What you need to know to insure a car

Let BBVA tell you everything you need to know when taking out car insurance.
Insuring your car is essential to be able to use it, not just because insurance gives us the peace of mind in the event of an accident, but because drivers must be insured by law. Before taking out a policy, we must understand how it works, the process for correctly purchasing the insurance, and all the conditions, as the coverage offered and the price will depend on these factors. BBVA will enlighten you on what you need to know when insuring your car, allowing you to keep your eyes on nothing but the road.
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The documents you need to take out a policy

Firstly, in order to take out car insurance, you must have the required current documentation. In addition to your driver's license, you may be asked to provide your vehicle's technical record and vehicle registration certificate, which is the official document that confirms that the vehicle is authorized to be driven. The insurer may also—although not necessarily—request further documents:

  • Previous proof of insurance: usually only the previous year is required.
  • Special conditions of the previous insurance: the specific conditions of your previous insurance.
  • Prior claims certificate: record of all prior insurance periods, and reports from claims for which you were liable.
  • Purchase receipt of the vehicle.
  • MOT certificate.
  • National ID or Residency card.

Calculate your insurance price

Before going ahead with an insurance policy with the documents requested, we strongly recommend that you calculate the policy price in advance, to find the most competitive product that best suits you. Which factors contribute to the price of insurance? There are many factors, which can be divided into three categories:

The driver profile: this section includes age and, therefore, experience of the driver, which will be crucial to setting the price. Their claims history will also have a strong bearing on price. Someone who has not had to make any claims for several years will have access to a much lower premium, and equally, somebody with a track record with many incidents and claims will have a higher premium.

The vehicle and its characteristics: undoubtedly, this is a crucial factor in the policy calculation. Power, age and model help to determine how much we will pay for insurance. The higher the horsepower, the higher the premium, since statistics show that accidents are more likely. The same is the case in respect of the vehicle range and model. A top-of-the-range, more expensive car will push up premiums as repairs and a replacement due to theft will be more costly.

Use of the vehicle: this is the third key determining factor of insurance price. If the car is intended for professional use, the premium will be higher, since it will have a higher mileage and will be put under more pressure, while the opposite will be true of a vehicle for personal use. Statistics show that the more miles driven, the higher the likelihood of an accident occurring and of breakdowns and unforeseen eventualities.

The big question: comprehensive or third-party?

This is the question that always comes up when choosing car insurance. There is no doubt that a comprehensive policy is always preferable, because it covers not only other vehicles and their occupants, but damage to our own vehicle and those traveling in it. However, many drivers opt for third-party insurance.

Normally, people opt for a comprehensive insurance policy when the car is new, due to the peace of mind offered by knowing that they're covered for repairs or theft, which are more expensive when the car has just left the dealership.

Drivers tend to choose third-party insurance when their car is already a few years old. Since the costs of repairs or theft tend to be cheaper, many choose third-party insurance, which offers reduced coverage but is more economical. In essence, this is a very personal choice to make, to find the right balance between coverage and price.

Can I put the insurance in someone else's name?

This is another key question that many drivers ask before taking our insurance, particularly young drivers with limited driving experience who choose to make the policyholder a family member with many years of driving experience, to reduce the insurance price. Is this possible? The answer is: it depends.

A distinction must be made between the policyholder (the person assuming the cost and responsibility) and the driver. They do not have to be the same person, but many companies require them to be if the driver is under 25, in order to avoid fraud, since these policies tend to be more expensive. Since there is no legislation in place, each insurer will decide on a case-by-case basis. It is also possible for the family member to be the policyholder and the under-25-year-old to be a named driver.

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Safety, first and foremost

When insuring your car, never forget that safety is paramount. Of course, it is always recommendable to try to find the best option at the best price, but never by sacrificing safety. The saying “you get what you pay for” is particularly pertinent; we may end up regretting saving a few euros if the coverage does not extend to what we need at the crucial moment.

Consider at length what you need and create a bespoke policy that meets those needs. You can combine the advantages of different packages to create the perfect policy and take the wheel knowing that everything is under control. However, bear in mind that if you change insurance companies, you must give at least one month's notice to your current insurer. So, if are thinking about taking out insurance, visit bbva.es to find out the possibilities on offer.

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