Get the right cover for how you use your car

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When you pick a car insurance policy, you need to make the right choice when presented with a list of options.

For instance, you’ll be asked what you use your car for, and you’ll be given three options: ‘social only’ (you might sometimes see ‘social, domestic & pleasure’); ‘social and commuting’; and ‘social, commuting and for business’.

Long story short, the insurer is trying to find out if you’ll regularly driving at busy times of the day, such as rush hour. This is a riskier time to be on the road, so you’ll pay a higher premium if the answer is yes.

Remember, ‘commuting’ doesn’t just mean driving to and from your place of work - it also includes driving to the railway station. And if you’re driving to and from a place of study, that counts as commuting as well.

So here are the options in detail as you’ll see them when you run a quotation on MoneySuperMarket.

Social use: If your car is insured under a social use only policy, you cannot use it for work in any manner, including commuting. This is often called a social, domestic and pleasure policy.

Social and commuting: With a social and commuting policy, you’re insured for social use as well as commuting to work but only to get to a single place of work or study.

Also, this policy will not include any other work-related trips such as training days or a business meetings away from the office.

Social, commuting and for business: A social, commuting and for business policy covers all the bases. This is likely to be more expensive to reflect the fact that you will be travelling more miles, possibly in adverse conditions along unfamiliar roads.

A fourth type of insurance is commercial - this is for those for whom driving is one of the main aspects of the job, such as self-employed tradesman. This sort of policy will cover you, the car or van and any goods or tools you may be transporting.

If you have the wrong type of policy and are in an accident, you may find that your insurance company will reject any claims you make because, technically, you’re not covered in that situation.

Find out if you are covered for commuting by checking your insurance certificate and schedule as these will explain what you are allowed to use your vehicle for. 

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