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

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?

They are:

  • 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 proof of who is at fault is not possible 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 loan 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.


The principal 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.

Comprehensive (Fully Comp) Insurance will pay for damage to your car in an accident.

TPFT, for instance, won’t pay for the repairs and even worse if the vehicle is written off by the insurance company you won’t have a car!

What is a Third-Party Fire & Theft Insurance cover?

Third Party Fire & Theft cover protects 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.
  • The theft of your car or damage following a failed attempt such as repairs to the door lock.
  • Fire damage to your car

The essential items not covered by third-party fire & theft insurance are:

  • You wouldn’t receive a penny towards the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
  • No compensation if your vehicle is stolen, vandalised or even set on fire.
  • Medical expenses you may have as a result of an accident.

For older cars that are less expensive to repair a TPFT might be a more suitable option.

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.

TPO covers:

  • Injuries received to third parties.
  • Damage to the vehicle or property of the third-party.

TPO does not cover?

  • Damage to your car.
  • Injuries received 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!

Because so many “high-risk drivers opt for TPFT, the responsible driver can often find it cheaper or the same price to buy comprehensive car insurance.

What is a No Claims bonus and how does it work?

The NCB apply at all levels of car insurance and are crucial in lowering the cost of your car insurance.

Each year you drive without claiming on your policy, the insurer will reward you with a discount on the following years’ insurance premium.

You’re no claims discount increases each year you don’t make a claim. Example:

  • 30% off after one year.
  • 40% off after two years.
  • 50% off after three years.
  • 60% off after four years.
  • 65% or more after five years.

The best way to protect your No Claims discount is to avoid in an accident that is your fault.

Providing the other party takes responsibility for the incident; you’re NCB1 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.

Typically you can make a claim once or twice during a three year period and not lose 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 settle your claim in full.

Typically young drivers are given a higher excess.

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 likely to be.

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