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NI VRI Insurance

Northern Ireland VRI Insurance

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Northern Ireland VRI Insurance

If you are investing in a new vehicle, VRI or vehicle replacement insurance can give you peace of mind that even in the worst case scenario, your vehicle and the money you paid for it are covered. It ensures that when your vehicle is written off as a total loss under your main car insurance policy, you will get an exact replacement or its equivalent in model, mileage, year and specification. 

Here’s why you might need VRI insurance. When your car is considered a total loss, like after an accident or theft, your main insurer will pay out your vehicle’s market value at the time you are making the claim. But as you probably know, your vehicle’s value depreciates the moment you drive it out of the dealership, so you will probably get less than what it will cost to replace your vehicle. 

This is where VRI insurance comes in. It covers the gap between what your main insurance will pay and what you need to replace your vehicle. This means any value lost through value depreciation is covered so you don’t have to suffer it as a financial deficit or fork out even more money to cover the remaining cost.

Simply put, if you buy a new car from a dealership for £22,000 and three years later it is written off, the cost of replacing your car with its equivalent is now likely to be £23,000 or more. Your main car insurance will pay you the market value, which after three years might be around £15,000. If you have VRI insurance it will cover the £8,000 gap so you can replace your car without paying the remaining cost yourself.

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Cheap NI VRI Insurance

Because VRI insurance is one of the most comprehensive options within GAP insurance, it can also be the most expensive. But, it will still only be a fraction of the cost of your main insurance premiums.

To find the best VRI insurance price for you it’s important to shop around and compare quotes. At we give you fast, unbiased comparisons across multiple Northern Ireland VRI insurers with just one simple form.

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How much does Northern Ireland VRI insurance cost?

There’s no a one size fits all price for VRI insurance. But you can get a better idea of what you will pay if you know the size of the gap you are insuring and the level of risk you present to insurers. 

Some key things that affect the cost of your VRI insurance are: 

  • Your vehicle and its value – usually based on its age, make, model and mileage.
  • Your vehicle’s typical value depreciation rate.
  • The insurance provider and policy you choose.
  • Your driving history and past claims.
  • Your location.
  • Your VRI insurance policy specifics like coverage limits, term length, excesses or optional add-ons.

How can I get cheaper NI VRI insurance?

Some factors that insurers use to gauge your premiums are things you can’t control, but here are a few that you can. Being in the loop with these can help you shop smart and get potentially cheaper VRI insurance quotes:

  1. Research your vehicle’s depreciation rate

This will help you gauge how much you will actually be getting out of your VRI cover, so when it comes to cost you are less likely to overspend or overinsure your vehicle unnecessarily. 

  1. Be open to a shorter policy term 

If you frequently change your vehicle or only plan to keep the one you are insuring for a short time period this is a good option as shorter policies are usually cheaper.

  1. Renew your policy annually 

Your vehicle’s value will likely depreciate different amounts each year, especially in the first three years. So if you renew your VRI insurance policy annually, you could avoid overpaying for coverage you no longer need.

  1. Pay your premium annually 

Like with other types of insurance, VRI insurers often offer discounts for annual payments so it’s worth doing if you can afford it.

  1. Compare VRI insurance policies

Settling for the first price and policy you see is rarely a good strategy. Shopping around and comparing quotes is a good way to get VRI cover at the price you need.  

What does VRI insurance cover?

VRI insurance covers the gap between your main insurer’s total loss payment and the cost of replacing your vehicle with a new one. This cost is calculated based on the price of either the exact same vehicle or one of a similar model, specification and age at the time you are claiming on your VRI insurance. 

In some cases, this pay out can even be higher than what you paid for the original vehicle. This can happen if you got a particularly good deal on the original, or because the value of your vehicle’s make and model has increased due to popularity or inflation.

Depending on your VRI insurer, your claims will be paid out as either a cash settlement given directly to you, or else the replacement vehicle will be bought on your behalf. Cash settlements give you more freedom to choose the replacement vehicle yourself, and even make it possible to go for a cheaper vehicle so you have money left over.

VRI insurance is typically bought for new vehicles purchased through registered dealerships. However, there are insurers who will cover second hand vehicles, and those bought privately. So it is worth comparing VRI GAP insurance quotes to find a policy that works for you. 

Is VRI insurance worth it?

If you buy a car new, UK averages suggest that its value can drop up to 60% in the first three years. So without VRI insurance, you won’t be able to replace your car with its equivalent without covering this 60% yourself. This is because your main insurer will likely only pay out your vehicle’s market value at the time it is written off. 

On top of this, other circumstances can also leave you with large value gaps that could make VRI insurance particularly worth it for you. These include:

  • If you are leasing or financing your vehicle: If your vehicle’s value depreciates faster than your loan or lease balance decreases then some VRI insurance will help cover anything you still owe. 
  • If you own a luxury or specialist vehicle: these vehicles often depreciate at higher rates so you will likely need VRI insurance if you hope to replace them.
  • If you bought your vehicle new: Vehicle value depreciates most in the first three years after it is bought new, so it might not be as cost effective if you own an older vehicle.
  • If you have made a smaller down payment on your vehicle: In this situation, your initial equity is lower, so it’s more likely that your loan balance will be higher than your vehicle’s value.
  • If you have long loan terms: Again, here your vehicle could devalue faster than your loan balance decreases so you could benefit from a VRI policy that covers finance owed on the car. 
  • If you’re dealing with rolling negative equity: This is where you exchange a vehicle with an outstanding loan balance and roll the remaining balance into a new loan for a new one. This usually leads to a higher gap. 

What is the difference between RTI AND VRI gap insurance?

RTI or return to invoice insurance is another GAP insurance option that covers the gap between what your insurance will pay out if your vehicle is written off and what you originally paid for or still owe on it.

This cover is usually associated with new vehicles bought from registered dealerships. And some RTI insurers will even ask you for an invoice from a registered dealership to confirm what you originally paid.

With RTI insurance, it is almost always the case that it must be bought within a certain time frame after you have purchased your vehicle. This is different across various insurers but can range from a few weeks to a few months. 

The key difference between RTI insurance and VRI insurance is VRI gives you:

  1. Cover against your vehicle’s value depreciation: If the cost of replacing your car with the same model has gone up since you first bought it, RTI insurance will only cover what you originally paid whereas VRI insurance will cover any price increase. 
  2. Protection against inflation: Likewise if your vehicle now costs more due to inflation, this is only covered under VRI as RTI will only cover the price on your original invoice.
  3. Peace of Mind: With the cost of new vehicles you want to know you have the best protection in the event that it is written off. VRI insurance is a clear cut cover of your exact vehicle so you won’t have to compromise if it is lost or stolen.

Can I buy VRI gap insurance NI at any time?

This really depends on your insurer. Although VRI insurance is typically bought at the time you purchase your vehicle, some companies will still cover you if you already own the vehicle you want to insure. Entering a few simple details at to get matched with NI VRI insurers who can cater to you.