Guide to comprehensive car insurance
- A comprehensive policy will cover you for injury to others (including passengers), damage to third party property, liability whilst towing, fire damage, theft and loss or damage to your vehicle
- While comprehensive car insurance offers more extensive cover than third party options all policies will differ, so compare product features and be aware of 'stripped back' policies
- Choosing a comprehensive policy isn't always more expensive than buying a third party one
- Don't assume you're covered to drive other cars if you have a comprehensive policy
While all policies vary and you always need to read your terms and conditions, choosing fully comprehensive car insurance should deliver a high level of cover for unfortunate motoring incidents.
It provides third party cover for claims made against you for injuries to other people, including passengers, as well as damage to other cars or property.
A comprehensive policy will also insure your vehicle against theft, fire and accidental damage.
Many fully comprehensive policies have additional benefits, such as providing a courtesy car whilst yours is in the garage, paying for medical treatment following a road accident, covering the theft of extras such as sat-nav systems and/or paying to repair damaged windscreens.
Bear in mind that some so-called comprehensive policies may be 'stripped back' policies offering a level of cover that you may consider rather basic.
Even if you've requested comprehensive cover, you should always take time to look at the terms of a particular policy.
Gocompare.com was built on the principle of helping you review policy features as well as price and we also use Defaqto star ratings to further distinguish the options you see in our quotes process.
Is fully comprehensive car insurance essential?
It's a legal requirement in the UK to have car insurance, but it doesn't have to be fully comprehensive.
So long as a driver has basic car insurance, he or she should be covered for damage caused to another person, vehicle or property.
However, third party policies will not cover you or your car in the event of an accident and don't include many of the extras that can make life a lot easier if the worst happens.
What other types of car insurance are there?
Some motorists believe that third party, or third party, fire and theft, are always the cheapest options. While this may often be true, you should be aware that this isn't always the case.
One of the reasons for this is that third party options tend to attract more high-risk drivers, meaning that insurers see statistics showing them that third party policies are a high risk.
Comprehensive cover can sometimes cost about the same as, or even less than, third party, fire and theft. This means that a driver who opts for third party, fire and theft could be paying just as much as someone with a comprehensive policy, but they'll have less cover.
If you're looking to save money on comprehensive car insurance, there could be better ways.
Should you choose to use Gocompare.com's comparison service, you'll be presented with the clear option of whether you want to consider comprehensive policies, third party only, or third party fire and theft.
Another option is one of the most innovative products on the market, telematics car insurance, a policy that bases the premium you pay on the way that you drive. Gocompare.com's quotes service offers the opportunity to compare telematics policies against more traditional products.
Can I drive other vehicles if I have comprehensive car insurance?
Motorists often assume that, if they have their own comprehensive car insurance, they're covered third party to drive anybody else's car.
But this isn't necessarily the case and you should always check your policy or contact your insurer before driving another vehicle - read more in our article on cover to drive other vehicles.
By Sean Davies