Tourism car insurance protects your vehicle for a specific period of time, anywhere from a few days to a few months. It will provide coverage against damage and theft as well as third-party liabilities. If you are going abroad by car, there is no substitute for this cover – it’s essential.
What should not be missed:
12. Making a claim for as little as possible
A claim can increase premiums by as much as 50%. If you make several claims, the insurance company could cancel your policy altogether. So do not try to save money by under-declaring or making incorrect statements on your application form. Don’t forget that it is advisable to let your insurer know about any accidents, even if they are not your fault.
11. Failing to pay attention to the excess
Check what your insurance company requires as an excess for each claim. An excess is usually around GBP 150, but it could be higher if you are travelling outside Europe or renting a car (for example in Australia, Canada and USA). If you end up having to make several claims in one year, this can add up and you could end up paying as much as GBP 500 more than you expected.
10. Listing the car’s driver as an occasional driver
Most of the time, it is possible to list a car’s permanent primary driver and some occasional drivers (i.e. those who drive the car on a regular basis but not every day). Make sure you specify all the drivers when applying for your policy. You could find yourself in trouble if you forget to declare someone, especially if they’re not on your policy.
9. Using an incorrect fuel type
Your insurance company needs to know what type of fuel is used by your vehicle. If it’s biodiesel or bioethanol, make sure you state this in your application form. Likewise, if you use regular diesel for some journeys and biodiesel, bioethanol or vegetable oil on others, your insurer needs to know about the latter type of fuel as well.
8. Not taking out European cover
If you’re travelling around Europe with your car then stick to the rules and take out a European policy. If you do not, then your insurer will only be liable for third-party damages if there is an accident involving another EU-registered vehicle.
7. Believing that motorway driving protects you
Driving on the highway or rolling down country roads is no protection against accidents – quite the opposite in fact. For example, there are more road traffic accidents on the highways of France than anywhere else in Europe.
6. Failing to check the excess on every claim
Different claims have different levels of excesses, so make sure you declare everything when applying for insurance. If you forget or don’t know then your insurer could refuse to pay for the damage.
5. Not taking out additional cover for personal belongings
Personal belongings are not covered by the basic policy, which implies that you could end up losing them if your vehicle is stolen or destroyed. If your vehicle is responsible for damaging someone else’s property (e.g. another car), then their insurance company will pursue you for the cost of the claim.
4. Listing more people on your policy than there are seats in your car
It’s not just you who needs insurance – every member of your family does as well, up to a maximum of five (if there is no extra charge). If you list too many people then it will be difficult for the insurer to know who was driving the car at the time of an accident.
3. Making a claim for someone else
If your friend or relative is involved in an accident and you make a third-party claim using your insurance, then it’s likely they’ll be unable to do so afterwards as their premiums could rise considerably. If they want to start an insurance policy with you as a named driver then that would be fine.
2. Not telling your insurer about convictions
Some traffic offences (e.g. speeding) may appear on your driving record for many years, but that doesn’t mean you cannot declare them when renewing your policy and trying to get a lower premium. It’s in your best interests to declare all convictions, even if it means paying a higher premium.
1. Not checking your insurance policy
Many people fail to read their insurance documentation or let an agent explain their terms and conditions. This is not advisable because it could lead you into accepting a deal that isn’t ideal for you in the long run. Always check that your policy is right for you and that all the information is correct.
How do I find out which insurance company is the cheapest?
The best way to find a cheap car insurer is by comparing quotes from different companies. For advice on how to do this, visit our motor insurance page.
What should I be aware of when taking roadside assistance?
When you take motor breakdown cover, you need to know what you are getting – and not getting – for your money. For advice on this, visit our motor breakdown cover page.
How do I avoid being overcharged for insurance?
The best way to avoid being overcharged for a car insurance policy is by shopping around. You can find the cheapest prices from different companies in our car insurance comparison tables.
How much spare room do I need when taking out motorhome insurance?
Motorhome insurance can be expensive if you don’t understand the terminology and your policy limits. For advice, visit our motorhome page.
What may cause my premium to increase?
There are many things that may cause your premium to increase, including: making a claim, having previous driving convictions and poor credit history. For more information on the things which could affect your car insurance rate, check out our car insurance myths page.
All Things Considered
With 12 mistakes you can make in touring car insurance, it’s no wonder people are so confused about how to buy the right policy. We’ll give you a checklist of things not to do when buying auto coverage and will help show you what questions to ask your agent before purchasing anything. Comment below with any thoughts on this article or ideas for other articles we should write!