Car insurance is important to have not just because it is a legal requirement but also to ensure that you have the right level of protection if you have an accident.
The problem for many of us is that sorting through all the different quotes can be very time consuming and it is sometimes hard to know whether the cheaper policy actually provides the right level of cover you need.
It is far too simple to simply choose the cheapest quote and it could end up being an expensive mistake if you find out that you are not covered for something you though you could claim for.
Here is a look at what aspects of your insurance should be considered as essential and which parts can be considered as extras, that you may decide you can do without.
Your car insurance policy should include some must-have features that you really can't afford to miss out on.
Windscreen cover should be included as windscreen damage is a common issue that many motorists encounter, resulting in the need to arrange to replace or repair your existing windscreen. Look for a policy that offers to the pay the market value of your replacement windscreen and check what the excess amount they are charging is.
Personal belongings that you have with you in your car should be covered by your insurance policy. Most good car insurance policies should cover for loss or damage of your personal belongings and also pay out if you suffer a theft from the vehicle.
Lost or stolen keys
You have to reasonable care of your keys and try to protect the security of your car by not making it easy for a thief to steal from you.
Provided you didn't actually leave the keys in the ignition, a good insurance policy should allow to claim if you need to use a company such as AutoLocks to help you get into your car or provide you with replacement keys.
If you have managed to drive for a number of years without having to make a claim against your car insurance, you should be rewarded with a discounted rate in recognition of your clean record.
A good policy should provide you with the opportunity to enjoy protected no claims cover. This means that if you do need to make a claim, you won't have to go back to square one and start earning your discount again.
If you suffer an accident and your car is no longer driveable, a good insurance policy should cover you for the reasonable costs involved in getting the vehicle moved from the scene of the accident to an approved repair centre.
If you really can't be without a car, then you should consider a courtesy car option as a must-have in your insurance policy.
You should check how much the insurer is charging for this feature and also bear in mind that many policies will only supply you with a courtesy car during the period when your car has gone to the repair centre.
There are times when your vehicle may be damaged beyond economical repair or has been stolen and not recovered.
If you are unfortunate enough to suffer this scenario, your policy should provide you with a replacement car with same specification or offer you about 60% of the list price within the first 12 months from new.
When you are checking though car insurance quotes online, most comparison sites will list the quotes in price order.
The price is obviously an important factor to most of us and none of us want to pay more than we have to for our car insurance. You do still need to make sure that you don't simply make your purchasing decision on price alone.
The excess is an important component in your insurance policy and some quotes are often seen as very cheap compared to others, mainly because they carry a higher excess.
No insurer will usually pay the whole of your claim and they expect you to cover some of the losses out of your own pocket. If you have agreed to a higher excess like £300 or more, then you will have to pay the first £300 of any claim you make, or they will deduct that amount from the settlement figure.
It's fine if you don't make a claim but your insurance won't look so cheap when you have to find a large sum of money to make up the difference.
When you are shopping around, make sure that the must-haves are definitely included and then decide what else you really need or could be prepared to skip in order to get a cheaper deal.
By Sam Matthews
Sam loves working with his insurance clients. After years of researching policies and assisting clients, he often blogs about the ins and outs of making the most of automotive insurance.