Having car insurance is a legal requirement if you want to drive on UK roads. But apart from that, why do you need it, and what’s actually covered by your car insurance? 🤔 Let’s take a deep dive into what car insurance is and the different types of cover so you’ll have a better idea when it comes to selecting the best car insurance for your needs.
What Does Car Insurance Cover?
All UK drivers need car insurance, however, the challenging part comes with choosing the right one for you. With car insurance, you’re protected in case your car is vandalised, stolen, or is involved in an accident.
The most basic car insurance cover protects you against damage you may have caused to other drivers or road users. This is called “third-party car insurance.” But is this kind of cover enough for you? That depends on the level of protection you need.
Simply put, having car insurance protects you from financial losses. Again, the level of protection provided by your insurance depends on the type of cover you get. For example, if you caused an accident, your insurer will cover the expenses. However, you may have to cover the excess, which is a fee set by the insurance company, along with any voluntary excess which you have set.
Types of Car Insurance Cover
This type of car insurance is also known as “fully comprehensive” or even “fully comp.” The main feature of this cover is that it protects you, your vehicle, your passengers and any property in the car, as well as other parties that might be involved in an accident. Along with these, you’re also covered in case of theft and vandalism.
A fully comp car insurance cover is a great choice for most drivers. In fact, over 75% of UK drivers choose to have a comprehensive cover because of the complete protection it offers. Some policies still provide protection even if you’re not driving your insured vehicle but this may differ from one insurer to the next so be sure to check your car insurance policy.
Third-party, Fire and Theft Car Insurance
The TPFT covers other parties involved in an accident while also providing protection for your vehicle against damage in case of fire and theft. What it doesn’t include is cover for damage to your own car in the event of an accident or vandalism.
If you’re looking for a more affordable car insurance policy, this is a good option. It’s cheaper than the fully comp cover but it has fewer features, and therefore, less protection for you and your vehicle.
Third-party Car Insurance
This one is the most basic car insurance cover you can get. It only protects you from liability for injury to other people and to any third-party property that has been damaged. Third-party car insurance is the minimum legal requirement if you want to drive on UK roads.
If you don’t drive that frequently or you only want the most affordable option for car insurance cover, this is the one for you. However, know that not all insurance companies offer third-party car insurance so it’s best to shop around for a reputable insurer that does offer this type of cover.
Other Car Insurance Covers
Apart from the three mentioned previously, there are a number of car insurance covers that provide more specific protection. Here are six other car insurance covers.
- Short-term car insurance - if you only need to drive a car for a few hours or a few days, this is perfect for you.
- Taxi insurance - this one is for cabbies since they drive for long hours and consequently, need to pay higher premiums.
- Learner car insurance - if you’re still learning to drive, this is a good cover until you take and pass the driving test.
- Young driver car insurance - many car insurance companies see young drivers as high-risk so they offer this type of cover.
- Black box insurance - once you’ve passed your driving test, you can get more affordable car insurance by using a telematics device that can monitor your driving behaviour.
- Multi-car insurance - in case you have multiple vehicles in your household, you can claim discounts with this type of cover.
How Much is Car Insurance?
The insurer will assess your driving behaviour to know if you’re a high-risk driver. If they see that you’re more likely to get involved in an accident and then make costly claims, then you will be charged a higher premium.
For less experienced drivers, premiums are higher compared to those who have been driving for some time already. Also, your mileage will also affect how much you pay. The more you drive, the higher the cost of car insurance.
Your car is also a factor in the cost of your car insurance, of course. For example, if you have an expensive brand new vehicle, then expect a high premium because it will be costly to repair. In the same way, if you have an old car that doesn’t have the safety features of newer vehicles, then it will also cost more to insure it.
The car’s engine size also matters in this equation. The bigger the engine, the higher the cost. If you have a small car, then it typically has a low-powered engine, and therefore, costs less to insure. Lastly, modifications of your vehicle will also affect the cost of your car insurance.
It might be tempting to get the most basic car insurance cover because it’s the cheapest one. However, you might want to consider getting a more comprehensive cover so you’ll have the best protection against financial losses. If and when you need to make a claim, a fully comprehensive car insurance cover will protect you from unexpected expenses. 👍