What is fully comprehensive car insurance?
Fully comprehensive car insurance is the highest level of cover you can take out for your car. It provides coverage for you and your vehicle as well as other people – this is more than is provided by third party, fire, and theft and third party policies.
What does fully comprehensive car insurance cover?
Most fully comprehensive car insurance policies should include cover for:
- Damage caused by fire
- Theft and vandalism
- Accidental damage caused by negligence, for example spilling something
- Any personal injuries that happen as a result of an incident involving your vehicle where you are at fault
- Windscreen repair
- Courtesy cars while yours is being repaired
Insurers don’t always offer the exact same amount of cover, and sometimes your insurer might ask you to pay a higher premium for any additional protection, so you should always check the policy documents to make sure you know what is covered.
What isn’t covered by fully comprehensive car insurance?
While fully comprehensive car insurance may be the most complete level of cover available, there are still some things that aren’t likely to be included, such as:
- Under the influence: if you’re driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, this will almost certainly invalidate your claim.
- No valid licence: if you or another person driving your car doesn’t have a valid licence then your insurer is unlikely to pay out.
- Violation of guidelines: insurers will sometimes set out a list of guidelines you should follow, and violating these can mean they won’t accept a claim.
- Wear and tear: if your vehicle is damaged as a result of general wear and tear you may not be covered for this.
- Wrong fuel: if you or someone tops your vehicle up with the wrong type of fuel this might not be covered for the cost of repairs.
- Improper security: if your car or any belongings inside are stolen and your doors or windows were open or unlocked, you may not be able to claim for this.
You should always read policy documents and check the details thoroughly before taking insurance out, so you know exactly what you’re covered for.
How much does fully comprehensive car insurance cost?
The average cost of fully comprehensive car insurance for a year is £514, according to MoneySuperMarket car insurance quotes from January – July 2018.
Insurers will always take your car, driving history, age and details into account when quoting the cost of car insurance, so the actual amount you pay for fully comprehensive car insurance might be different.
Data collected by MoneySuperMarket data accurate as of July 2018
How does fully comprehensive car insurance compare to other policy types?
Even though fully comprehensive insurance offers more cover than third party – TP – and third party, fire and theft – TPFT – the average cost of fully comprehensive car insurance can work out to be cheaper. This is because people who take out TP or TPFT insurance are often statistically at a higher risk of claiming, so insurers have increased the premium price of these policies in recent years.
Some drivers might find third party and third party, fire and theft insurance quotes though that are cheaper based on their driving history, their car, age and details. You should always check what’s included in each policy - as well as the price - to make sure you’re getting the right level of cover for you.
Data collected by MoneySuperMarket, accurate as of July 2018
Reducing the cost of comprehensive car insurance
There are ways to help lower the cost of comprehensive car insurance, such as avoiding claims for things you can repair or pay for yourself – which helps to build your no claims discount.
Car insurance also tends to be cheaper if you belong to certain groups, such as female drivers aged over 40 or male drivers over 50. Find out more with our guide to lowering your car insurance costs.
Data collected by MoneySuperMarket, correct as of February 2018
When you make a claim on your comprehensive car insurance, you’ll have to pay an excess – this is the initial contribution you make towards the cost of the claim before the insurer pays out for the rest.
There is normally a compulsory excess - set by the insurer - and a voluntary excess, which is set by you. The more you agree to pay, the lower your premiums could be - just don’t set it too high or you might struggle to cover the costs.
The existence of the excess may also make you consider whether you want to actually make a claim, as in some cases paying for the repairs yourself could be cheaper. And even if it is marginally more expensive, it could still help you keep a no claims discount intact.
Learn more about the process with our guide to making a claim on car insurance.
Comparing fully comprehensive car insurance
It’s always a good idea to shop around, and comparing car insurance quotes on MoneySuperMarket is the best way to browse deals from multiple providers with all the key information. All you need to do is enter a few details about your car and driving history, and you’ll be able to see fully comprehensive car insurance deals tailored specifically for you and your vehicle.
Fully comprehensive quotes will include any voluntary and compulsory excess fees you’d need to pay to claim, extra coverage you can add to your policy, and the annual or monthly price you’ll pay for coverage. You can also compare fully comprehensive car insurance quotes against third party only and third party, fire and theft quotes to help you find the right car insurance policy for you. Once you’ve found the best quote available you can click on the deal and it’ll take you to the provider’s website.