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What is Comprehensive Car Insurance?

Comprehensive insurance cover is as the name suggests, the most comprehensive of the three types of motor insurance cover. For this reason, it's usually the most expensive too. Third-party is the lowest available insurance and cover others against damage caused by you to their property, vehicle or themselves. Third-Party, Fire and Theft insurance does the same but also covers you for the theft of your vehicle or damage by fire. Comprehensive insurance covers a great deal more.

How does Comprehensive Differ from Other Insurance Cover?

Comprehensive cover has a host of extras (often optional) incorporated into the cost of the policy, these include:

  • Legal Fees
  • Rental of a Courtesy Car
  • Breakdown Cover
  • Windscreen Cover
  • Road Rage Cover
  • No Claims Bonus and Bonus Protection

Legal Fees

If you have been involved in an accident and you – or the other party – wishes to take the matter to court, then your insurance company will pay for your legal fees should the matter progress to the court hearing stage. These fees will most likely include fees incurred by your legal representation and any expert witnesses that may be called to act on your behalf.

Rental of a Courtesy Car

Many comprehensive policies will provide you with a courtesy car should your own vehicle not be road legal after an accident. Likewise, while you are waiting for your vehicle to be repaired or replaced, a courtesy car can be provided to ensure you stay on the road.

Breakdown Cover

Many companies also offer breakdown cover with a comprehensive policy, this includes the cost of towing your vehicle to the nearest garage and returning you to your home or onto your original destination.

Windscreen Cover

Windscreen cover – as the name suggests – covers the cost of replacing cracked or broken windscreens. If the windscreen is broken and you are unable to drive your vehicle to a garage of the insurance company’s choosing then they will instruct a designated repair team to visit your vehicle at a designated location to repair the damage.

No Claims Bonus

Another element of comprehensive insurance is the ability to accumulate what is known as a no claims bonus. A no claims bonus is awarded after a designated period of time has elapsed without you – as the policyholder – having made a claim against your policy. This no-claims bonus can equate to a substantial reduction in your insurance premiums as time goes by. You can also pay to protect your no claims bonus, but this is not always worthwhile; many insurance companies will ask you whether you have had an accident or made a claim. They will use this information to assess your risk and the subsequent insurance premium - and your no claims bonus protection will have no bearing on this.

As a comprehensive policyholder, you will often have the ability to drive another individual’s vehicle on your own insurance (on a 3rd party cover basis) with their permission. Please note, before driving another vehicle using your comprehensive insurance you should always read the terms and conditions in your insurance policy documentation.

It pays to shop around before entering into a comprehensive policy as there is a wide variation on prices across the many insurance companies around.


Disclaimer: The information in the article is for general purpose information only and should not be constituted as legal advice. This article has been produced by a third party and Jardine Motors does not take any responsibility for the completeness, accuracy, or reliability with respect to the website or the information provided. Article last updated March 2016.