itemtype="" itemscope> Car Insurance Explained | What You Need To Know

Car insurance explained | What you need to know

Car insurance explained | What you need to know:- OK, I totally get you could probably think of 100 other ways to spend an afternoon than
shopping for car insurance.
But it’s an essential job for anyone that owns a car.
There are three main types of cover for car insurance in the UK: third-party, third party
fire and theft and comprehensive.
In this article, I’ll give you a rundown of what each cover includes, a quick lesson on
excess and some extra cover options that might suit your specific driving style.

(Car insurance explained | What you need to know)

Third-party cover is the minimum legal requirement for drivers in the UK.
Third party car insurance
If you gotsta car, you gotsta have it.
Unsurprisingly, then, third party is the most basic b’ form of cover.
If you were to get into an accident, this type of cover will protect you against injuries
to others, both in your car and other vehicles, as well as any legal claims made against you.
However, it will only protect you against damages to someone else’s car or property,
not your own.
A popular choice among first-time drivers
and those on a budget, be aware that third party cover also doesn’t protect you if
your car is stolen or destroyed by fire.
Which would be an absolute nightmare of a day!
Third party, fire and theft is the second tier of car insurance.
Third party, fire and theft
It works much like third party cover but, you guessed it, also includes cover for stolen
vehicles and fire damage.
However, it still doesn’t cover you for damages to your own car, if you were to get
injured or if your car is written off entirely.
So, if you were to get into an accident, you could still end up forking out a lot of money
to cover your own costs.
Comprehensive cover
When it comes to comprehensive cover, kudos to the marketing department for thinking of
a dynamic, cutting-edge name for this top tier of car insurance.
Not all heroes wear capes, but some should have given the naming round-table just a couple
more minutes!
To be fair, comprehensive cover does what it says on the tin, covering you against fire
and theft, personal injuries and injuries to people in your car and other vehicles,
damages to both your car, other vehicles and property, plus the cost of any legal claims.
With comprehensive cover, you can get in as many accidents as you want.
PAYG vs temporary cover
As well as the “big three” you may also have heard of pay as you go and temporary
car insurance.
And while they sound similar they are actually quite different forms of cover.
Pay as you go is strictly usage-based, so you only pay for the miles you drive.
This type of cover is ideal for people who regularly use their car but only for low-mileage
journeys, such as the school run or trips to the supermarket.
Despite the name, pay as you go insurance still protects your car even when you’re
not driving it.
It is just that the cost of your premiums are calculated based on your mileage.
This can be done in one of three ways:
By tracking your miles.
This usually involves fitting your car with a small device, similar to a black box, that
tracks your distance.
By hourly rate.
Again, using a device to track your hours spent in the car.
The downsides to this method include having to pay extra for getting stuck in traffic
and incidentally incentivising people to drive faster.
The final method is to estimate your miles.
This is ideal for people who regularly drive the same journey and know the exact distances.
Otherwise, you could get stung if you overestimate your miles as many insurers won’t offer
refunds for unused miles.
Temporary cover, then, is purely time-based.
It allows you to instantly insure a car from one hour to 30 days at a pop, and usually
acts as a top up to a pre-existing permanent policy.
For example, you have a car that you pay a yearly premium on.
But if your brother comes to stay for the week, you would add seven days-worth of temporary
cover so he’s also insured during his visit.
Temporary car insurance doesn’t take usage into account, so whether your brother uses
the car once, 17 times or not at all, you still pay the same amount.
The type of cover you will need will depend on how much control you want over your premiums,
how often and how far you drive and whether you’re the sole driver of the car.
For more information on whether you need temporary or pay as you go insurance head to
– the link to our comparison page is in the description below.
There are two main costs involved with car insurance.
What is an excess?
The first is the cost of your cover.
This is your insurance premium and is calculated based on your personal circumstances, the
type of car you drive and your driving track record.
The second is your excess.
Your excess is a pre-set amount you have to contribute towards any claim made on your
So, if you’ve just crashed your brand new Bentley and your excess is £200 but the claim
is £1000; you’ll have to stump up the 200 quid before the insurance company pays out
the additional £800.
Most insurers will have a minimum compulsory excess amount and, typically, will let you
raise your excess amount to lower your premium.
Just make sure you have the budget to account for those out of pocket payments.
Bentley’s ain’t cheap, honey!
Even if you have comprehensive cover, you can still add extra levels of cover to your
Optional extras
So if you’re someone who’s always getting into accidents… well, you probably shouldn’t
be on the road.
But if you think you’d benefit from a more customised cover, then it might be worth adding
some of these optional extras to your car insurance.
Lots of these are fairly self-explanatory.
When deciding if you need any extra cover, it helps to consider not only what kind of
driver you are, but where you typically drive and what you use your car for.
For example, if your car is essential to get to work or drop the kids off at school, courtesy
car or car hire cover could be helpful to make sure you’re never stuck without a set
of wheels.
As a former country gal, I can vouch for windscreen cover if you’re driving down a lot of gravel
tracks or country roads.
Acorns might look all cute and rustic, but they can do some serious damage.
And don’t even get me started on conkers!
With personal accident cover, you and your partner are covered should you suffer a serious
injury as a result of a car accident.
With this cover your insurer would pay to help out with medical treatments, lost income
and recovery costs.
Protected no claims means you can still keep your no claims bonus even if you make a claim.
However, to purchase this you’d normally need to have about three or four years of
no claims.
What next?
Shopping for car insurance is one of those thankless tasks all car owners have to do.
There are loads of providers out there and choosing the right one for you will largely
depend on personal circumstances.
So, for more information, money-saving tips and to compare the best provider for you,