Car Insurance

10 Factors To Consider When Buying Car Insurance

What to look out for when choosing car insurance

  • By Paddy Compare
  • 10 May 2023

Looking for car insurance to fit your particular financial and personal needs? Choosing the right car insurance is more than just looking for the cheapest price. There are several factors to consider to ensure you are not left with inadequate cover.

In this article

Things to compare when choosing an insurance provider

  • Different coverage options
  • Deductibles
  • Premiums
  • Discounts
  • Add-ons
  • Terms and conditions

By comparing multiple providers, you can find the policy that best meets your needs and budget.

With Paddy Compare you can get in touch with trustworthy brokers and find the most suitable car insurance.

Factors to consider when buying car insurance

  1. The Coverage: There are three types of covers: third party (which is a minimum coverage required by the law), third party fire and theft, and comprehensive coverage. These covers all have different factors that may fit your needs.
    Plans and prices differ greatly depending on the cover you require, so, as with anything consumer-related, shopping around is always the best practice.
  2. The Premium: The premium is the amount you'll pay each month for your insurance coverage.
  3. The Excess: The Excess is the amount you have to pay towards a claim you make. An excess policy will state how much money you must contribute towards car repairs or other expenses before the insurer pays the rest. For example, if your excess amount is €300 and you make a claim for €900, you need to pay the excess amount before your insurer pitches in.
    Cheaper policies tend to have higher excess charges. So, the lower the premium cost per month, the higher the excess charge.
    Accepting a higher excess to reduce the premium cost might not be beneficial in the long run. For this reason, knowing the excess policy is vital when choosing car insurance.
  4. Roadside Assistance: Many companies offer on-site assistance in case of an accident. If your provider offers this service:
    • You have the option of calling their helpline in the event of an incident.
    • Your provider will then send trained personnel to help you with your vehicle and get you back on the road again.
    • This could be for something as small as a malfunctioning battery or a more serious issue.
  5. Step-Back Protection: Some insurance policies offer "Step-Back" protection, which allows you to take your no-claims bonus even after making a claim.
    • A no-claims bonus is a discount given to policyholders who do not make any claims during their policy term. In the event that a policyholder does make a claim, their no-claims bonus may be reduced.
    • "Step-Back" Protection means that in the event of a claim, the policyholder will still receive a discount on their insurance premiums, although it may not be as much as before the claim.
  6. 24-hour Helpline: A 24-hour helpline is essential when it comes to car insurance. Make sure your provider offers this service. Aim for a provider which offers a helpline on which you can report a claim, even if it is a minor accident.
  7. Hidden Charges: Always check for hidden charges. These could include:
    • Administration fee
    • Adjustment fee
    • Renewal fee
    • The deductible or excess charge
  8. Customer Service: By comparing multiple providers, you can get a sense of their customer service reputation. Choose a provider which is responsive, helpful, and polite. Making a claim for your car insurance should be a comfortable process.
  9. The Claims Process: An insurance claim is a formal request made to an insurance company asking for a payment based on the terms of the insurance policy. While comparing providers, check how quickly they pay out claims. Check what forms you will have to fill out, what documents you will have to provide, and who you will need to consult prior to receiving your insurance claim.
  10. Discounts Offered: Some insurance companies offer discounts. It could be for things like:
    • Safe driving
    • Bundling multiple policies (such as car and home insurance)
    • Having certain safety features on your car

Best practices when choosing the right car insurance in Ireland

  • Do your research
  • Speak to a local broker
  • Know your exact needs
  • Know the condition of your car
  • Check what discounts you qualify for

By comparing multiple providers, you can find the policy that offers the coverage you need at the most affordable price. Taking the time to compare car insurance providers can also help you find plans which include discounts you can avail of.

Also, check out 6 tips to get cheaper Car Insurance in Ireland.

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