Last updated: 07/09/2021 | Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes
Car insurance extras and add-ons
There are a number of different add-ons and extras you can get to supplement your basic car insurance policy. Some might seem excessive after you've already forked out for cover, but some can prove excellent value. We'll go through some of the more common options.
In This Guide:
- What are car insurance extras?
- Types of car insurance extras and add-ons
- Are car insurance add-ons worth it?
What are car insurance extras?
When looking for car insurance, each policy will have a list of optional extras you can include as part of your cover. While some are super useful to have as a safety blanket, others aren’t always worth the cost.
In order to avoid doubling up on cover, and by result expenditure, it’s important to check what’s already included in your policy. Yet you should also consider whether you already have optional-extra insurance through other means. This could be:
- Cover you have specifically under another insurance policy, for example personal injury cover may fall under a health insurance policy or;
- Cover you have inadvertently as a part of another package, or as a benefit of a membership (for example, with your bank).
Rather than snapping up the default package offered by your chosen insurance provider, it’s also often worth searching for separate policies for some car insurance add-ons. You may find you’ll get a better deal.
Types of car insurance extras and add-ons
Breakdown cover is one of the most useful add-ons you can get to your insurance. It means just that: if you break down, professional assistance will come and help you. If they can’t fix the problem at the roadside, they may even tow you home or to a mechanic. Breakdown cover isn’t typically included in your policy, but it is worth looking out for it when running your car insurance comparison.
No claims protection
If you’ve been diligently building up your No Claims Bonus for several years, then that’s a valuable attribute. Having a No Claims Bonus allows you to unlock the best car insurance deals on the market, so you may want to protect it. What no claims protection does is ensures you can keep some, if not all, of your bonus, even if you make a claim.
Legal expenses cover protects you from various expenses that arise out of any legal proceedings in the event of an incident or claim, particularly if it wasn’t your fault. This can include cover for loss of earnings, compensation for injuries or reimbursement of excess you’ve had to pay on your insurance, among other things.
For peace of mind, legal cover can be worth the money, but you could well be covered by other policies already – for example, income protection insurance pays out for loss of earnings.
Insurance for windscreens and lost or stolen keys
Windscreens are statistically likely to break or need repairing at some point during our driving years; similarly, probably all of us have lost our keys at one time or another. Should you want to claim for these on your car insurance policy, the good news is it won’t affect your No Claims Bonus because they’re considered separate from your main policy and dealt with as such.
However, claiming on your policy can make it harder to find cheap car insurance later on which, we’re assuming, you want to avoid. Instead, you can include windscreen cover or lost and stolen key insurance as optional extras to your policy. You’ll be protected and it won’t affect any future quotes.
What other extras could I get?
- Uninsured driver protection – if you’re involved in an incident with an uninsured driver, then you can’t claim against their insurance – even if it was their fault. This car insurance add-on will cover you for a pay-out if this happens.
- Courtesy car cover – if your vehicle is written off or undergoes a repair as a result of an incident, courtesy car cover means you’ll be given a replacement vehicle in the interim so you’re not left without transport.
- Cover for driving abroad – while UK car insurance does cover driving within the EU, typically policies are only third party. You can take out additional insurance for driving abroad if you want to enjoy the comprehensive level of cover you do at home, including dedicated European breakdown cover.
- Personal injury cover – a degree of personal injury cover is included in most comprehensive policies however you may want to increase this limit.
- Excess insurance - when making a claim on your car insurance, you’ll typically have to pay an excess fee before you receive any payout. Luckily, you can get excess insurance as an add-on to your main policy, covering the cost of any excess fees when it comes to claiming.
- Named driver cover - also known as additional driver cover, named driver insurance allows another motorist, typically a member of your household, to legally drive your car. Adding an experienced driver as a named driver on a policy can significantly reduce your premiums.
- Towing insurance - this is sometimes included with vehicle insurance, but not always. If this is important to you, we recommend you read our page on car insurance and towing.
- Flood damage - this is not a conventional extra when it comes to insurance, but is something worth keeping in mind. This usually only appears in conprehensive policies, but can be added as an extra with third party policies too. For more details on this add-on, see our page on car insurance and flood damage.
Are car insurance add-ons worth it?
Some insurance extras can be super advantageous; others aren’t necessarily worth the price.
When you compare vehicle insurance providers with Money Expert, we recommend you carefully read the list of benefits in the policy.
See what’s included already and then consider optional extras. For each add-on, ask yourself whether you really need it and calculate the cost-effectiveness of including it in your policy.
As an example, it may well be more economical to pay upfront for replacement keys rather than buying additional cover.
Before you select your extras, you should also always check whether you’re covered by another insurance policy or package. If you’re not, still shop around to see if you can buy the cover separately at a better price.