What is comprehensive car insurance?
Comprehensive car insurance means that your insurer will pay out for injuries caused to you and any third-party drivers in the event of an accident as well as damage caused to the vehicles involved. Also known as fully comprehensive, your car is also insured against fire and theft and some policies will provide cover for injury to passengers too. Some policies even include cover for personal property left in the car, but this may be subject to limits.
Although Comprehensive car insurance provides you with more protection than third party insurance, it will vary based on your insurer and whether they offer more than one comprehensive product. Understanding exactly what might and might not be covered, as well as if it’s the right cover for you, can be difficult.
What are the benefits to having comprehensive car insurance?
Individual policy covers will vary from insurer to insurer, so be sure to check the small print first. Generally speaking, most comprehensive car insurance policies include:
- Accidental damage to your car
- The cost of receiving a courtesy car, if you use an approved repairer
- Windscreen damage
- Loss or theft of keys
- Vehicle recovery following an accident
Is it more expensive than regular insurance?
Not necessarily. Buying comprehensive car insurance is sometimes cheaper, or only a little more expensive, than third party insurance. It’s worth comparing comprehensive and third party quotes from a number of insurers, and remember to consider the excess you’ll have to pay if you have to make a claim too.
Can I drive my friend’s car?
Comprehensive car insurance policies sometimes include Driving Other Cars (DOC) cover, which insures you to drive someone else’s car in an emergency, as long as you have their permission.
Always check the small print in your policy to see if it includes DOC cover, and what level of cover it gives. If you’re still unsure then contact your insurer who will be able to provide the answer.
It’s also worth checking if there are any restrictions that could apply to you, for example many policies will only offer DOC cover to drivers aged 25 and over.
Is a named driver comprehensive?
You can include someone else as a named driver on your car insurance policy, which covers them to drive your car. This will give them the same level of cover as the policy holder. As the policy holder, you must contact your insurer to add another person to your insurance as a named driver.
It’s worth noting that you should only ever include a named driver on your policy if they are not the main driver of your car. If you are the main driver but get someone else to claim that they are, this is called fronting and is
not allowed. For example, if a young person were to put their parent down as the main driver in order to get a cheaper premium, then their policy could be cancelled and they could be prosecuted for fraud.
Published: 29th March 2016
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