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

If you’re looking to take out car insurance, then you’ve probably come across the two main types, fully comprehensive and third party. But what’s the difference between the two?


Third-party insurance covers any damage done to another’s vehicle or property in a crash and is the minimum level of cover that you are allowed by law. This means that if your car is damaged in an accident that is your fault and you have third-party cover, you will need to pay for it.

This can leave you quite vulnerable, especially if you have an expensive car or are inexperienced. As a result, many people opt for insurance that offers a better level of coverage. 

Fully comprehensive:

Much like it sounds, fully comprehensive (or fully comp) insurance pays out on damages to your vehicle, as well as others. Even if blame cannot be established - which can scupper payouts for those with third-party insurance - you are likely to be covered.

Similarly, some policies may include protection for personal items that are stolen as the result of a break-in or compensation for personal injury. However, this type of additional protection is not universal, so make sure you check. 

Which is more expensive?

You would be forgiven for thinking that fully comp insurance is more expensive. After all, it offers a much wider range of cover.

Surprisingly, however, this isn’t always the case. As a higher proportion of claims come from third-party policies, they can actually be more expensive.

So, when making your choice, make sure you check all the available options as it might be possible to get a comprehensive policy at a cheaper or similar rate to third-party.

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