help you find the right cover for your needs, at the right price.

Levels of cover

When selecting a policy, there are three levels of cover to choose from: third party; third party, fire & theft; and comprehensive. Here's what each gives you:

Third party
Third party insurance is the minimum level of cover required by law. The benefits are basic: if you're involved in an accident, the insurance covers the cost of damage caused to the other driver's vehicle, as well as any treatment fees if the other driver is injured.
But if your own car is lost, damaged or stolen, your insurer won't pay anything towards replacing or repairing it; and you won't be covered for personal injuries. Surprisingly, although this is the most basic level of cover, it's not always the cheapest.
Third party, fire & theft
This level of cover provides all the protection of third party insurance (see above), plus it will cover repair or replacement costs if your vehicle is stolen or damaged by fire.
Comprehensive
This is the highest level of cover and provides protection for fire, theft and damage to your car as well as other vehicles. If you're involved in an accident and it's your fault, comprehensive insurance covers the cost of repairs as well as treatment fees if you need medical attention. If the accident is another driver's fault, their insurance will cover these costs.

The exact features and benefits of the three levels of cover will vary between insurers though.

Hastings Direct policies

Here at Hastings Direct, we understand that no two drivers are the same. That's why we offer a range of policies with different features and benefits:

Hastings Essential
If you're after basic and affordable coverage, look no further than our Hastings Essential insurance. This no-frills policy ensures you're not paying extra for features and benefits you don't necessarily need.
Hastings Direct
Our standard cover is Defaqto 5 Star rated and includes benefits such as lock replacement, key theft and protection for in-car audio and sat nav equipment.
Hastings Premier
Our Hastings Premier policy is also Defaqto 5 Star rated, and provides a range of additional features as standard. With a Premier policy, you'll enjoy benefits such as legal protection, roadside assistance and breakdown recovery.
Multi car
If there's more than one car at your address, you and other drivers could save money by taking out our multi car insurance policy. Benefits include a free half-price MOT voucher, windscreen and windows cover, EU cover for up to 90 days per trip, and £5,000 personal accident cover.
You don't need to be related to the other drivers to reap the cost-saving benefits of a multi car policy — you just need to live under the same roof.
SmartMiles
SmartMiles is our telematics policy that awards safe drivers with cheaper premiums, and is most suited to young or new drivers who often face higher insurance costs. A"black box" will be fitted to your car to monitor your driving and we'll use this data to calculate your price.

But our policies don't stop there — Hastings Direct can also provide insurance for your van, motorbike or home.

What affects your price?

It sounds like a simple question, but it's more complicated than you might think. The premium you pay for insurance depends on a number of factors, such as:

No claims discount / No claims bonus
Generally, the more years of no claims discount you have, the greater the reduction in your insurance premium.
Vehicle type
The make or model of your car will also affect your insurance. Broadly speaking, expensive cars will incur higher premiums as they cost more money to repair or replace. This is the same for vehicles deemed "desirable", as they're more likely to be stolen and therefore considered a greater risk to insure. You can also expect to pay more for your vehicle if it's been modified or has a powerful engine.
Excess
When you apply for a quote, the insurer will set a compulsory excess, and you'll be able to set a voluntary excess too if you want to. This is the amount you agree to pay towards any claim made on your policy. If you increase the voluntary excess, your premium is likely to be reduced. It's important that you only agree to an excess you can realistically afford to pay out in the event of a claim.
Car use
If you use your car on a daily basis for commuting, you'll be considered a greater risk than someone who only uses their vehicle occasionally for social purposes. This will be reflected in your insurance premium.
Occupation
If you have a job that requires you to be on the road regularly and for extended periods of time, you could find yourself paying more for insurance. Certain occupations are also thought to carry greater risk, such as jobs within the hospitality industry.
Address
Typically, you'll pay a higher price for your premium if you live in a built-up area where there are lots of cars on the road, or an area where there are lots of car accidents or thefts.

We hope our guide has provided you with all you need to make an informed choice about your car insurance.

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