Never miss a Car Insurance discount code!
Get exclusive offers straight to your inbox
Get exclusive offers straight to your inbox
With so many different insurance providers and companies vying for consumer attention in the saturated market, advertising deals and discounts designed to entice varying demographics and owners of different styles of vehicle, it can be easy to forget that car insurance is first and foremost a compulsory legal requirement in the UK and other areas of the world - and one which must be proved when requested by police and other law enforcement bodies.
Car insurance is designed to cover not just the driver and their own vehicle, but also the potential damage that their actions may cause to other drivers and vehicles. Consumers will likely be aware of the need to swap insurance details after a bump or a crash with another vehicle - with terms like “no claims bonus” and “insurance penalty” being bandied about both by industry experts and other consumers in different situations. But what does this all really mean?
Insurance itself has been around far longer than car or auto insurance, having been first established when Benjamin Franklin told a group of men in Philadelphia to pay into a pot which could then cover the expenses if one of their businesses or houses caught fire. This defines the very earliest examples of what insurance today does – creating a backlog of finance and support in the cases of a business or personal disaster.
The development and evolution of auto insurance in particular came almost as soon as cars were introduced and built – with their extreme high value immediately making them viable for coverage in the likely scenario that something could go wrong. And so, in 1897, car insurance was brought to the market – arriving before licensing laws which essentially tells us today just how easy it must have been to get insurance. You didn’t even need a driving licence to do so!
The company responsible for this very first auto policy was Travellers’ Insurance Co, and what it provided was five thousand dollars’ worth of liability coverage should an accident occur. The cover cost him twelve dollars and twenty five cents.
The concept of car insurance in the modern market means has barely changed one bit, meaning that it is still something that consumers pay for in the event that they may at some point need support and coverage. It is, quite literally, an insurance policy against a future occurrence which may leave the consumer needing financial or repair support; be it to repair their own vehicle or to pay for the repair of another.
One of the most notable shifts in the way that car insurance is approached today compared to in the early days is not just the amount it costs, but also the flexibility which companies are now offering to a consumer audience which is always looking for different and versatile options. Car insurance is a legal requirement in many states and countries, however this was not always the case – in fact car insurance didn’t become compulsory for drivers until 1927, to cover the cost of vehicle damage and injury as well as potential lawsuits in the event of a bad accident.
For those consumers seeking deals and discounts, car insurance is one of the common policies which is often banded together with other policies to create package deals. These allow a single family to enjoy multiple insurance deals all covered and operated by the same provider, making payment and management much easier, with the policy provider offering the family or buyer with an auto-renew option which eradicates the need to reinstate a new policy after a year of use, thus promising a more streamlined experience. Of course, streamlined it may be, but what this also does it disguise the fact that the insurance premiums and payments are likely to have gone up – with the consumer even noticing. As soon as a consumer agrees to an auto-renew policy, there is no legal need for them to informed of price hikes, and so companies all across the industry are able to get away with charging bigger premium fees and taking more consumer money without the consumer even realising. Meanwhile, there are plenty of consumers out there who choose to give themselves extra work in the name of better savings - those who use comparison sites and who engage in their own research to seek and secure the very best deals, and are consistently on edge to switch their insurance provider should the premium rates rise over time (something which is becoming increasingly commonplace in the insurance industry where companies are getting greedy). These buyers are often regarded as the savviest, with comparison sites like MoneySupermarket, USwitch,S and CompareTheMarket being designed to make such comparisons easy and to help consumers save more money.
The standard car insurance package is designed to include the bare minimum in terms of coverage, including:
For almost every provider, this insurance is calculated once you have inputted or informed them of the registration plate of your vehicle – a simple move which gives them access to your vehicle age, make, model, service history, and durability. What this means for consumers is that all those approximate figures on insurance websites - for example the “Insurance as low as £XXX” headlines - are based on no real information and are very unlikely to meet the actual figure required to insure any given car. The real figure depends entirely on which car you are looking to insure and can also be affected by your driver history and any previous issues you have had or claims you have had to make.
Atop the standard policy, most providers give consumers the option to tailor their policy with a series of additional terms and extra situation covers, all at additional cost. These include:
As well as determining the terms and features that they want adding to their individual policy, consumers are also encouraged by providers to download apps and create tailored log-ins so that contact in the face of an accident is very easy. Most of the major names in the car insurance industry operate primarily online, with consumers able to log in to file claims and receive the information they need in order to present it to any other drivers involved in the accident.
Other types of car insurance which are available in light of specific situations and drivers include:
As with so many of the insurance industry sectors, car insurance tends to be provided by big names and companies which are not typically associated with the automotive industry – but instead are designated financial firms which deal exclusively in the world of insurance. Some of the big insurance names in the industry include:
As consumers will notice, a range of the best insurance providers are actually renowned names in other sectors such as the big supermarket brands and the Marks & Spencer department stores. What these retailers are offering is insurance which is operated by them as a reliable brand that consumers trust, but which is underwritten by one of the major insurance firms as a third party. In terms of popularity with consumers, well known brands like John Lewis and Aviva are often those heralded for the best customer service as well as the fairest policy provisions.
One of the trends which we picked up on earlier in this article was the rise in popularity of temporary car insurance – particularly with those looking for a quick fix while out on the road. Temporary car insurance is something which has long been available – just think, without it we wouldn’t be able to hire cars while on holiday! – but what is fairly new on the market is the provision of instant car insurance available for those who need to be able to drive instantly and for a short period of time. Many consumers will have noticed the rise in service stations which are advertising instant car insurance solutions through dedicated small businesses and companies, such as TempCover and Insure4ADay. What these companies do is charge consumers a premium for a service which gives them a quote and approves them to drive the dedicated vehicle immediately – perfect for long drives where the designated driver is no longer able to continue, or in an emergency. These insurance policies can be applicable for a period as short as one hour, all the way up to a matter of days.
Another car insurance trend which has become more established in recent years is the rise in young drivers’ insurance, which creates more affordable policies which are limited in their provision but which help young drives to get out on the road without paying huge fees. The fact is that insuring a new driver is a risky business – they are less experienced and thus more subject to potential issues and accidents. However, what young drivers insurance does is create a policy which meets the legal requirement while allowing young drivers to build up their no claims discount and eventually expand into a wider policy.
And then we have the rise in extra features and things that consumers and drivers can do in order to ensure that their policies are as affordable as possible. A great example of this is the rise in the use of dashcam technologies, which can be fitted to cars and which, under most policies and providers, lower the cost of insurance by giving drivers a means of proving where fault lies in an accident. What this does is make it much easier for an innocent party to prove that another drive was at fault, or it can show how an accident was caused if it was not down to reckless driving at the hands of the consumer. In these cases, dashcam footage is an excellent solution which eradicates the need for legal battles and thus keeps the insurance claims as low as possible.
The car insurance industry is one based on and built around the protection of consumers’ own vehicles and their financial status in the face of an accident. For those without car insurance, not only can they be subject to fines if legal authorities find out, but they can also face huge bills if they are involved in an accident – regardless of who is at fault. Getting a foot on the car insurance ladder can lead to big discounts over time, provided consumers utilise cost comparison sites and ensure that they are getting the best deals with multi car insurance and various insurance policies.
Enter your email address below and we’ll be in touch with the latest deals and discount codes for