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Comprehensive car insurance

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What's comprehensive car insurance?

Comprehensive – sometimes referred to as fully comprehensive – is the highest level of car insurance you can buy. It covers more eventualities than the other two cover levels: third-party only(TPO) and third party fire and theft (TPFT).

It’ll cover the cost of repairing or replacing your own car if you’re in an accident where you’re found to be at fault, as well as compensating other people for damage or losses caused by you.

It’ll also cover everything included in TPFT cover – losses caused by fire, vandalism or theft.

Don’t assume comprehensive insurance will be more expensive, just because it offers better cover. Sometimes it’s cheaper than both third party only and third party fire and theft policies.

Comprehensive cover

Do I need comprehensive insurance?

By law, you only need to have third-party only insurance as a minimum.

But our data shows that third party insurance costs as much as 63% more than comprehensive insurance.[1]

So you might be able to get a higher level of cover for less money – compare quotes to find out.

What’s not covered by comprehensive insurance?

‘Comprehensive’ doesn’t mean absolutely everything’s included in the policy as standard.

Your policy documents will list some exclusions, which you won’t be covered for.

Some typical exclusions are:

  • Negligence – for example, theft when your car’s left unlocked or you’ve left valuables on show.
  • Wear and tear – your policy won’t include cover for claims relating to the general wear and tear of your car (e.g. worn tyres, brake pads and rust).
  • Invalid driving licence – you’ll need to have passed your driving test and kept your licence up to date.

Check policy documents to find out exactly what is and isn’t included on your policy.

What’s the difference between fully comprehensive and third-party only car insurance?

A comprehensive car insurance policy will cover you for a wide range of damages, injuries, and loss to your passengers, your vehicle, and other property.

Third party car insurance is much more limited, covering damage to other vehicles and their passengers, but not much else.

Third party, fire and theft

This covers you if your car is stolen or catches fire. But this won't cover damages to your car for any other reason.

Find out more about third party, fire and theft insurance >

Third party only

Also known as TPO, third party only covers other people and their property, but not you or your vehicle.

Find out more about third party only car insurance >

Join over a million customers with free £250 excess cover^

Claiming on your car insurance is stressful enough, without the added cost of your excess – and we want to help with that.

If you do need to claim, you'll have to pay your excess first, and then we'll refund up to £250 after your claim's settled.

It really is free. We haven't hidden the cost anywhere.

Claim your free £250 excess cover >

^Up to £250 refunded after claim settled. Car insurance purchases only. Excludes breakdown, windscreen and glass repair/replacement. Full T&Cs apply.

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Is comprehensive cover more expensive?

You might expect comprehensive car insurance to be the most expensive cover option. It offers the most cover after all. But it's often cheaper than third party only and third party, fire and theft policies.

Our customers paid £516.28 on average for comprehensive cover last year - which is a little cheaper than in 2018 and 2019.*

But we also discovered that third party only cover is actually 60% more expensive than fully comp.[1]

That’s because third party options tend to attract drivers at a higher risk of accidents, meaning that insurers can class these policyholders as more likely to make a claim.

Things like your age, your vehicle, your annual mileage, claims history and previous convictions will all affect the amount you’ll pay.

So even if you’re trying to find ways to save money on your car insurance, make sure you check comprehensive quotes alongside other options. See if you could get comprehensive cover for the same cost, or less, than third party.

*The average price paid for annual comprehensive car insurance cover bought through GoCompare in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

[1]Average cost of annual car insurance bought through GoCompare in April 2021. For comprehensive cover it was £458.65. For third party only cover it was £857.19.
Average cost of fully comprehensive car insurance

What do I need to get a quote?

When you compare quotes, you’ll need to tell us a few things like:

  1. Your personal info

    Including your name, date of birth, address and job

  2. Details about your car

    Such as it’s make, model and year (or it’s reg number) and whether it’s ever been modified

  3. What cover you want

    Let us know your car’s mileage and how you’re going to be using it, then pick the level of cover and any add-ons you need

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