Congratulations, you have just passed your driving test after successfully completing a series of hurdles involving theory testing, rules of the road, acquiring a learner licence, completing the twelve lesson training, taking pre-tests and finally walking away from the driving test centre with your coveted Certificate of Competency proudly in hand. Your driving licence is a well-earned document and now that you have the difficult part completed, the next challenge is getting your car on the road.
First Cut is the Deepest
As having car insurance is a legal requirement to drive in Ireland, young drivers need affordable and reliable car insurance especially when getting your first policy. Typically, car insurance for young drivers is more costly as the risk of being involved in a road accident tend to be higher with younger drivers. Shopping around for car insurance can seem daunting, especially when you start delving into the assortment of policy types and associated ‘jargon’ being advertised in the marketplace. Even more alarming, are the costs associated with first time policy holders, which can vary considerably depending on factors like vehicle age and value; location; driving experience; and profession.
That is why your starting point, should be with your local Insurance Broker who will help you navigate through the minefield of car insurance policy types and provide some balanced advice and direction in helping you secure a policy that is right for you.
Cutting Through the Jargon
Third Party/Third Party ‘Fire & Theft’ Insurance
Generally, third party including third party fire and theft insurance is cheaper than comprehensive insurance because it offers less protection for your car. Third party insurance covers the damage caused to a third party, but not your own vehicle. In the event of an accident, third party will offer additional cover to the costs of any damage or injury you cause to someone else or cover your vehicle against accidental fire or theft.
Although third party insurance is usually the lowest and cheapest option of cover available, its cover is basic and as a rule of thumb, should only be used for drivers with older/lower value vehicles. However, if you have an older car, have low annual mileage or are new to driving, then third party cover might be the right option as it could be cheaper than replacing your vehicle in the event of an accident than it would be to purchase the higher level of cover. Its’ also worth noting that not many insurance companies offer third party insurance.
Comprehensive car insurance provides a greater level of cover and protection and includes the same level of insurance while also covering damage incurred to your car. Depending on your insurance provider, comprehensive cover often includes a range of additional benefits like windscreen repair and protection; loss or damage to personal items and breakdown assistance which are often included as standard features.
Comprehensive insurance is usually the most expensive option as it provides the highest level of cover. The difference between Third Party and Comprehensive is simply the level of cover you get. Very often when you compare the benefits of both types of cover, the difference in cost can be minimal especially when you consider the additional assurance and peace of mind that a comprehensive policy provides .
Another affordable car policy route is Telematic Insurance which is available through some Insurers and is typically geared toward first time policy and young drivers. A box is fitted into your car which reports your driving data to your insurance company. Using a GPS, driving behaviour is monitored and reported for safeness and based on this tracked data, you are awarded a score by your insurer which determines your premium price at renewal time. Although it can be considered a slightly more restrictive option, it is a cost effective option which encourages and rewards young drivers to establish safe driving habits.
Insurance Brokers – Steering You in the Right Direction
Doing your homework on car policies, can be eased if you talk to your local Insurance Broker who will happily steer in the right direction and take the stress out of shopping around for car insurance by using their extensive knowledge of the market to find you the right cover at the best price. An Insurance Broker has access to the entire marketplace and can offer you an extensive product choice from various insurers.