When you are buying a car insurance policy, there are three levels of cover you can choose from: third party only, third party fire and theft, and comprehensive. Third party is the minimum level of cover you need for driving in the UK. It covers you for the cost of compensation for other people through injury or for any damage you may have caused. You are not covered for any financial assistance for injury or repairs to your vehicle. Third party, fire and theft provides the same level of cover, but also covers you if your vehicle is damaged through fire or theft or if it is stolen.
Comprehensive cover offers a higher level of protection than both of these. As well as providing all levels of cover mentioned above, it also protects you as the driver, and could pay for damages to your car.
What Exactly Does Comprehensive Cover Provide?
Comprehensive insurance covers damage to other people’s property, yourself and your car, and your passengers if they are injured.
Having comprehensive car insurance means you can make a claim on accidents even if they are your fault. If fault cannot be proven (for example if someone hits your car and drives away), comprehensive insurance also covers you for this. Without comprehensive cover, you will need to pay for any repairs to your car yourself – or even buy a brand new car if yours is written off.
Which Features are Included and Which Cost Extra?
Exactly what you get from your comprehensive insurance policy will depend on your insurer. While some insurers may provide certain extras as standard, others will charge you for them as an optional extra. For example, breakdown cover is usually an optional extra. Meanwhile, some may offer you a courtesy car as standard while yours is being repaired. Some policies may also cover you for driving other cars, but many will not. It’s important to check your policy carefully so you know what you can benefit from in the event of an accident, and which people and cars are covered by your policy.
Other additional features which may or may not be covered by a comprehensive insurance policy include:
Medical treatment/personal injury
- Legal expenses
- Windscreen repair
- Audio equipment
- Gadget equipment
- Personal belongings
- European cover/driving abroad
What Level of Car Insurance Cover Should I Buy?
Comprehensive cover is the highest level of cover you can get, and it may be cheaper than you think. When shopping around, compare the prices of third party only, third party, fire and theft, and comprehensive insurance. Third party cover is sometimes taken out by high-risk drivers to lower their insurance costs, and this means that third party policies can have an increased number of claims, which drives up the cost for this type of policy. Even if you think you only need third party insurance, it’s worth finding out what the difference is in price and which benefits your chosen insurer will provide as standard. You could find that the extra peace of mind comprehensive cover can give you is only a few pounds more – and well worth paying for.