Fully Comprehensive Insurance
If you want the highest level of cover available, then you will be best off opting for a fully comprehensive insurance policy.
These policies will cover you for more than any other standard insurance policy and they can often end up working out to be the best value for money on the market too.
In this guide:
- What is fully comprehensive car insurance?
- What kind of cover can I expect?
- What isn't covered?
- Do I need fully comprehensive insurance?
- Will it be more expensive?
- How can I keep the costs down?
- What do I need for a quote?
Fully comprehensive car insurance offers the highest level of cover out of the three types of car insurance available in the UK. The three levels of cover you can get are:
- Third party: covers you for any damage caused to another person, their vehicles or property.
- Third party, fire & theft: also covers your own vehicle if it is stolen or damaged by fire.
- Fully comprehensive: covers everything that third party, fire & theft insurance covers, but also covers damage caused to your own vehicle, even if you were at fault for the accident.
A fully comprehensive car insurance policy will come with all of the accident and third party-liability cover than you can expect from any standard policy. However, where most policies will only cover certain personal items like mobile phones or sat nav systems against accidental (e.g. fire) damage and theft, with a fully comprehensive policy, your whole car will be covered.
Some of the things you should be typically covered for with a fully comprehensive car insurance policy include:
- Any damage caused to a third party, their vehicle or property.
- Theft or vandalism of your car.
- Any damage caused to your own car by a fire or accident.
- Personal injuries caused by a road accident.
The following are commonly included in fully comprehensive car insurance policies, but may have to be added as an extra:
- Breakdown Cover: Provides you with roadside assistance should your car break down whilst driving.
- Courtesy Car Cover: Provides you with a temporary replacement vehicle while your car is being repaired.
- Windscreen Cover: covers the cost of replacing cracked and chipped windscreens.
- Legal Protection: covers the cost any legal expenses that arise from making a car insurance claim, or if a claim is made against you.
- Personal Belongings Cover: protects your personal possessions from theft while left in your car, including sat-navs and phones.
Fully comprehensive insurance may offer the highest level of cover you can get with a car insurance policy, that doesn’t mean will cover absolutely everything. There are many things you should watch out for that typically won’t be covered by any car insurance policies. These include:
- Driving under the influence: If you’re involved in an accident but were found to be under the influence of drink or drugs whilst driving, then your car insurance will be invalidated, and you won’t be able to claim. You also risk points on your licence, a criminal conviction and even jail time, so don’t even think about it.
- Poor security: If you’re found to have been careless when it comes to keeping your car secure, you’re also unlikely to receive a payout from your insurer. For example, if your car has been stolen but you left it unlocked with the windows open, then don’t expect to be covered.
- Invalid driving licence: Driving without a valid licence will likely invalidate your car insurance policy and can also lead to prosecution.
- Wear and tear: the general upkeep and maintenance of your car is your own responsibility. Most insurers won’t pay out to cover repairs on general wear and tear.
- Wrong fuel cover: most car insurance policies won’t cover you if you damage your car by putting in the wrong type of fuel. However, some insurers may allow you to include wrong fuel cover, also called misfuelling cover, as an add-on.
- Driving other cars: fully comprehensive insurance policies won’t usually allow you to drive other people’s cars. Some will, however, but will typically only be for short-term use and emergencies.
As with any other kind of car insurance policy, the specifics of the cover will depend on the provider, so you should always read the small print to make sure that you’re getting exactly what you need.
While it is a legal requirement to be insured to drive on UK roads, it is up to you as to what level of cover you get. Third party policies won’t cover the cost of repairing your own vehicle should you need after an accident. Fully comprehensive insurance offers the highest level of cover available, so will give you peace of mind knowing you’re financially protected should anything happen on the road.
Strange as it may seem, fully comprehensive cover is not always more expensive than simple third-party cover. This is because of statistics that show that drivers most at risk of accident tend to opt to third party car insurance policies, driving costs up for this kind of cover as they continue to make claims. Therefore, it is important to shop around and not to assume that more cover automatically means more money.
Younger drivers especially tend to find that fully comprehensive cover ends up the best option, not just in terms of value for money, but in terms of the cost outright.
As always, insurers will consider the following, among other factors, when determining your quote:
- Your age (and gender)
- Your car (make, model, age)
- Your estimated mileage
- Your driving history (convictions, no-claims bonus)
So, choosing a fully comprehensive policy over third party should result in cheap car insurance. But how else can you keep your costs low? There are several ways to make sure that you get the cheapest fully comprehensive car insurance on the market, including:
- Choose the right car: insurers bracket cars into one of 50 categories based on things like engine size and performance. Generally, slower and less powerful cars are cheaper to insure as they are less likely to be involved in accidents.
- Security: Keeping your car safe by parking it in a sensible place and using anti-theft devices like steering locks will also serve to bring down your premiums by reducing the possibility of theft.
- Drive less: the more time you spend at the wheel, the more likely you are to have an accident and make a claim. Therefore, by proving to your insurer that your doing less miles, perhaps with a telematics or black box insurance policy, you can reduce your premiums.
- Increase your excess: By increasing your voluntary excess, which is the set amount you agree to pay towards any claim, you will be rewarded with cheaper premiums. However, don’t set it too high that it becomes unaffordable to make a claim in the first place.
- Build a no-claims bonus: the longer you go without a making a claim on your car insurance policy, the more you will be rewarded with cheaper premiums. Only claim when you really need to – small repairs should be paid for yourself if possible.
- Compare car insurance: By far the most straightforward way to save though is to shop around. Generally the best deals can be found online, and to avoid trawling though pages and pages of jargon-filled adverts and offers, you can use our free car insurance comparison service to find yourself the cheapest and most appropriate policy available.
Whatever you do, make sure you read the small print to make sure that the policy you get is the policy you need.
Getting a quote with Money Expert couldn’t be easier. To start comparing car insurance, simply enter a few details about yourself, your car, and the policy you require. You will then be presented with a list of cheap fully comprehensive car insurance quotes available to you from a range of providers. Simply choose a policy that best suits your needs, finalise your purchase, and start saving.