What is SMART Protection?

Everything you need to know about SMART Protection

Most people are rightly proud of their purchase when they finally take delivery of a new car, so it's only right they'd want to keep it looking as good as it did when they first got it. There are a number of ways you can keep your car looking like new. Some are obvious, such as regularly cleaning it to avoid permanent damage to paintwork through things like bird lime and tree sap, but some are not so obvious. Although you may well have been offered some sort of paint protection product to be applied to your car before delivery by your dealer, especially if buying brand new, what about SMART protection?

What is it?

SMART protection is a form of new car insurance, or perhaps new car protection may be a better way of putting it. SMART actually stands for small, medium area repair technology, although it's sometimes referred to as cosmetic car insurance as well as going by some proprietary brand names as well. Whatever you call it though, it's basically an insurance policy that covers cosmetic repairs you're unlikely to want to use your main insurance policy to pay for.

Why would you need it?

There are a number of reasons why you wouldn't want to claim on your main vehicle insurance policy for small or medium cosmetic damage. The first reason for not using your regular insurance is the excess is likely to be more than the cost of the repair, depending on where you have the work carried out of course. Even if you haven't opted for a voluntary excess on your policy, it's likely there will be a compulsory excess applied by your insurer. Another reason for not using your main policy is the effect losing your no-claims discount will have on your premium next time you renew. You may have a protected no-claims discount, but would you really want to use it up on what is a relatively inexpensive repair when something more substantial might be just around the corner?

What is Smart Protection


Pros of SMART protection

  • Affordable Generally cheaper than paying for individual repairs yourself
  • Convenient Repairs done at your home or work so no leaving your car at a garage
  • Great for lease cars Avoid additional charges for damage at end of lease
  • Money saving Helps you get the best price when selling or part exchanging
  • Peace of mind Stops you worrying about annoying dents, dings, scrapes and marks

Cons of SMART protection

  • Can be complicated Details of what is and isn't covered needs to be understood
  • Cost It is an additional cost on top of regular compulsory insurance
  • Limits Only a certain number of claims allowed per year or per policy
  • Money saving Helps you get the best price when selling or part exchanging
  • Exclusions Some cars and some special paint finishes won't be eligible

Who is SMART protection for?

Smart protection is for anyone with an eligible car who wants to keep on top of minor cosmetic damage. Any car listed in Glass's Guide that's less than ten years old and has less than 100,000 miles on the clock is generally eligible, but make sure you check with providers for full terms and conditions.

One of the really great things about this type of insurance is it's not assessed on risk. The price is the price regardless of where you live, your driving history, what you use your car for, or what you do for a living.

If your vehicle is on a lease, contract hire or PCP agreement where it will or might be handed back at the end of the term, SMART protection could prevent unwanted repair bills coming your way after it's been returned. Even if you bought your vehicle outright, keeping up with dents, scratches and the like will pay off when the time comes to sell it or trade it in.

Just think about it for a moment. If you get back from the supermarket and notice a ding from a trolley on the door, how likely are you to actually do anything about it if it means booking it into a repairer and paying for it yourself? On the other hand, if you've got a SMART protection policy, how convenient is it to pick up the phone and arrange for someone to come to you and get it sorted, especially when you know it's already paid for?

Do I need SMART protection?

When it comes down to it, the question "Do I need SMART protection" can only be answered by you. Like any form of non-compulsory insurance, there are a lot of things for you to consider and it pays to shop around. The cheapest policy is also likely to be the one with the most restrictions and limitations to the amount of repairs allowed, as well as the type and size of damage that can be repaired under the terms and conditions. It could be that a more expensive policy could work out more cost effective overall if it covers bigger damage, more frequent repairs, and more areas of the vehicle's bodywork.

The chances are your vehicle is going to get dents, dings, scratches and scrapes on its bodywork over the time you own it – no matter how careful you are in terms of how you drive and where you park it. Your standard insurance policy isn't going to be suitable for dealing with small to medium cosmetic repairs, which is exactly why SMART protection was invented.

Obviously there are other parts of your vehicle where damage could occur, such as the alloy wheels and the windscreen, so these could require separate policies if you want to be covered for them as well. It also needs stating that SMART protection is purely for cosmetic repairs and doesn't cover anything mechanical or electrical whatsoever.

The quality of repair you're going to get also needs taking into consideration, especially if you have a very expensive vehicle, or if your car is on a lease agreement where there are restrictions on what kind of repair is acceptable and who can carry it out. All SMART repairers guarantee their work, but you'll have to check if that guarantee is suitable for your needs before agreeing to take out any policy.

Taking out a cosmetic protection policy can help to make keeping your vehicle in top-notch condition a lot easier and more convenient, but it is an extra cost added to your budget. Whether you should take one out is up to you, so weigh up the pros and cons and make sure you understand the terms and conditions of whatever policy you're looking at.

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Disclaimer: This page is intended to provide information only, it is not, and should not be taken to be advice or an offer of credit. The information is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this page and manufacturers or dealerships may vary the products or specifications of the products they offer. For full terms and conditions contact the relevant manufacturer or your local dealer. Imagery is a visual representation and may not represent the exact products. Please ensure you can afford the monthly payments before signing any contractual agreement. You will not own the vehicle until all payments have been made. Any finance or offers mentioned are not available in conjunction with any other offer and may be varied or withdrawn by the manufacturer or dealer at any time.

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