Here at Higos we offer a wide range of motor insurance solutions whether you are looking to insure your car, motorcycle, classic car, performance car, van, commercial vehicle or fleet of vehicles.
We have access to a wide range of leading insurers and schemes, allowing us to provide you with the policy which suits your exact needs.
Motor insurance protects motorists against liability in the event of accidents they may cause. It can also provide cover for the motorist's own vehicle.
Higos offers many different types of cover, ranging from third party cover which protects individuals against liability should they injure a third party or cause damage to a third party's property, but does not provide any cover for the individual's own vehicle or property, through to comprehensive cover, which can offer protection for accidental damage, theft, fire damage as well as liability towards third parties.
The Road Traffic Act
The Road Traffic Act requires all motorists to be insured against their liability for injuries to others (including passengers) and for damage to other people´s property resulting from use of a vehicle on a road or other public place. It is an offence to drive your car or allow others to drive it without insurance.
When you purchase Motor Insurance, we will usually issue two documents:
The Certificate of Insurance - this is evidence of insurance as required by the Road Traffic Act.
The Policy Document - sets out in full the terms and conditions of your policy.
You may also receive a Cover Note. This acts as a temporary policy and also as a temporary certificate of insurance for the purposes of the Road Traffic Act.
You should read your policy carefully to ensure it gives you the level of cover you are seeking. There should be no small print or difficult language in modern insurance policy documents. If you are unsure about what the policy does or does not cover then just ask your insurer/insurance adviser to explain.
Comprehensive Motor Insurance
Comprehensive motor insurance policies usually cover:
- Liability for injuries to other people, including passengers
- Liability for damage to other people´s property
- Liability of passengers for accidents caused by them
- Liability arising from the use of a caravan or trailer, while attached to the car
- Fire damage and/or theft
- Accidental damage to your own car
- A personal accident benefit - certain amounts are paid in the event of the death or specific permanent disablement of the policyholder (and sometimes his or her spouse or family member)
- Medical expenses necessarily incurred, up to a stated limit
- Loss of or damage to personal effects in the car, up to a stated limit.
Third Party insurance policies usually cover:
- Liability for injuries to other people, including passengers
- Liability for damage to other people´s property
- Liability of passengers for accidents caused by them
Third Party Fire & Theft
Liability arising from the use of a caravan or trailer, while attached to the car and Third Party Fire and Theft Policies are generally the same as Third Party policies, but with protection added to cover losses in the event of fire or theft of your vehicle.
Is there anything I should ask or think about when buying motor insurance?arrow
Policy Limits and/or Excesses - Make sure you are aware of any applicable excess and/or cover limits your policy may include. An excess is the first portion of a claim you will be responsible for paying and the insurer will only pay out on the amount above the excess. There may be a number of different excesses in one policy. For example, different excesses might apply depending on whether a claim is for accidental damage or theft. There is usually a separate excess for windscreen replacement claims. Most insurance policies also have maximum limits the insurer will pay out in a claim. You need to check you would be able to afford the excess in the event of a claim, and that the maximum insured would be sufficient to cover your loss.
Insured Drivers - The policy might only cover driving by yourself or specified people, or it might allow driving by any qualified person with your permission, possibly over a certain age limit. Your insurers will want to know about anyone who is likely to drive - particularly their age, experience, claims and driving record and occupation.
Vehicle use - Your policy and certificate set out the uses for which your car is insured. For example, if you or any authorised driver want to use your car in connection with work, make sure that your policy covers this.
No Claims Discount - Policyholders with a claim free (not blame free) record normally qualify for a premium discount. Scales vary from one motor insurer to another but can range from 30% for one claim free year up to 60% or more after four or five years. Click here for further information on No Claims Discount.
Protected Discount policies - are often available, for example, to policyholders who have a good claims record. For an extra premium, a number of claims are allowed without affecting the discount. Typically two claims are allowed in a three to five year period. Your insurance premium or your excess may be affected, however, even though your discount is protected, if you build up a poor claims record or receive driving convictions.
Legal expenses insurance - If you do not already have this, ask your insurance adviser about the options available, whether as a stand-alone product or as an extension of your motor policy. If you are involved in an accident that isn't your fault, for example, this could help you to recover your uninsured losses, such as your excess, from the liable party.
Common exclusions to be aware of:
Theft by deception - If you are selling your car make sure you receive proper payment before parting with it. Your insurance policy will usually not cover your loss if your car is taken from you by deception.
Driving Other Cars - Many policies cover the policyholder while driving a car which belongs to someone else. However, cover will be limited to third party only, even if you have a comprehensive policy for your own car. Accidental damage to the borrowed car will not be covered by your insurance.
Make sure that you have the car owner´s permission to drive the vehicle and that the owner has arranged comprehensive insurance (e.g. by adding you as a driver under their policy) if they wish to do so. (If they do this, then claims involving their car, while you are driving, will be met by their policy.)
Similarly, before letting someone else drive your car think about the insurance implications of doing so, and ensure that you are comfortable with these.
Other useful informationarrow
How premiums are calculated - Factors taken into account in setting your insurance premium include who will drive, the type of car, where it is kept, the uses to which it is put, and the type of cover required.
When buying motor insurance you must give us full information.
Family cars with moderate repair costs are usually cheaper to insure than large or powerful cars which can be expensive to repair.
Each popular new model of car launched in the UK is given an insurance group rating which insurers find helpful as one of the many inputs to their premium decision and you may wish to consider these when purchasing a new car.
Older cars often attract discounts for comprehensive insurance premiums.
Insurance claims are more frequent in urban areas so motorists in cities usually pay more for their insurance than those who live in the country. The place where the car is kept is a rating factor, so tell your insurers if the car is not kept at your home address.
Driving Convictions - Insurers know that there is a connection between the number of driving convictions a person may have and their likelihood of making an insurance claim. So people with convictions are likely to face higher premiums until their driving record improves.
Drink driving convictions are taken very seriously by insurers. Convicted drivers returning to the roads may face difficulty in obtaining insurance and will certainly have to pay far higher premiums than before their conviction. The level of cover available may be reduced - for example from comprehensive down to third party fire and theft. These higher premiums and cover restrictions can well last for a number of years.
Giving Lifts - All ABI motor insurers have agreed that if your passengers contribute towards your running costs your insurance cover will not be affected, as long as lifts are given in a vehicle seating eight passengers or less. This agreement does not apply if you make a profit from payments received or if carrying passengers is your business.
Changing Your Car - You must tell us if you change your car. A premium adjustment may be necessary and you will probably need a new certificate.
Motoring Abroad - All UK motor policies provide the minimum cover required by law in other European Union countries or the minimum cover required by UK law if that is greater. This cover does not automatically include theft or damage to your car.
Look After Your Car - All insurance policies require you to make sure your car is in a roadworthy condition. If you don´t, you may find that your claim will not be paid.
From time to time vehicles may be subject to a manufacturer´s recall to address a possible safety concern. You should check with your local dealer or vehicle manufacturer to see if your vehicle may be affected.
Tell Your Insurer - You must tell us of any changes in the details you have provided such as address, occupation, type of car and motoring convictions including fixed penalties.
Remember - not only is it an offence under the Road Traffic Act to make a false statement or withhold information for the purposes of obtaining a certificate of motor insurance, but it may also invalidate your policy.
What should I do if I have an accident?arrow
In the event of an accident get as much on the spot information as possible. Keep a pen and paper in your car for this purpose. Take note of the names and addresses of independent witnesses before they lose interest and leave the scene. If you happen to have a camera in the car, get pictures before vehicles and property are moved. Also, make a sketch plan of the accident while the details are fresh in your mind.
- Ask the other drivers involved for their names and addresses and make a note of their car registration numbers together with the make and model.
- Ask for the name of their insurers and also, if possible, their policy number or certificate number.
There may be injury to people or animals or damage to vehicles or property. If so, you are required to give your name and address, the name and address of the owner of the car you are driving and its registration number to anyone with reasonable grounds for wanting them.
If anyone is injured you should produce your certificate of insurance either to a police officer or to anyone with reasonable grounds for wishing to see it. If you cannot do this at the scene you must produce it at a police station within 24 hours.
At the scene of the accident do not discuss whose fault the accident seems to have been. If you do, you could create problems for you and your insurers in the handling of your claim. It is often not straightforward to identify fault, especially at the scene of an accident where people may be in shock about what has just happened. Leave that to the insurers or the police.
- You must tell your insurers as soon as possible - even if you don´t intend to make a claim. This is a condition of your policy.
- Tell your insurers about any statement made at the scene by any of the parties.
- Complete any accident report form they give you with as much information as you can.
To Get Your Car Repaired
If you have a comprehensive policy - Ask us for advice. We may recommend a particular garage or windscreen repairer. This could avoid the need for you to arrange an estimate for the work required and get this approved by your insurer before the repair work can commence. As well as speeding up the repair considerably, this could allow your insurer to take advantage of any discounts secured in advance with certain repairers.
We may also be able to provide you with a courtesy car whilst your vehicle is being repaired (if this isn't provided for separately as a policy benefit).
If you take your car to another repairer, send the repairer´s estimate to us. We will check it and, if it is agreed, they will authorise repairs subject to you completing a satisfactory claim form.
When you collect the car after repairs you may have to pay the first part of the claim if you have an excess on your policy. You pay this money direct to the garage, whether or not you were to blame for the accident. Your insurers may also ask you to pay a part of the cost of repairs if your car is put into a better condition than before the accident.
The cost of repairs is your responsibility until your insurers have agreed to pay. For your peace of mind, you may want to obtain confirmation from your insurer that they accept liability and will pay the cost of repair.
If you have Third Party or Third Party Fire and Theft cover - your policy will not cover accidental damage to your car. You therefore have to pay the repair bill yourself or claim from the other driver if he or she was legally liable for the damage.
Contact the other driver - preferably in writing - saying that you intend to claim from him/her.
Say that you hold him/her responsible and ask him/her to tell their insurers.
Write direct to their insurers, if you have details, quoting the other driver´s policy or certificate number.
Send a repairer´s estimate as soon as possible - their insurers may well ask you for additional estimates.
Tell your own insurers that you are claiming against the third party.
The other driver should tell you who their insurer is. If not, you should be able to obtain details from the Motor Insurers Information Centre.
On receipt of your letter the third party may settle your claim themselves or may pass the matter to their insurers. If the insurer considers their policyholder entirely to blame it will pay your claim provided they have full information. If it considers that you were entirely or partly to blame it may refuse your claim or suggest a compromise.
The third party may refuse to co-operate at all in which case you should seek advice from your insurer, insurance adviser, motoring organisation or solicitor. You may, at the end of the day, have to take legal action against the other driver or their insurer. You may have legal expenses cover which will cover the costs of doing so - so it is worth checking your motor policy for this.
What should I do if my car is stolen?arrow
- Tell the police immediately and then tell your insurer.
- Be prepared to wait a while in case your car is recovered. A great many cars taken without the owner´s consent are soon found abandoned and can be returned to the owner.
- If property is stolen from your car tell the police immediately and then tell your insurer.
- Most comprehensive policies protect you against loss of or damage to personal belongings which are in your car. Policies set a limit on the value of such property claims. Check your own policy for details.
Important Information for Car Insurance Customers regarding Brexitarrow
Important information for all Higos Car Insurance customers – please read if you are taking your vehicle abroad after 29 March 2019 (or will be abroad during this period with your vehicle).
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the current outlook is that you will need a Green Card and International Driving Permit (IDP) to take your vehicle abroad after 29 March 2019.
Please contact us one month prior to driving your vehicle abroad so we can arrange to issue you with a Green Card. If you are travelling and will be abroad with your vehicle over the period of 29 March 2019, please contact us immediately.
Green Cards and Driving Abroad
After 29 March all UK Motorists will potentially need to have a Green Card to:
- Take your vehicle to countries in the European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA) – such as France and Germany for a family holiday
- Travel across the Northern Ireland – Republic of Ireland border
- Transport goods (freight companies) into the EU/EEA
- For countries that require separate trailer insurance, a separate Green Card may be required for the trailer.
What is a Green Card?
It is essentially proof of your insurance, which could be required under EU/EEA law. Your Green Card will be issued by your insurer and you should contact us one month in advance of travelling to request your Green Card.
If you travel without a Green Card, you may be breaking the law. This applies to EU/EEA motorists travelling to the UK also.
Please note that you will need to carry a physical card with you, this is not something you can have a digital copy of.
Will Green Cards definitely be needed in the case of a no-deal Brexit?
In May 2018 an agreement was made between the European insurance authorities to waive the need for Green Cards in the event of a no-deal Brexit. However, this agreement was not confirmed by the European Commission which is why the insurance industry is still planning for Green Cards.
International Driving Permit (IDP)
UK driving licence holders who live in the UK currently need an IDP in addition to their driving licence to drive in some countries outside the EU and EEA, and can drive in these countries with their IDP.
There are currently two types of IDP. From 28 March 2019, a third type of IDP will be issued with the type of IDP that some countries recognise changing.
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, from 29 March 2019, you will potentially need an IDP in addition to your UK driving licence to drive in EU and EEA countries when visiting. You may need more than one IDP depending on the countries you are going to.
You can get IDPs over the counter at 2,500 UK post offices. The cost of each IDP is £5.50.
More information on this process and applying for an IDP can be found here.
For more information and to request your Green Card please contact your local branch:
Please contact us one month prior to driving your vehicle abroad so we can arrange to issue you with a Green Card.
If you are travelling and will be abroad with your vehicle over the period of 29 March 2019, please contact us immediately.