Nowadays you can scarcely turn on the TV or radio without hearing at least one advert for car insurance providers, or moreover for websites that will help you compare the different insurances currently on offer at the click of a mouse. Most of us are very good at knowing what we want our car insurance to provide – provision of a courtesy car, accidental damage cover, protected no claims bonus, low excess – and these sites can help us cherry pick the right car insurance package for our needs and budget.
Yet equally important when thinking about what your car insurance does cover, is to consider those things for which you will not be covered. Apart from the fact that car insurance is a legal requirement, it provides us with peace of mind that in the unlikely event of an accident, some or all of the cost of replacing or repairing our vehicle will be met. Far more likely, however, is that at some point your vehicle will break down or experience some sort of mechanical failure. Depending on the extent of the problem, putting it right could prove costly and you will not find much peace of mind in your car insurance then, because it will not reimburse you a penny.
The advantage of buying a brand new vehicle is that it will almost certainly have a warranty included in the price, providing cover for anything up to seven years, depending on the manufacturer. Manufacturer warranties cover most mechanical breakdowns and failures, providing the vehicle owner has fulfilled the correct criteria – for example, ensuring the vehicle has been regularly serviced by an approved garage, that only approved parts and lubricants have been used and that the vehicle has been well cared for and not neglected.
If you are buying a second hand vehicle, particularly on the private sales market, there are a number of companies who offer mechanical breakdown warranties. These provide similar cover to manufacturer warranties, again on the proviso that you adhere to certain conditions. Prices for this cover will of course vary, depending on the age, history and condition of the vehicle, but in general, the cost of purchasing a warranty will be considerably less than the cost of repairs should the unthinkable happen. If you purchase a comprehensive level of cover, this should cover the cost of most working parts as well as the labour cost involved in getting the vehicle back on the road.
No matter how well you treat your pride and joy, wear and tear will ultimately take its toll and it is highly unlikely that any car insurance policy or warranty you have in place will cover the failure and replacement of tyres, exhausts and brakes. Characteristically, disintegration of such parts are the probable causes of most vehicle breakdowns and the main reason why it is worth purchasing breakdown cover. Again, certain manufacturers will provide their own breakdown assistance with new vehicles but there are a raft of breakdown assistance policies widely available, with a variety of levels of cover to suit most pockets.
Motoring is a costly pastime and whilst purchasing more than one type of car insurance may seem just more added, unnecessary expense, it could prove far cheaper than relying on providence to deal with whatever is lurking around the next corner.
Information correct as of 14 May 2010
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