Fully comprehensive car insurance
'Fully comprehensive' car insurance is the most popular of the three main types of car insurance you can buy – the other two are 'Third party', and 'Third party, fire and theft'. Fully comprehensive cover, as the name suggests, offers the greatest level of protection out of the three insurance types.
Key differences between the three types of motor insurance
Third-party is the most basic level of insurance, covering you only if you cause damage to other people, their vehicles, or their property. The next level of cover is third-party, fire and theft, which offers the same protection as Third-party but also covers you if your vehicle is stolen or damaged by fire. Fully comprehensive insurance, on the other hand, offers all of this as well as providing protection if your own vehicle is damaged in an accident, if the accident is your fault or blame cannot be attributed.
The cost of fully comprehensive insurance
Fully comprehensive is the type of insurance most people choose, if they can afford it. It is usually more expensive simply because it offers the best level of cover – but if you shop around and compare quotes, you may discover this is not always the case. Insurers are aware that it's often high-risk drivers, including young and inexperienced drivers, that opt for cheaper third-party insurance policies in order to save money. This means that, over time, their statistics reveal higher numbers of third-party claims – and they may adjust their premiums accordingly. This means that by comparing several quotes for different types of insurance you could end up finding a higher level of cover than you’d planned to purchase, at little or no extra cost.
The risks of not taking out comprehensive cover
Without fully comprehensive insurance, you risk having to pay out for damage to your own car in the event of an accident that is your fault, or where fault can't be attributed. In the worst case scenario, your vehicle could be written off and you would have to find the money to replace it yourself, because neither third-party nor third-party, fire and theft policies will contribute to this. If you do have comprehensive insurance, however, the greatest financial loss you should face as a result of an accident is the total of your policy excess.
Don't be misled by the title 'fully comprehensive' car insurance – there are still some areas that are unlikely to be covered as standard. These include breakdown cover, and provision for a replacement courtesy car if your vehicle is at the garage being fixed following an accident. You may be able to purchase extras such as these along with your main car insurance policy, or you can shop for them elsewhere – again, it's always worth comparing quotes to find the best deal!