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Comparing different types of car insurance

So it’s time to get some car insurance. But what kind of cover will you choose?


comparethemarket.com can help you compare car insurance across the three main kinds of cover, ‘fully comprehensive’, ‘third party, fire and theft’ and ‘third party only’.


A lot of people choose fully comprehensive car insurance, because it means they’re covered in most of the situations where insurance is needed. This sort of policy covers damage to other people’s property, but also damage to your own car whether through an accident, theft or a fire.


But if the car insurance quotes you are getting for a fully comprehensive policy seem a bit too expensive, you could look at third party fire and theft or third party only to see if they are cheaper. 


Third party car insurance

But first things first, what is third party car insurance? Third party cover is the UK’s legal minimum level of insurance. It means you're covered if you have an accident that causes damage to another car or property, or injures a person or animal. It covers you for any legal costs linked to the third party too. But it doesn't cover any other costs, including repairs to your own vehicle.


Third party, fire and theft offers a little more cover, as you will get a payout if your car is damaged because of a fire or it is stolen.


An important thing to be aware of with both of these kinds of insurance is that if you were to be injured in an accident that was seen to be your fault – or your car was badly damaged in the crash – you get nothing. This could cause you problems, particularly if the injury means you’re unable to work.


People usually choose third party policies if they are finding comprehensive policies are too expensive, and especially if their car is of a fairly low value. If it will only cost a few hundred pounds to replace your car, and the cost of a comprehensive policy is about the same, it might make sense to choose third party cover.


Getting a quote


To get a real idea of your options, use a price comparison site. We can think of a good one… To compare car insurance quotes, just fill in your details on our quote page and we will then ask you if you are looking for comprehensive, third party fire theft or third party only. Have a look at prices for fully comp cover, and then go back and select third party car insurance. See how much of a difference this makes, and it will help you make the decision.


Don’t just choose the cheapest policy without looking at it properly though, it’s really important that you choose a policy that’s right for you. Remember that just choosing the cheapest car insurance price without looking at the details could mean that you don’t buy the insurance policy you actually need. You might get more options and better cover for a couple of extra pounds.


If the prices are still looking higher than you had hoped, you could change the excess on your policy. It’s a bit of a balancing act – you can pay less for your policy now by promising to pay more if you actually make a claim. But remember that if you have an accident or your car is damaged, you might not take too kindly to that high excess amount.


The best way of getting a view of the kinds of policy available and what they cost is to use comparethemarket.com to compare quotes. Just click ‘Start a new quote’ and enter your details, it only takes a few minutes. We’ll then get you a long list of quotes, and list them in price order with the cheapest at the top of the page.


Saving a little more


Other ways you can potentially find cheap car insurance quotes is to reduce the mileage you do in your car each year. If you drive a lot – say more than 10,000 miles per year, your policy could be more expensive. Driving less than 5,000 miles a year might bring the cost down. You could also buy an approved steering wheel lock or car alarm, which could deter potential car thieves and reduce your premium a little.


Something that a lot of young people and students choose is black box insurance (sometimes called telematics). With this kind of policy, you agree for an insurer to put a special kind of tracker in your car that measures your speed, how often you drive and sometimes what times of day you drive. If you drive safely,you might be rewarded with lower insurance premiums.


A final thing to note is that although paying for insurance on a monthly basis is convenient and slices the payment into smaller amounts, you end up paying more overall than if you pay for the policy up front. The quote page shows you the total of these costs to help you decide what to do.


Hopefully now you will know what we mean by third party car insurance and are ready to check out some prices. Let comparethemarket.com do the comparing for you.

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If you’re a mature driver, we may be able to help you find a better car insurance deal. Search on comparethemarket.com and we’ll point you in the direction of quotes tailored for people over 50 years of age – and there’s no junk mail and no sneaky charges.

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