What is fully comprehensive car insurance?

Fully comprehensive car insurance policies offer the most complete level of car insurance protection available.
As with other types of policies, a standard fully comprehensive policy covers your third party liability for injuries to other people, including passengers, as well as damage to other people's property.

With fully comprehensive car insurance, however, your own car is also insured against fire, theft and accidental damage, while most policies cover personal effects such as sat nav systems.

What's more, as the policyholder, you will generally be insured (at least third party) to drive another car with the owner's permission.

Is the cover really comprehensive?

Not all fully comprehensive car insurance policies are the same though. Some insurers, for example, include a courtesy car if your vehicle is off the road, or windscreen cover as a standard feature. With others, however, extras such as these come at a price.

Consequently, it is vital to read the policy small print to make sure that you are comparing like for like when you are searching for fully comprehensive car insurance.

Remember too that the cheapest policy is not always the best deal. MoneySupermarket's comparison service can help you choose the best policy for your individual needs.

How does fully comprehensive car insurance compare on price?

It seems logical that third party, or third party fire and theft car insurance will work out cheaper than comprehensive cover due to the fact they offer less protection.

However, research from MoneySupermarket reveals that this is not always the case, with younger drivers in particular often finding it costs less to insure their cars on a fully comprehensive basis.

The main reason for this is that insurers have noticed that motorists with riskier profiles often tend to opt for third party car insurance policies and because they go on to make more claims, it bumps up the cost of this type of cover. Therefore, even if you're trying to keep the cost down, you may find you don't have to cut back on the level of cover to do so.

Here are some top tips on how to obtain cheaper fully comprehensive car insurance quotes:

Pick the right car

Insurers divide cars into 50 car insurance groups according to various factors including their engine size and the likely cost of repairs.
The higher the car insurance group, the higher the premium you will pay.

So if you are thinking about buying a new car, it therefore pays to check which group it belongs to at http://www.thatcham.org/ before taking the plunge.

Pay a higher excess

Most car insurance policies impose a standard compulsory excess, which is the amount you must pay towards any claim.

If you agree to pay a larger excess, however, insurers will generally reward you with a lower premium.

Just make sure that you can afford to pay the excess should you need to make a claim.

Also, check what difference increasing the excess makes. If you decide that if increasing your voluntary excess by £100 only reduces your premium by, say £25, you'd rather pay the higher premium just in case you have to make a claim. After all, often when you have to make a claim it is because of something that was beyond your control.

Enhance your security

Fitting your car with an approved security device, such as an alarm or immobiliser, can help to deter thieves and so reduce the likelihood of a theft claim.

Insurers recognise this are will offer you lower premiums as a result.

Park in secure location

More than 50% of vehicle thefts occur at night. Understandably, insurers therefore reward drivers who keep their cars in locked garages overnight with lower premiums.

Even if you park off road overnight, the cost of your cover should still be lower.

Keep mileage down

Motorists who drive fewer miles are less likely to make claims.

If you rarely drive, or you only go to the local shops, it is therefore worth negotiating a low mileage limit with your insurer to reduce your premiums.

Compare fully comprehensive car insurance quotes online

One in four British motorists automatically stick with their insurers year after year.

But you can save hundreds of pounds a year by shopping around for competitive fully comprehensive car insurance quotes when your insurance is due for renewal.

MoneySupermarket's free car insurance comparison service is a quick and easy way to search the market and save money - whether you are looking for fully comprehensive car insurance or not.

†82% of shoppers obtained a quote in 5 minutes or less. Source eDigitalResearch December 2012.