What types of car insurance are there in the UK?

What types of car insurance are there in the UK?It can be confusing when it comes time to select the type of cover you need for your vehicle, so what types of cover are there to choose from?

There are a myriad of car insurance companies operating in the UK right now, and in fact it seems that every time you turn your head another insurer has sprung up, seemingly out of nowhere, offering a wide selection of policies at differing prices. This can cause all sorts of confusion when it comes to selecting the policy you’re going to pay for, and with car insurance rates creeping ever upward, it’s never been more important to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into – and exactly what you need.

just the bare necessities

Motor car insurance is, of course, compulsory in the UK in that you can’t get behind the wheel of your car without at least a modicum of cover. When it comes to meeting the bare minimum, you have to take out a third party insurance policy, which only offers protection to bodily injury and property damage to anyone involved in an accident with you.

What this means that if you end up in a road traffic accident with another driver, any damage done to their vehicle or any injuries they sustain will be covered under your insurance policy. Likewise any passengers in your car will be covered as well – but any damage done to your own car or any injuries you sustain will not be covered, which could lead to some rather incredibly high bills to repair your car, to say nothing about any injuries you end up suffering in a traffic collision!

Better than nothing, but still not the best

The next level up, when it comes to insurance cover, is called third party fire and theft. This offers you not just the benefits of third party cover – protection for passengers, other drivers, and other vehicles – but it also covers any of your own losses from damage stemming from the theft of your vehicle or if it catches on fire.

This is of course better to have than just third party cover. The downside to this level of cover is that you’re still not protected to damage done to your own car or injuries sustained  to your own person; not only that, but adding fire and theft to third party cover will increase the cost of your premiums as well.

you get what you pay for

Finally, we have the top tier of insurance policies, known as comprehensive cover. This offers you the highest level of cover, including damage to your vehicle or injury suffered personally. While it’s the one that offers you the most all-around protection, unfortunately this is the most expensive level of cover you can purchase for your vehicle.

If you’re simply looking for a way to get your car on the road as quickly and cheaply as possible in the long run, third party cover (or third party fire and theft) is your best bet. However, you need to be cautioned that doing so could be a false economy upon being involved in an accident, as you’re going to be out much, much more in costs than you would have been if you simply selected a comprehensive policy; do so at your own peril.

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Image: Car breakdown by andrijbulba