What is comprehensive car insurance?
Comprehensive car insurance – also known as fully comp cover – is one of the higher levels of protection you can get for your motor.
Third-party only and third-party, fire and theft policies cover damage to others as the result of an accident that was deemed your fault. Any damage to your own car is your own problem.
Comprehensive policies, on the other hand, cover for damage to your car as well.
Why should I consider upgrading to comprehensive cover?
With comprehensive car insurance, you can claim from your insurer for accidents that are deemed to be your fault.
It also applies when fault can’t be proven, eg if you return to your car after shopping to find that someone has hit you and driven off.
Without comprehensive cover, you risk having to fork out for repairs yourself. Worse still, if your car is written off you’ll have to pay for a brand-new motor.
A comprehensive policy gives you that added level of protection and peace of mind that you won’t necessarily have to pay for expensive repairs – just your compulsory and voluntary excess.
Is comprehensive insurance more expensive than other policy types?
You’d be forgiven for thinking that a comprehensive policy is always more expensive than third-party only cover, or third-party, fire and theft.
This is usually the case, but not always. So when comparing policies it’s worth looking at the difference in price between comprehensive and third-party policies.
You may find that comprehensive insurance actually works out as cheap as a third-party policy. You may not need to compromise on your cover just to save a few quid.
Hang on. How come comprehensive cover is sometimes cheaper?
It’s because a lot of high-risk drivers tend to go for third-party cover as a way of lowering their insurance costs.
As a result, the statistics begin to skew towards a higher number of claims on third-party policies.
This means that the overall cost of third-party cover goes up. That’s why it’s worth checking the cost of all levels of cover, just in case.
Where comprehensive cover could fall short
Despite its name, a comprehensive insurance policy may fall short in some areas.
Certain policy extras may come as standard with some insurers, whereas others might charge you for the privilege.
It’s always best to check the policy details before you buy – don’t assume that you’ll be entitled to all the bells and whistles.
Two of the most common policy add-ons are:
Many insurers let you use another car while yours is being repaired, but not all of them. It’s also worth noting that courtesy cars usually aren’t provided if your car is written off.
Usually an optional extra that comes at a cost, though some insurers may throw it in as an incentive. If it doesn’t come as standard, it’s worth shopping round for the best breakdown deals.
Other ways to save on your car insurance
Car insurance often isn’t cheap, this is true. But going for a lower level of cover just to save money might be a false economy.
Having the minimum level of cover means that you might end up paying out more in the long run, especially if you’re involved in an accident where the fault is yours or can’t be determined.
If saving money is your main concern, there are a number of other ways to lower your car insurance costs.