Types of Car Insurance
All car insurance plans have to include cover that protects other road users from any damage you may be responsible for but there are a number of options open to you when it comes to covering yourself and your own car.
In general terms there are three types of car insurance; Third Party, Third Party Fire and Theft and Fully Comprehensive. Having said that, there are additional features you can include to enhance your cover and tailor it to your needs which are covered in our ‘other options’ section.
Here's a closer look at the three levels of car insurance cover:
Third Party only – This is the most basic type of car insurance providing a minimum level of protection. It insures you against any damages or injury you are responsible for to another person, their vehicle or their property. It doesn’t cover any damage to your car or injury to you. You also won’t be covered if your car is stolen or broken into.
Because of this lower level of protection, this type of cover usually appeals to people who own cars that are worth less that £1,500 or struggle to get fully comprehensive car insurance because they don’t have a no claims bonus or live in an area that is considered high risk.
Third Party Fire and Theft – This is similar to third party only but also covers you if your car is damaged by fire or stolen.
Fully Comprehensive – This includes everything incorporated in the other two levels but also includes cover for injury and damage to you and your car. It may also mean that you are able to legally drive someone else’s car but usually this will be limited to third party only.
This type of cover usually appeals to someone whose car is worth more than around £1,500. Depending on the insurer and the value of your car, you may find this is the only option available to you.
A word of warning, don’t automatically assume that the most basic plans are the cheapest car insurance option as this is not always the case.
There is a perception that people looking to buy third party cover are higher risk which can inflate costs. Therefore if you are looking for either third party or third party fire and theft, it is still worth taking time to compare car insurance quotes for fully comprehensive. You never know, you may just get more cover for less money. Now wouldn’t that be nice!
Although there are three types of car insurance, the content of the policy can vary depending on the insurer. There are usually a number of features that are standard to most car insurance policies and some that may be included or available as an optional extra.
Damage to car – This is a standard feature and covers accidental damage to the car. The insurer usually recommends who repairs the vehicle and may not pay the full claim if you choose someone else.
Fire and theft – Similar to the above but covers damage caused by fire, lightening or explosion or as a result of theft. Your claim will be invalid if the theft was down to negligence so no leaving the keys in the car!
Windscreen protection – This is usually an additional cost and covers repairs or replacement of any glass in your windows, windscreen or sunroof. You’ll be pleased to know that a claim under this part of your car insurance policy will not affect your no claims bonus. You should always check your quote & policy details to see if this is provided as standard.
Personal accident – Most car insurance policies will include this cover but some may charge. It pays out for accidents whilst travelling in or getting out of the car that result in death, loss of sight or a limb within a certain time frame.
Legal Assistance – This covers the cost of any legal action that takes place as a result of an accident. This could be action you take against a third party for negligence or defending a claim made against you.
Courtesy car – Many insurers do include this as standard but there could be conditions so read the small print. For example a courtesy car may only be provided if you use an approved repairer or for certain types of damage.
Breakdown cover – Usually this is an added extra. Breakdown cover could be worth having but get a quote for separate cover before adding it to your car insurance. You might just find it’s cheaper this way.
Protected no claims bonus – This can make a huge difference to the ongoing cost of your car insurance, reducing it by up to 60%.
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