Comprehensive car insurance
Don't want to leave anything to chance? Get the highest level of cover with comprehensive car insurance.
From a 6-car pileup on the motorway to a misjudged turn when parking, comprehensive car insurance provides the highest level of protection available. It’s designed to cover your car, other people’s cars and other people’s property when the unexpected happens.
Compare fully comprehensive car insurance policies
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What is fully comprehensive car insurance?
Fully comprehensive car insurance is the highest level of cover you can buy to protect your car. It provides a greater level of cover than the 2 other options available – third party only and third party, fire and theft – and it allows you to make a claim for an accident even if it was your fault.
What does comprehensive car insurance cover?
Comprehensive car insurance, or “fully comp” as it’s also known, covers loss or damage to your own vehicle and your legal liability to a third party for loss or damage to their vehicle or property or any injuries they sustain. A typical comprehensive car insurance policy covers your vehicle against the following:
- Flood, hail or storm damage (an “act of God” or unavoidable damage)
- Malicious acts
- Fire and theft
- Accident or collision
- Injury to other people and damage to their vehicles and property
Do I need policy extras with fully comprehensive car insurance?
Comprehensive policies vary in terms of what additional cover they offer. Some will include a range of extras as standard, but many more will require you to pay a little extra to bolt them on to your policy. It’s completely up to you as to whether you want to add them, but it’s worth considering how likely you are to benefit from additional cover and how much you can afford to pay for your policy. Extras you might want to consider include:
What should I look for when comparing policies?
When comparing policies, it’s best not to simply plump for the cheapest policy you find. While the overall cost is important, you also want to make sure the policy covers you for everything you need it to. This means you should hunt out the best level of cover at the cheapest price. Also check whether there is a no claims bonus and how much of a discount you will get if you don’t claim for a number of years.
How much does comprehensive car insurance cost?
According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the average cost of comprehensive car insurance was £436 in the first quarter of 2021. However, the price you as an individual will pay depends on a variety of factors. Insurers will use these factors to determine your level of risk and price your premiums accordingly.
The following factors can affect your car insurance premiums:
- Driving history. If you have previous motoring convictions, this can push up the price of your insurance.
- Claims history. Drivers who have been involved in an accident and who have previously made a claim are statistically more likely to be in an accident again. This means insurers will push up the price of the policy. Making a claim will also affect your no claims bonus and premiums will rise as a result.
- The type of car you drive. The type of vehicle you drive will also affect your premiums. The more expensive and powerful your car is, the more it will cost to insure.
- Your age. Younger, less experienced drivers pay higher premiums. Similarly, seniors can also expect to pay more as they’re deemed to be of higher risk.
- Where you park. If your car is kept in a secure location (e.g. a garage) you can expect to pay less than someone who parks their car on the street.
What else affects the cost of car insurance?
The price of cover will also depend on the car insurance excess. This is the amount you must pay towards the cost of a claim. For example, if you have a claim worth £1,000 and you have a £100 excess, you’ll only receive £900 from your provider. Most comprehensive car insurance policies let you choose the amount of excess you want to pay. The more you choose, the less your premium will be. However, when opting for a higher excess it is important to ensure that you will have sufficient funds on hand to pay it if required.
Most car insurers offer 2 types of excess: a compulsory excess, which insurers set and can’t be changed, and a voluntary excess, which you can set yourself.
You’ll need to think carefully about setting your voluntary excess. If you think you can pay a large sum of money towards a claim, your insurer will almost certainly reward you with a lower premium. However, this could result in your claim being extremely expensive.
What other types of cover can I get?
As well as comprehensive cover, you can also choose from:
- Third party. Covers any injury or damage to other people, property or vehicles involved in an accident deemed your responsibility. It also covers any legal claims against you and is the minimum legal requirement for car insurance in the UK .
- Third party, fire and theft. Combines fire and theft coverage for your own vehicle with the benefits of third party insurance as above.
Is comprehensive cover more expensive?
As comprehensive car insurance provides the highest level of cover, you might expect it to be the most expensive. However, in many cases it is actually cheaper than third party and third party, fire and theft. The reason for this is that higher risk drivers have typically always chosen third party cover as it was traditionally the cheapest option. Due to a rise in claims on third party policies, insurers have increased premiums for this type of cover, making it more expensive than comprehensive cover in many cases.
What is not covered by a comprehensive policy?
When comparing comprehensive car insurance it’s important to look out for exclusions. These typically include:
- Wear and tear. You won’t usually be able to claim for damage relating to general wear and tear, such as rust or brake pads.
- Negligence. If you leave your car unlocked and your belongings are stolen, you won’t be able to claim.
- Driving under the influence. If you cause an accident after drink or drug driving, you won’t be able to claim.
- Car modifications. If you don’t inform your insurer about any modifications made to your car, any future claims could be rejected.
- Driving without a licence. You won’t be able to claim if you don’t have a valid licence when you get behind the wheel of your car.
Car insurance comparison
|Cover||Comprehensive||Third Party||Third Party Fire and Theft|
|Agreed value cover|
|At-fault damage to other vehicles|
|At-fault damage to own vehicle|
|No claims bonus protection|
|Not-at-fault damage to own vehicle|
|Third party personal injury|
*Cover varies depending on provider
Do I need comprehensive insurance?
The minimum legal requirement for car insurance in the UK is third party cover. However, it’s important to remember that this will only cover you for damage your vehicle causes to other people’s vehicles or property. It generally won’t cover you for theft of or damage to your own vehicle.
If you’re driving an old or less valuable car, you might be happy with third party only, or third party, fire and theft, which will also cover damage or loss to your car from fire or theft. But if you want to ensure your vehicle is covered against a range of risks and you have the highest level of protection, fully comprehensive cover is well worth considering, particularly as it won’t necessarily be the most expensive option.
How can I reduce the cost of comprehensive car insurance?
There are ways to reduce your premium and make it more affordable. Ensure that when you look at a policy you consider:
- Shopping around. Not all insurers charge the same, so look for the best deal. Compare both prices and benefits offered to find a policy option that fits your needs and budget.
- Paying annually. Paying for your car insurance in 1 lump sum each year is cheaper than paying in monthly instalments where interest is added.
- Increasing your excess. Increasing your excess can ensure that your premiums stay lower.
- Looking for no-claims bonus discounts. These can save you as much as 70% on your premiums.
- Considering telematics. Also known as black box insurance, telematics insurance monitors your driving habits using GPS technology and rewards safer drivers with cheaper premiums.
- Making your vehicle safer. Having a car alarm or immobiliser may earn you a discount from your insurer.
- Driving a smaller car. A car with less engine capacity costs less to insure than a bigger, more powerful model.
Fully comprehensive car insurance is the highest level of cover you can buy for your vehicle. It can provide peace of mind that your car will be covered against a variety of risks and that you can still claim if you’re involved in an accident that was your fault.
Frequently asked questions about car insurance
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