With the cost of owning and insuring a car rising, more and more UK motorists are looking for ways to save money on their car insurance. Some motor insurers have responded to this by offering no-frills policies that still provide comprehensive cover to insure the basics but exclude many of the extra's that traditional car insurance provides as standard.
The most recent insurers to enter this growing niche of the car insurance market are Tesco with their Value Insurance policy and Norwich Union who have branded their policy Simple Cover.
You might be wondering, though, if these no-frills car insurance plans are simply a marketing gimmick to win new customers or whether they really can save you money without affecting your cover significantly. If you are a careful driver, aren't too bothered about some of the policy extras included on some standard car insurance and you can afford to pay a higher excess should the worst happen, then a simple car insurance policy might save you money.
On the surface, it appears to boil down to be willing to accept more liability in case of an accident. If you can increase your voluntary excess, for example, then you will have to pay more out of your own pocket should you discover a cracked windscreen, or have a minor crunch in a car park. On the other hand, a higher excess should result in a much lower monthly premium which can result in big savings should you not need to make a claim.
So what else might you be missing out on if you choose a "no-frills" policy? No-frills car insurance is about cutting away the little extras and just leaving the most basic cover to keep you on the road. This might mean that things are a little more inconvenient should you have an accident, however. In case of damage to your vehicle, you could have to go to an approved garage for the repairs rather than to your own local garage. You might also have to give up the little extras like a courtesy car should your vehicle be off the road for any reason, again causing the expense to fall to you should you need it. Some no-frills policies do offer these options at an extra cost, but allow you to pay less if you don't require them.
In the end, all insurance is about risk and saving money on no-frills car insurance comes down to whether or not you are willing to take the risk of paying more should you have an accident or need to claim for a cracked windscreen or car park crunch. As with any insurance, ensure you read the small print and be aware of any hidden extras that could actually end up costing you more than a standard motor policy. If you've been lucky enough to avoid a collision so far, it's also important to really consider the hassle and expense that can follow and whether a basic policy will provide sufficient support and protection when you need it most.
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