Car insurance falls into three main levels of cover and, as with so many things in life, the more you pay the more you get.
Car insurance can be split into three main categories:
- Third Party
- Third Party, Fire and Theft
- Fully Comprehensive
What does Third Party car insurance cover?
The basic level is Third Party only. As explained on the Why you need car insurance page, this is the minimum the law requires. If you have an accident, Admiral will pay out to the Third Party - the person whose property is damaged or who is injured as a result of the accident. But Third Party insurance won't compensate you for damage to your car.
Although Third Party is the basic level, at Admiral it still comes with a lot of very useful benefits - take a look at The benefits of insuring with Admiral.
What does Third Party, Fire and Theft car insurance cover?
The next step up is Third Party, Fire and Theft. With this level we'd still pay out to a Third Party, but also cover you if your car is damaged by fire or theft. However, Third Party, Fire and Theft insurance won't pay for any other damage - for example, if you hit a wall, the wall would be covered as long as the policy holder is not the owner, but any damage to your car would not be covered.
What does Fully Comprehensive car insurance cover?
That's why you may wish to consider the next level up: Comprehensive car insurance (or as some insurers call it, Fully Comprehensive). As well as the cover provided by Third Party, Fire & Theft, it also pays out to repair or replace your car if it's damaged in an accident or malicious damage.
Whether we repair or replace depends on the severity of the damage and the value of your car. Depending on the amount of damage, our assessor may decide the cost of repairing it is greater than the value of the car - in which case the car is 'written off' and we pay you the car's market value instead.
Comprehensive insurance undoubtedly offers the greatest peace of mind and also comes with the most benefits. If you compare it with having to pay for damage repair yourself, Comprehensive may make a lot of sense. And if you're buying a car on hire purchase or leasing it, you'll probably find the finance company insists that it's comprehensively insured, to protect their investment.