Comprehensive car insurance
There are three levels of car insurance cover, surprisingly Fully Comp the highest level is often the cheapest. Find out how No Claims Bonus works and how to choose the Excess on your policy
What are the different levels of car Insurance Cover?
- Comprehensive (Fully Comp)
- Third-Party, Fire & Theft (TPFT)
- Third-Party Only (TPO)
Why is Comprehensive Cover the best?
Comprehensive is the highest level of car insurance cover, often known as “Fully Comp” and protects you against:
- An accident when you are at fault.
- An accident where blame cannot be proved, such as when you return to your parked car to find someone has damaged your car and driven off.
- Third party liability for injuries, but not yourself.
- Damage to yours and other people’s cars and property.
Comprehensive policy checklist
A Fully Comp policy can contain many benefits. Check carefully to see what is important to you is included:
- With most insurers, you will usually be insured (at least third party) to drive another car with the owner’s permission.
- Uninsured drivers – some insurers will cover you when you’re in an accident and it is the other driver who is at fault and is not insured.
- A temporary courtesy car if yours is stolen or written off.
- Windscreen replacement.
- Loss or theft of keys.
- Theft of personal belongings that are in the car.
- Theft of car stereo – speakers or sat-nav.
- Breakdown cover.
Key reason for getting comprehensive cover
Comprehensive car insurance cover can give you peace of mind knowing that if you are in an accident then your maximum financial loss will be the value of the excess of your insurance.
“Fully Comp” Insurance will pay for damage to your car in an accident.
What is Third-Party Fire & Theft Insurance cover?
Third Party Fire & Theft cover will insure you against the following in the event of you being to blame for an accident.
- Injuries to third parties, but not yourself.
- Damage to another car or property, but not your car.
- Legal claims made against you as a result of an accident.
- Theft of your car or damage following an attempted theft such as repairs to the door lock or the theft of your ICS.
- Fire damage to your car
The key items not covered by third-party fire & theft insurance are:
- You wouldn’t receive a penny towards the cost of repairing or replacing your car.
- No compensation if your vehicle is stolen, vandalised or even set on fire.
- Medical expenses you may have as a result of an accident.
Third-Party Only (TPO)
Third-Party Only insurance is the minimum level of cover necessary to drive in the UK.
You must have at least TPO insurance cover this safeguards other drivers, passengers, and cars involved in an accident that is your fault.
- Injuries to third parties.
- Damage to the vehicle or property of the third-party.
What is not covered?
- Damage to your car.
- Injuries to yourself.
Comprehensive car insurance can be the cheapest option
You could expect Comprehensive cover always to cost more than TPFT cover, but sometimes the Fully Comp option is the cheaper!
What is a no claims bonus and how does it work?
The no claims bonus applies at all levels of car insurance and is crucial in lowering the cost of your car insurance.
Each year you drive without making a claim within your policy the insurer will reward you with a discount on the following years’ insurance premium.
Your no claims discount increases each year you don’t make a claim. Example:
- 30% off after 1 year.
- 40% off after 2 years.
- 50% off after 3 years.
- 60% off after 4 years.
- 65% or more after 5 years.
The best way to protect your no claims discount is to avoid being involved in an accident that is your fault.
Providing the other party takes responsibility for the incident; you’re no claims bonus should not be affected.
If you are in any way at fault in an accident, regardless of your previous perfect driving record, your insurer may take away some or all of your accumulated no claims discount as well as increase your premiums.
How to protect your no claims bonus discount
Most insurers will give you the option to buy “no claims bonus protection” allowing you to claim without affecting your NCB.
Compulsory excess – What does it mean?
A compulsory excess is an amount set by the insurer that you have to pay if you make a claim.
For instance, if you have an excess of £300, and you make a claim for £1,000, the insurer will keep the first £300 and give you the remaining £700.
You may have to pay the excess even if the accident was deemed to be the fault of somebody else but some insurers may waive the excess and pay your claim in full.
What is voluntary excess?
Voluntary Excess is the amount you are prepared to pay above the excess set by the insurer.
The higher you are willing to make the voluntary excess the lower the cost of your insurance is likly to be.