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Cosmetic Car Insurance – 5 things to think about
Cars are getting bigger, but parking spaces are not. And that can end up costing you big time. A driver in Southampton recently managed to get a parking fine overturned when he proved the space he had parked in was too small for an average sized car. But what about the thousands of us who return to our cars to find a dent or scratch down the side where another driver has got too close whilst parking?
Knocks and scratches to your car’s bodywork are all too common – and all-too-annoying. And if you don’t witness it happening you’ll be left footing the bill to put it right unless you want to drive around looking like an extra from a demolition derby. Cosmetic car insurance could be the low-cost answer to keeping your pride and joy gleaming without risking your no-claims bonus. Read on for our Top 5 things to think about when considering if cosmetic car insurance is right for you.
1) What is cosmetic car insurance?
Also known as scratch and dent insurance or SMART insurance, cosmetic car insurance is an extra policy you can take out on top of your mandatory car insurance. It is specifically designed to pay out if you need to repair a relatively minor scratch or dent on your vehicle, so you won’t need to make a claim through your regular insurance policy.
2) Do I need cosmetic car insurance?
Not sure if you need to take out additional cosmetic car insurance? To help you to decide, think about the following:
- Do you mind driving around in a car with dents and scratches on it?
- If you want immaculate bodywork, can you afford to pay for repairs to dents and knocks? These can run into the ££hundreds depending on the make and model of your vehicle.
You don’t have to repair scratches and dents to your vehicle, but it might be worth considering the following even if you don’t mind the way the scratches and dents look:
- If a scratch or dent breaks the layer of paint, water can get to the car body and rust can set in
- If you plan to sell your car in the future, any buyer may be put off by the damage and consider you to be an uncareful driver – remember, they don’t know if the damage was caused by you or another driver
- If the buyer still wants your car, they may ask for a discount on the price to cover the cost of getting the repairs done
3) Why not claim for repairs to scratches and dents on my normal car insurance?
You could just claim for these minor repairs on your normal car insurance, but there are several reasons why you might not want to. The first is the fact that any claim will result in you losing any no claims bonus that you have built up. The no claims bonus can result in significant savings on future car insurance premiums, even if it’s only one year without a claim. If you have cosmetic car insurance as an add-on, you won’t lose the no-claims bonus on your normal car insurance policy.
Whilst it might not seem fair, even if you make a ‘not-at-fault’ claim on your insurance, you could still see the premiums on your car insurance go up the following year. This is because insurance prices are calculated on risk, and you might be considered a greater risk if you have reported an accident, however minor.
Many of us also opt for higher excesses on our standard car insurance as a way to keep our annual premiums down. Depending on the costs of the cosmetic repair work that needs to be carried out, you could find that the amount you need to pay in excess means there is little point claiming the remaining costs back from your insurance company. With cosmetic car insurance, you’ll only pay a nominal excess.
4) What does cosmetic car insurance cover?
Every policy is different, so speak to your broker to make sure you are clear on exactly what level of cover you are getting. Generally, these insurance policies allow up to three claims a year and will specify a maximum size for dents, stone chips and scratches that you can claim for.
5) Get the best value price on cosmetic car insurance
Most standard motor policies don’t offer you the option of adding on cosmetic car insurance. To get this extra cover, speak to a specialist broker like Easy2Insure. We’re an independent insurance broker and can shop around with some of the UK’s biggest insurance providers to find the exact level of cover that you need, at the best value price possible.
Call us now on 0800 9179 522 to find out more or get in touch here.