Car Insurance: Comprehensive vs Third Party Cover

A lady on the phone after an accident

When you think of car insurance and how expensive it can be for a lot of drivers, you’ll probably want to opt for the most simple and cheapest insurance policy available, but how exactly do you tell the difference between third party insurance, third party fire and theft insurance and fully comp cover and how do you know which one is the cheapest?

We’ve put together some of our top tips when it comes to finding out more about fully comp car insurance policies, what the cheapest type of car insurance is, as well as some tips on saving money on comprehensive car insurance.

What is comprehensive car insurance?

Comprehensive car insurance, or fully comp cover, offers you the most complete car insurance.

This type of car insurance offers you the same level of cover as third party insurance and third party fire and theft cover, but it also covers you in the event that you’re involved in a car accident, even if it was your fault.

It protects you as a driver and will pay for any damage caused to you and your car, even if you were at fault. Many drivers opt for this type of car insurance as it puts their mind at ease that they’ll be covered in many different eventualities while on the road.

It is also widely recommended that you purchase a fully comp policy, just to avoid any hassle that could arise from any potential accidents.

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What does comprehensive car insurance cover?

Comprehensive car insurance covers myriads of things, including:

  • Personal injuries that result from an accident where it was your fault
  • Windscreen repair
  • Breakdown cover
  • Motor legal protection
  • Courtesy car cover while your car is being repaired
  • Cover for personal possessions left in the car
  • Child seat cover
  • Transport home after an accident
  • Vandalism and theft cover
  • Damaged caused by fires

What does comprehensive car insurance not cover?

While comprehensive car insurance policies certainly cover you in many different instances, there are some things that this type of policy won’t cover you for, including:

  • Accidents as a result of drink driving.
  • If you have an invalid driving licence.
  • General wear and tear of your car; most comprehensive policies won’t cover the cost of general repairs that your car needs.
  • Carelessness involving theft; for example, if you leave your car unlocked or valuables in plain sight, most policies won’t cover you.

It’s important to take precautions to ensure that you don’t accidentally invalidate any claims you might need to make on your policy; most of the above are general common sense things, but it’s a good idea to be aware of what you won’t be covered for with a comprehensive car insurance policy.

Read more: What Can Invalidate Your Car Insurance Policy?

How much should comprehensive car insurance cost?

With it being the most comprehensive, you would have thought that it would also be the most expensive type of car insurance. However, that’s not always the case.

According to research carried out by Compare the Market, 50% of people who got a quote for comprehensive car insurance were quoted £622, whereas 50% of people were quoted £1,486 for third-party car insurance, which shows that fully comp car insurance isn’t always the most expensive.

In 2019, comprehensive car insurance cost an average of £468 for the year according to quotes made on MoneySuperMarket.

Of course, the cost of a comprehensive car insurance policy is dependent on many different factors, including the age of the driver, make and model of the car being insured, how much your car is worth, how many miles you drive a year, whether you’ve made any previous claims and more.

Therefore, it’s impossible to give an exact figure of how much comprehensive car insurance should cost and it’s a good idea to shop around and get a few policy quotes before you commit to an insurance provider.

Read more: The Average Cost of Car Insurance - How is it Calculated?

Is it worth getting fully comprehensive car insurance?

The type of car insurance you choose is entirely dependent on what you want out of your cover.

Some people would deem it a necessity to have fully comprehensive car insurance in order to have peace of mind that they’ll be covered in every eventuality, whereas some people are happy with the most basic form of car insurance, although there are risks involved with this type.

Deciding whether this type of car insurance is worth it or not involves weighing up the cost of the policy against the risk you’re willing to take on when it comes to needing to make a claim on your policy.

Why is fully comprehensive car insurance cheaper than third party?

Comprehensive car insurance isn’t necessarily always cheaper than third party as the cost of the different insurance policies depend on different factors.

However, comprehensive cover can sometimes be cheaper than third party as many high-risk drivers opt for third party cover in an attempt to keep their costs down according to insurance data, but as they are deemed as ‘high-risk’ drivers, they usually end up claiming on their policy more frequently than those with comprehensive cover, thus making third party cover more expensive.

Tips for saving money on comprehensive car insurance 

There are several tips that you should bear in mind when it comes to saving money on comprehensive car insurance.

One of the ways you can save money on your policy is by ensuring the safety and security of your car at all times by making sure it’s properly locked and all valuables are either hidden away or kept out of your car.

If you drive a smaller car with a smaller engine, the cost of your comprehensive car insurance is also likely to be cheaper as you will be deemed as less likely to cause/be involved in a crash due to it being less powerful.

The less miles you drive per year, the cheaper your comprehensive cover is also likely to cost you. However, driving less isn’t always something that many people are able to do, especially if they use their car for their daily commute, but there are plenty of other ways that you can save money on comprehensive car insurance.

For further tips on how to save on cover, see our useful guides below, or visit our car insurance page to get a quote today!

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