Car insurance: essential coverage that you should take into account
Hiring car insurance can be an important decision, which not only depends on whether we pay more or less for the policy premium . Saving with car insurance is fine, but it is no less important to know how to choose the right coverage for each client. we have made a selection of the most relevant coverages so that you have all the information when looking for your car insurance.
The first reference to select the coverages that you should take into account when comparing car insurance is found in the 2014 Social Insurance Report , which includes the evolution of automobile claims by coverage during 2013. In this way, We can find out which claims are the ones that car insurance deals with the most and, therefore, the coverages that were most frequently activated among Spanish drivers during 2013. In this way, we verify that coverages such as travel assistance and personal damage lead the ranking, along with civil liability :
- Travelassistance: 3,613,428 claims in 2013
- Own damage: 2,922,242 parties covered by insurance that year
- Civil Liability(bodily and material): 2,416,220 claims registered in total during 2013
- Moons: 1,183,859 parts accounted for that year
- Legal Defense: 244,830 claims in 2013
- Theft: 192,300 parts attended by insurance companies that year
When analyzing this data, it must be taken into account that some of these coverages come “as standard” in insurance policies, such as the civil liability guarantee that all car insurance policies must include, and others such as roadside assistance . It is present in most car insurance offers , even in basic third-party insurance policies.
All of them make up a list of coverage that deserves to be taken into account, and to which we also add the coverage for vehicle fire , which although it is much less frequent than others (only 7,918 parts in 2013), the consequences of the flames in a car can easily lead to the total loss of the vehicle . These would be the essential coverages that you must take into account when hiring your car insurance.
Civil liability in car insurance
Civil Liability coverage is essential to be able to circulate a motor vehicle . Even the most basic car insurance, third-party insurance , has it, since it covers the civil liability of the driver and owner of the vehicle (even if they are not the same person) for damages and injuries caused to third parties. In this way, this coverage covers two types of damage:
- Physical or personal: any damage caused to persons, that is, to another driver or occupant of a vehicle, with a limit of up to 70 million euros, regardless of the number of victims.
- Materials: whether it is damage to another car or street furniture, etc. Here the established limit is 15 million.
It should be noted that civil liability insurance only covers damages caused to injured third parties, in no case will it compensate the person responsible for the accident for the damages that may have been suffered in his person or in his vehicle. Accidents in which the affected third party is a family member of the driver who has contracted the insurance are also excluded from this coverage.
Travel assistance in car insurance
Travel assistance coverage is the one that generates the most insurance requirements, since it is usually included in the car insurance offer, even in the most basic ones.
However, depending on the company and the policy modalities that we contract, this coverage may include more or fewer services. For this reason, it is very important to find out what our insurance includes, so as not to be surprised.
- Attendance period. One of the issues that we must check is whether the travel assistance insurance covers us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year or not.
- Place of the accident. Travel assistance insurance is not unlimited, but rather covers assistance from the habitual residence up to a certain number of kilometers, or in a certain geographical region (Spain, European Union, etc.). Breakdowns on rural roads or in the countryside may also not be covered by our travel assistance coverage.
- type of accident Check that your insurance offers you assistance for any type of incident, no matter how small.
- Transfer: Some insurers offer you the possibility of transferring the vehicle to the nearest workshop, while with others it is only possible to take it to the official workshop of the brand. Others even let you take your car to a trusted garage, if it’s within a certain area.
- Repair at the moment. There is a possibility that the insurance companies will send to the place of the accident the necessary help to repair the small damages caused or situations such as lack of fuel, discharged battery or loss of keys.
- Transfer of those affected. Insurers often undertake to transport those affected to their homes or to a specific destination.
- Accommodation or spare vehicle. Sometimes, the accident occurs at a certain distance from the home of the affected and it is not possible to return. In these situations, some insurers agree to lend a vehicle or pay for accommodation for the affected party while the repair is in progress.
car insurance theft
It is more sensible to contract theft coverage the newer and more expensive our car is . If our vehicle is attractive to thieves, it will have more chances to suffer this type of accident. In these cases, it is convenient to pay a little more and cover this type of situation.
However, coverage for theft does not always act in the same way. In fact, the insurer’s response to this type of claim is determined by the circumstances of the theft and the conditions of the policy. In this sense, it is important to read the small print of our car insurance carefully and make sure that it covers the theft of the vehicle and, also, the theft of accessories and wheels, as well as the damage caused by the attempted theft.
The coverage of moons
It is one of the most contracted in car insurance, even in third-party insurance that is often extended with this coverage. More than a million parts in a year endorse the convenience of taking out car insurance with glass coverage included since, in addition, it does not usually involve a significant increase in the premium.
This coverage must include the expenses for the repair of the windshield, side windows and rear window. In addition, most companies include workshop labor and sunroof damage in this case, as long as it is a standard item.
Legal defense coverage
This is another coverage that is present in the vast majority of car insurance offers. It can be included in any of the car policy modalities or incorporated as coverage to extend the protection of the vehicle. The details of this service are usually set out in the conditions of the insurance contract although, as a general rule, this coverage offers the services of:
- Legal assistance or reimbursement of expenses incurred by the insured in a claim by administrative, judicial or arbitration in the event of an accident.
- Claim for damages that a third party has caused to the insured in a car accident, as well as defense for damages that the insured may have caused to a third party also in an accident with your car.
Of course, in either case we can find limitations. In the first place, the policy establishes an economic limit for the provision of these services and, in addition, the acceptance of the start-up by the insurer is usually conditional on the presentation of evidence and other documentation that support the position of the insured in these types of conflicts.
Fire coverage in the car policy
As we have seen before, car fires are not as frequent as other accidents, although their consequences can make us lose the car . Vehicle fire coverage covers damage to the car as a result of a fire caused by lightning or an explosion, provided that it is not the will of the insured.
Expenses for extinguishing the fire due to the intervention of the fire service are also included. In addition, fire coverage in car insurance acts whether it has occurred with the car in circulation or at rest.
Fire coverage also covers when the loss is a consequence of:
- A material vice.
- A construction defect.
- Poor maintenance of the vehicle.
In these cases, the repair is limited to the damage caused. However, the limits established in the particular conditions of each policy must be taken into account, since we may find that the deflagration of independent parts of the vehicle (tyres, catalytic converter, etc.) that do not affect the car as a whole, are outside of the coverage.
Own damage coverage: what distinguishes comprehensive insurance
Finally, the coverage of own damages puts the icing on the cake of this review of guarantees that you must take into consideration when hiring your car insurance . The own damage guarantee is not only the coverage that distinguishes the well-known comprehensive insurance , but also covers the repair of damage caused to our own vehicle as a result of an accident.
With this guarantee, the car insurance covers us in the event that our vehicle suffers damage in various circumstances:
- A collision of the vehicle with another car or with any other object
- A rollover or fall
- acts of vandalism
- Meteorological phenomena, such as a hailstorm
- The subsidence of the land or the failure of bridges and roads
- Other damages included in our policy
In addition, this guarantee benefits you when calculating the total loss value of your car after an accident. There are insurances in which the compensation for total loss is calculated with the new value of the vehicle up to a certain age in years (two, three years). For older damaged cars, the market value is applied in the compensation calculation.