First Car Insurance
For new motorists, the first car insurance policy is an important benchmark. If nothing else, this alone allows a provisional driver to operate a vehicle legally in the UK. A provisional licence allows driving with supervision, but the insurance policy that covers the driver and the vehicle allows the actual driving. A motorist’s first car insurance policy will cost more than average, but it will not be the most expensive auto cover purchased. Because the new driver has no experience driving a car, the risks of an accident are tremendous. Most new motorists are 17 years old, and the young driver age group, those between 17 and 25, are prone to more accidents than any other age group because of that inexperience.
An auto insurance policy for a provisional driver is expensive, but the cover for the first year as a fully licensed, solo driver costs even more. The learner driver has the benefit of a supervising motorist who has experience and can take the wheel if needed. The new, fully licensed driver no longer has that guiding experience on which to draw. The policy for the first-year, fully licensed driver is the most expensive based on age. The starting point, however, is that provisional driver getting covered for the initial learning phase.
Determining the proper cover level for new drivers is very important. The risk of accidents is high, and only comprehensive insurance covers repairs to the driven vehicle, so the smartest choice for a first car insurance policy is often comprehensive cover. If the new driver is young and living at home, most parents add the teen to an existing policy as a named driver. Because the insurance is in a mature driver’s name, the financial impact of adding the youngster isn’t as great as an independent policy with the new driver listed as the policy holder. However, exceptions do exist, and if a separate policy is warranted, adding a mature driver as a named motorist on the policy will bring the premiums down somewhat.
If comprehensive cover is too expensive, third-party fire and theft might suffice. It has fewer benefits than comprehensive auto insurance, but it’s cheaper as well. Third-party fire and theft will cover liability for accident damage and bodily injury to another if the insured is at fault in an accident. It will also provide repair or replacement benefits up to a certain percentage of the car’s value if the covered vehicle is stolen or damaged by vandalism, fire, explosions or lightning.
The base level of auto cover is third-party cover. Often the cheapest policy from standard and speciality companies, it has even fewer benefits than the intermediate cover, above. Third-party pays only for property damage or bodily injury to another. Neither third-party cover provides accident benefits for the insured’s vehicle, but the basic third-party policy provides no extra benefits at all beyond liability.
Either third-party cover might be sufficient if the new motorist is driving an older car for which dents and scratches might be okay. Older vehicles have lesser monetary value and often are not repaired after catastrophic accidents.
Learner driver auto insurance policies are often the first car insurance covering an inexperienced motorist. This cover lasts only for a limited time, and many come in the form of a short-term policy that is purchased on a per-diem basis. Once the driver passes the practical test and gains a full-privilege licence, however, this cover is no longer issued.
If a new driver has a car registered to him, he must be listed as the regular driver on the policy. Named drivers can be added, but the vehicle owner must be the policy holder.
Most new drivers are young drivers. The rare exception of an older individual obtaining a licence for the first time might influence rates downward slightly, but inexperience will keep rates of any level of cover higher than average. Fortunately, every new motorist of any age can earn safe driving discounts and vehicle safety and security discounts to decrease the costs of each driver’s first car insurance.