Choosing the right car insurance company and getting the right cover in place should be your main priorities over the cost of your policy.

Once you have found a trusted car insurance company with a good track record and good customer feedback, then you can carefully check out their policies to find the right one to suit your needs.

Only then should you take that policy and compare it with other providers offering the same level of cover to see how it compares on price.

Which level of cover do you need?

With car insurance, you have three basic levels of cover to choose from in the UK. These are:

  • Fully Comprehensive
  • Third-party cover only
  • Third-party, fire and theft

Here is how each level of cover works:

Fully Comprehensive Insurance

Taking out a fully comprehensive car insurance policy will give you the best protection.

Many people think that taking a fully comprehensive policy will be expensive, but in fact, it can work out to be a lot cheaper than going for other levels of cover.

This is a bit of a quirk you can take advantage of and has arisen because a lot of car insurance companies believe that drivers with higher risk will choose lower levels of insurance to save them money.

A fully comprehensive policy covers you against:

  • Damage to any third party: If you drive into another driver’s car the damage to their vehicle will be covered.
  • Damage to your car: The cost of repairs to your car in an accident that was your fault.
  • Loss or damage caused by fire and theft: If your car is stolen or gets damaged during a break-in, is damaged by accidental fire or an intentional arson attack.
  • Accidental damage: For example, if a tree falls on your car or a wall or building falls down and damages your car.

Third-party only cover

Classed as the most basic level of cover available, third party only covers the costs of damage done to other people’s property – but not your own!

If you were to drive into someone, this level of insurance will cover their repair bills and compensate for any car passengers that receive injuries while travelling in your car.

You will be responsible for paying for any damages sustained to your car during an accident when the accident is your fault.

Third-party fire and theft cover

You may find a few car insurance companies will offer third party fire and theft cover for a very competitive price, especially when compared to fully comprehensive cover.

However, you must realise that this cover will not fully protect you and may not be as good as going fully comprehensive for the extra cover that it provides.

What does third party, fire and theft cover?

This cover protects you from:

  • Damage or injury you cause to another car, driver, passengers or property
  • Loss or damage caused by the theft of your vehicle
  • Damage caused by fire

If you are involved in a car accident you would have to pay to repair your own car yourself. Your insurance would only cover the damage you do to a third party.

However, this cover is better than third party only cover because you would be able to claim if your vehicle is stolen or is damaged by fire or arson.

How to find the best car accident insurance policy

Finding the best car insurance policy for your needs will be a combination of finding one that offers the best protection at the cheapest price possible.

By far the quickest and easiest way to find a well-trusted car insurance company offering a good policy to suit your requirements will be through searching a comparison website.

There are a few price comparison websites that you can use such as:

While using price comparison sites such as those listed above can be the best way to find a great deal, some people may find doing their own research this way a little overwhelming for some.

The alternative way to get yourself a good deal is to approach one of the more familiar and widely trusted car insurance companies directly.

The most popular car insurance companies

Here are some of the UK’s most popular car insurance companies according to Auto Express. Their 2018 Driver Power survey gave the following results for the companies that best looked after their customers when making a claim:

1. NFU Mutual

2. Police Mutual

3. Liverpool Victoria

4. Privilege

5. Axa

Extra cover you may want to consider

Your car insurance policy will clearly state what is covered but you may be given the option to add extra cover to your policy when you buy your policy.

You need to think carefully before adding on any extra cover as this may affect the final cost of your policy.

Added extra cover may include the following items and more:

  • Breakdown cover
  • Cover for driving abroad
  • Cover for lost or stolen keys
  • Legal cover
  • No claims protection

Make sure you check the fine detail of your policy because some of these extras may already be included. You need to work out whether it would be worth adding these to your policy.


Remember that you cannot legally drive a vehicle on the road without having car insurance in place.

It will save you a lot of time and money to find the right policy to suit your needs. However, simply choosing the cheapest quote possible may not give you the exact cover that you need.

Go fully comprehensive whenever possible to get the best coverage available from your insurance policy. It may work out much cheaper to go comprehensive rather than third party alone or third party, fire and theft.

You will usually be able to get your insurance cheaper if you can afford to pay for the policy upfront in one payment. Most insurance companies will charge extra for paying via monthly instalments – sometimes it can cost you up to 30% more when paying by instalments.

About the author

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson is a financial services expert, with over 10 years’ experience in the industry, including 6 years in FCA regulated companies. Read more
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