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Why do you need insurance?

In the UK and in most countries around the world, the law says you must have insurance for your car (bike, van or whatever vehicle). It's there to protect you, as well as other people.

The legal minimum

At its most basic, motor insurance covers you against paying for the consequences of any accident you might cause - whether you damage property, such as a wall or someone else's car, or if the accident hurts someone, such as a passenger or pedestrian.

More protection

You can also have motor insurance that pays out if your vehicle is damaged or stolen. At the next level up, it pays for putting right other damage to your car - for example, repairing or replacing a dented wing.

And if you don't have it?

Because it's so important to have car insurance, you must prove your car is insured before you can tax it. Driving without insurance or road tax is illegal, and you can be fined or even imprisoned. So don't risk it!

So what's next?

As you'd expect, the greater the level of insurance you have, the more you'll pay for it. The law only insists you have the most basic level; after that, it's up to you. See what insurance should I have?