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What is comprehensive car insurance?

Read our simple guide to the basics about comprehensive insurance cover

One car crashed into the back of another and both drivers are looking at the damage

Comprehensive car insurance provides the most complete insurance cover you can get for you and your car. So, if you have an accident, you and your car are insured even if the accident was your fault.

What is comprehensive car insurance?

In a nutshell, comprehensive cover pays out if you injure yourself or another person or damage your car or another car in an accident, regardless of who is at fault.

Comprehensive car insurance also covers you against fire and theft and will sometimes cover your passengers too.

Also known as 'fully comp', it's different to third party insurance, which only covers the damage you do to other vehicles and people.

Third party, fire and theft insurance covers you for damage to other vehicles and people, plus it covers your own vehicle if it gets damaged in a fire or gets stolen. But it won't cover the damage you do to yourself or your own vehicle.

So, many drivers take out comprehensive cover to make sure they and their vehicle are fully insured.

What type of cover is included in comprehensive insurance?

Generally speaking you can expect most comprehensive car insurance policies to include:

  • Accidental damage to your car or another's car
  • Personal injury to you or other people involved in an accident
  • Cover for personal belongings that are damaged or stolen
  • Repairs to your windscreen

LV= also offer a range of other benefits with their comprehensive cover, so:

  • You won't lose your no claim discount or have to pay an excess if you're hit by an uninsured driver
  • If your car is damaged in an accident, we'll replace your child car seats
  • If you put the wrong fuel in your tank, we'll cover the cost of cleaning it up
  • You'll get new for old car replacement if yours is written off and it's less than 12 months old

How does comprehensive insurance work?

When you approach an insurance company about taking out comprehensive cover, you'll be asked a series of questions about yourself, your car and any other drivers that you want to add to the insurance. The insurer will use this information to provide you with a price for your insurance for the year.

Insurance companies like to reward careful drivers, so if you don't claim on your insurance from one year to the next, you can build up a no claim discount. This discount is applied to the usual price of your insurance and can reduce the overall cost.

You can usually add someone, like your partner, to your comprehensive car insurance, so they can drive the car and be fully covered as well. However, don't be tempted to put yourself down as the main driver of a car if you won't actually be the main driver.

For example, if your teenage son has just passed his test and wants to insure his first car, he must be listed as the main driver. If you claim that you are the main driver, but you rarely drive the car, this is known as fronting and is not allowed.

Is comprehensive car insurance expensive?

Insurance companies take many factors into account when they work out the price of your car insurance.

So this means the cost can vary from one person to another depending on their age, driving ability, the type of car they drive, where they live etc.

You can keep the cost of your car insurance down by doing some simple things like:

  • Reducing your mileage
  • Increasing your voluntary excess
  • Improving your car's security
  • Installing a black box to monitor your driving
  • Buying a car with a lower insurance group

You may think that as third party insurance provides less cover that it may be cheaper than comprehensive insurance, but this isn't always the case. Drivers who take out third party insurance are often greater risk takers, so that's reflected in the price of the cover.

See how comprehensive car insurance from LV= compares to other well-known insurance companies.

Buying LV= car insurance is quick and easy