When you take out car insurance your insurance provider will undoubtedly offer you a number of add-ons to supplement your policy. Many of these add-ons may be superfluous to your requirements, although some may offer additional cover that you could find useful. If money is tight then you might want to opt for a basic car insurance policy as the cheapest policies are most often those that come without added extras. However, if price isn’t your most important consideration then it is worth bearing in mind the add-ons that you are offered; but be sure to ask yourself if you really need them, and if they offer good value for money.
Many insurers offer windscreen cover which, as the name suggests, covers you for the cost of a repair or replacement of your windscreen if it is damaged. This add-on also covers all the other windows in your vehicle, and often includes a small excess; usually about £50.
You can take out an add-on to cover any of your personal possessions that are stolen from your car, or that are lost or damaged in an accident. You get to choose the amount of cover you require, although this is usually between around £50 and £200 so does not cover higher value items such as laptops, and mobile phones etc. Similarly, you can also pay extra to cover the audio equipment in your car. Some policies do include audio equipment as standard, although many do not therefore it is advisable to check the small print and to take out extra cover should your vehicle contain an expensive sound system.
You may have invested in a sat nav, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that this will be covered by your car insurance. In common with personal possessions and audio equipment sat navs are removable so they are more than likely not to be covered by your basic policy.
If you are anxious about losing your car keys then lost key cover can be a useful add-on. Compensation levels vary, but many insurers will pay out up to £300 if your car keys are lost or stolen, and up to £1,500 if your locks subsequently need to be changed. Replacing keys and reprogramming vehicles can be very expensive so this add-on gives you peace of mind that if the worst should happen you will be financially compensated.
If you have a child you will appreciate that car seats can be rather expensive. If your vehicle is involved in an accident then more often than not the car seat will have to be replaced, even if the accident is relatively minor. If you are a parent, or regularly have a child with you in your car then you might like to consider taking out additional cover for your child’s car seat.
If your car is brand new you will most likely be offered a new car replacement add-on. This additional extra means that if you have an accident and sustain damage to your brand new vehicle then, as long as your car is under a certain age, it will be replaced by a brand new one.
You may be unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. This will inevitably mean that you will not be able to make a claim against their insurance policy, and if you were to make a claim against your own policy you would then lose your no claims bonus. This would unfortunately apply even if the accident was not your fault. Many insurers offer an add-on that will protect your no claims bonus in this situation, as long as you are not at fault, and will not charge you an excess; infact some insurers offer this as standard so read the terms and conditions of your policy before you sign.
If you inadvertently put the wrong type of fuel in your vehicle it can prove to be very expensive. Your tank will need to be drained, flushed, and re-fueled, and this can cost up to £250. Wrong fuel cover will pay out if you do make a mistake at the pumps, and gives you peace of mind if you are prone to the occasional lapse in concentration!
Breaking down can be inconvenient at best, and insurance providers recognise this. That is why many of them offer optional breakdown assistance. There are many different levels of assistance to choose from, both in your home country and overseas (useful if you often take your vehicle abroad). If you do not already have breakdown assistance with another provider then this can be a useful add on; compare the prices offered by dedicated breakdown assistance providers before you sign.
Before taking out car insurance find out what add-ons are on offer and think carefully about which ones you might need, which ones you can do without, and which ones are actually already included in a standard policy. It is important that you are not pressured into taking out additional cover that will be of no real benefit to you, and that you obtain the level of cover that fits your needs and requirements. Not all add-ons are beneficial for every customer whilst for others they provide invaluable peace of mind. Read the small print and weigh up all your options before you sign.