A simples guide

A Guide to Car Insurance Excess

Being involved in an accident can be a stressing time, but you certainly don’t want to build on top of that by finding out your cheap car insurance excess isn’t quite what you thought.

By reviewing the information below, you can make sure that you fully understand your policy and not be in for any nasty surprises’.

What is a car insurance excess?

Basically, car insurance excess is a set amount that you’ll be required to pay when you make a claim on your insurance. Your total excess could be made up of both a compulsory and a voluntary excess. For example, if you have a compulsory excess of £250 and a voluntary excess of £150 you will have to pay £400 in the event of a claim. . 

on the road
car and money

What is the difference between voluntary and compulsory car insurance excess?

Compulsory excess is set by the insurer and, if there is one, it cannot be changed. There can be additional compulsory excesses depending on you and your car. For example, a young driver (under the age of 25) could have an additional compulsory excess often called a young driver excess, as they could pose a higher risk to the insurer. It’s also important to note that you may have an additional compulsory excess if you drive a luxury or high-performance vehicle.

Voluntary excess is the amount of excess that you can choose in addition to the compulsory excess.  It’s worth taking a look at how a voluntary excess can impact your premium. Run a few price comparisons and try changing the amount of voluntary excess you would be willing to pay and see if it makes a big difference to your premium.

It’s always important to remember that in the event that you do make a claim, you’ll have to pay both the compulsory and voluntary excesses. On the majority of car insurance policies there will also be a windscreen/glass excess. In the event of a claim you may be required to pay a small excess in order to have the damage replaced, the excess is often waived if you can have your windscreen damage repaired. Check with your provider and your policy details as this excess amount can vary.



What control do I have over my compulsory and voluntary car insurance excess?

When it comes to the compulsory excess component of your policy, you have no control what so ever. Your insurance company will be the one to decide the amount. They determine this in your policy offer by using all of the information you have provided to determine what type of risk you pose. Age, experience and even the type of car you drive will all be taken into account when the insurer makes you an offer.

As for the voluntary excess, you’ll need to assess whether you think you’ll be able to afford the excess in addition the compulsory excess in the event of a claim. If you are a safe driver with a lot of experience, and you feel confident that you won’t need to claim including a voluntary excess may be just the thing to lower premiums for you.

Do I still pay car insurance excess if it wasn’t my fault?

In short yes but if it isn’t your fault you can claim your excess back from the insurer of the person who was at fault. Be aware that you may need to have motor legal protection to assist you in getting your excess back and it will take time.

Making a claim may mean that your insurer will consider you to be a potential high risk driver then you may be subject to additional compulsory excesses at renewal.

You need to take the time to weigh up all the different options available. Whilst a voluntary excess may be suitable to some people, it may not be best for you. By using our comparison service to source the right car insurance with the right excess at a fair price, you will be able to make an informed decision that best suits your needs.

How do I know how much excess I have to pay on my current policy?

You will need to check your policy and find out what terms are in your existing car insurance. If you still aren’t sure, you should enquire with your insurer to make sure that you are informed before the event in which you need to pay this excess.

If you haven’t yet acquired a car insurance policy, you can compare the market to find the right level of cover for you at a fair price with us. It takes just a few moments and can help you access potential savings on your car insurance premium.

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