What is comprehensive car insurance?
Comprehensive car insurance – also known as fully comp cover – is one of the higher levels of protection you can get for your motor.
Third-party only and third-party, fire and theft policies cover damage to others as the result of an accident that was deemed your fault. Any damage to your own car is your own problem.
Comprehensive car insurance policies, on the other hand, cover for damage to your car as well.
Why should I consider upgrading to comprehensive cover?
With comprehensive car insurance, you can claim from your insurer for accidents that are deemed to be your fault.
It also applies when fault can’t be proven, eg if you return to your car after shopping to find that someone has hit you and driven off.
Without comprehensive cover, you risk having to fork out for repairs yourself. Worse still, if your car is written off you’ll have to pay for a brand-new motor.
A comprehensive policy gives you that added level of protection and peace of mind that you won’t necessarily have to pay for expensive repairs – just your compulsory and voluntary excess.
Is comprehensive insurance more expensive than other policy types?
You’d be forgiven for thinking that a comprehensive policy is always more expensive than third-party only cover, or third-party, fire and theft.
This is usually the case, but not always. So when comparing policies it’s worth looking at the difference in price between comprehensive and third-party policies.
You may find that comprehensive insurance actually works out as cheap as a third-party policy. You may not need to compromise on your cover just to save a few quid.
Hang on. How come comprehensive cover is sometimes cheaper?
Woman holding toy car
It’s because a lot of high-risk drivers tend to go for third-party cover as a way of lowering their insurance costs.
As a result, the statistics begin to skew towards a higher number of claims on third-party policies.
This means that the overall cost of third-party cover goes up. That’s why it’s worth checking the cost of all levels of cover, just in case.
Where comprehensive cover could fall short
Despite its name, a comprehensive insurance policy may fall short in some areas.
Certain policy extras may come as standard with some insurers, whereas others might charge you for the privilege.
It’s always best to check the policy details before you buy – don’t assume that you’ll be entitled to all the bells and whistles.
Two of the most common policy add-ons are:
Many insurers let you use another car while yours is being repaired, but not all of them. It’s also worth noting that courtesy cars usually aren’t provided if your car is written off.
Usually an optional extra that comes at a cost, though some insurers may throw it in as an incentive. If it doesn’t come as standard, it’s worth shopping round for the best breakdown deals.
Other ways to save on your car insurance
Car insurance often isn’t cheap, this is true. But going for a lower level of cover just to save money might be a false economy.
Having the minimum level of cover means that you might end up paying out more in the long run, especially if you’re involved in an accident where the fault is yours or can’t be determined.
If saving money is your main concern, there are a number of other ways to lower your car insurance costs.
How fully comprehensive car insurance has your back
Fully comprehensive insurance includes everything that third party fire and theft does, but you’ll also be covered for your own losses, even if you’re found to be at fault. Fully-comp might also include flood damage, windscreen cover, personal effects, accidental damage and medical expenses, but remember to set your excess at a level you can actually afford
Amanda Bathory, GoCompare insurance editor
Does my car insurance offer cover for flood damage?
Drivers with third party only or third party fire and theft policies will not be covered for flood damage, but those with fully comprehensive policies may be. A third-party policy is sometimes cheaper than comprehensive cover, but it’s essential that drivers know exactly what is and isn’t included, especially if they’re at risk of flood damage
Scott Kelly, car insurance expert
Drivers warned of dangers of ‘fronting’
Fronting is when a lower risk driver insures a vehicle in their name when the main driver is from a higher risk category. This could invalidate insurance and lead to a criminal record. There are legal ways to reduce premiums for young drivers… instead of fronting parents should consider adding themselves as a named driver on their offspring’s policy
Scott Kelly, car insurance expert
Have you got adequate cover for the contents of your car?
The purpose of motor insurance is to give financial protection for your vehicle, not the stuff you keep inside it. Cover for personal belongings is typically limited to fully comprehensive policies and restricted to around £100. If you need to leave valuable items in your car, make sure they are out of sight and locked in the boot
Scott Kelly, car insurance expert
Can I compare car insurance quotes for my double cab pick-up?
Although double cabs, such as the Nissan Navara or Toyota HiLux, are often used as family vehicles, they are classed on our system as light commercial vehicles due to their dual purpose (business and social use). You can compare quotes for this type of vehicle by visiting our van insurance comparison, rather than our car insurance comparison
Comparing car insurance could mean serious savings
Letting your car insurance auto-renew without checking for cheaper quotes can be a really expensive mistake. It’s so easy to enter or update your details — including extra drivers and past claims — and get a bonanza of fresh prices for the year ahead. Fast, simple and clear
Amanda Bathory, insurance editor
What does the ECJ gender ruling mean for women drivers?
The European Court of Justice’s gender ruling — in force from 21 December, 2012 — has meant that insurers can no longer make a gender distinction when calculating premiums. Amongst many changes, this has led to an increase in prices for young female drivers, who traditionally paid less than young men
Sean Davies, Gocompare.com Next PagePrevious Page
Quickly compare cheap car insurance quotes
Like death and taxes, car insurance is unavoidable if you want to keep your vehicle on the road and the right side of the law.
Fortunately, calling round dozens of insurers for a quote has been consigned to history — with GoCompare you only need to fill out a single form with your personal information, details of your car and any extra drivers you want to put on your policy.
Find the cheapest car insurance groups
Rummage around in the Car insurance garage
How to get a car insurance quote
If you know your number plate it’ll save you time, but if not just choose your make and model and you’re on your way to quotes galore.
Next, you’ll need to let us know:
Your car’s value
How much no-claims bonus you’ve amassed
Your annual mileage
Usage — social, commuting or business
Quotes that cater to you
Once you’ve got some quotes to look at, you can narrow things down a bit if you know exactly what you want:
Choose your voluntary excess
Opt to protect your no-claims bonus
Decide whether to pay monthly or annually
Change any of these and you’ll get a fresh set of prices to fit your new answers.
Whether you need comprehensive insurance, third party fire and theft or third party only for just the one car or many, it’s easy to get the cover you need.
You don’t need to take our word for it either — when you get your quotes they come along with helpful information and star ratings from financial researcher Defaqto, so you’ll see exactly what you’re buying.
Need to know more about car insurance?
We’re committed to keeping you well-informed and on the road, so if you’re puzzled by any aspect of your policy, roll up the door to our Car insurance garage for guides, tips and help on all things motoring and car insurance.
Did you know…?
67% of motorists pay the renewal price, potentially missing out on cheaper car insurance premiums
32% of drivers have been with their current insurer for three years or more
Telematics (black box) policies, women’s car insurance, older motorists, modified cars, young drivers, classic cars, and learner drivers – it’s all here.
There’s also plenty to read and delight on wider motoring issues.
Vehicle security, flood cover, optional extras on your insurance, fronting, crash-for-cash, how quotes are calculated, claim rejections, how driving convictions impact on premiums and money-saving tips — peruse at your leisure.