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Different types of car insurance coverage

There are different types of insurance that provide varying amounts of insurance cover for your car. The type of insurance you choose will not only effect the cover of your vehicle, but will have an impact on the cost of your car insurance. As a learner driver or a newly qualified driver, you must have a valid insurance certificate covering you.

Listed below are the different types of car insurance coverage provided.

Third Party:
This is the most basic insurance coverage available and is the minimum coverage that allows you to drive legally. Any damage incurred to a ‘third party’, (damage caused by you to someone or something else) is covered. Your car is not covered as well as broken windows, damaged engines due to overheating for example and the theft of items inside your vehicle will not be covered by this policy. Third Party will cover passengers inside your car against injury and may also cover emergency medical costs. Paying a little more, you can get Third Party Fire and Theft. All other policies retain this Third Party component as their basis. As this is the most basic form of car insurance, it is often the cheapest and is most common in young and new drivers who own an inexpensive car.


Third Party Fire and Theft:
Third Party Fire and Theft (TPFT) is the basic insurance package favoured by younger learner drivers on their first or second provisional licence, and people who prefer not to pay for fully comprehensive insurance. The fire and theft aspect covers you against damage to, or loss of your vehicle due to it being stolen or set on fire. Third Party means that your passengers are covered and any people, property or cars that you might hit are also covered. Your car is NOT covered. Either are YOU. TPFT is the cheapest way of building up your No Claims Bonus before changing over to the significantly more expensive ‘fully comprehensive’.

Certain other features may be available although these will be assigned by the provider and may vary. As with all insurance policies, a read of the small print is always a good idea so as to be aware of exactly what you are covered for and what the policy does not cover.

Fully Comprehensive Insurance:
Every insurance company offers this form of insurance coverage for your car with only slight differences between them. Comprehensive cover gives you full risks cover for your car. In simple terms, it means that you can claim for any damage caused to your vehicle by any means. Although certain exclusions can be found in the small print.
This is the highest in insurance, adding you and your car to the Third Party Fire and Theft package. Thus Fully Comprehensive Insurance or "full comp" is also more expensive. Having a full driving licence and having it for more than two years helps keep premiums down. This is the most common car insurance policy due to by law, any car worth over £5000 must be insured by Fully Comprehensive Insurance.

As well as including TPFT, Fully Comprehensive insurance may include cover against injuries to passengers and other people, damage to others property, damage to your own car if accidental. Also provided by this cover could be breakdown cover, legal fees, medical fees to a limit, windscreen damage repair and malicious damage to your vehicle. Certain policies may also cover the cost of driving another car.

Short Term Cover Insurance:
This type of policy is designed to cover you for a short, pre-determined time period only. This type of insurance is ideal if you are borrowing a car, renting a car or if you . As the period of cover is short, the price is often low.

Pay as you drive cover:
This type of insurance is relatively new and is ideally suited to those that travel few miles in their car. Pay As Drive insurance is usually charged per mile travelled and is calculated using a GPS system. Charges incurred can vary depending on the time of day and which roads are travelled. For instance, travelling on a major road during rush hour will cost more than travelling on a quiet road in the middle of the night.

Female insurance cover:
As female drivers tend to drive more safely than males, statistically they are less likely to have an accident. Certain insurance companies offer coverage for woman that may work out cheaper than other general insurance providers.

Why is Insurance for newly qualified drivers so high?
Insurance companies know that new drivers are a bigger insurance risk than any other motoring group and here are the facts to prove it:-

  • As a new or young driver, you are more likely to have an accident in the first year after passing your test than at any other time in your motoring career.
  • Per mile of driving, the risk of an accident involving injury or death is about seven times greater for 17-20 years old than for those aged 40 or over.
  • Drivers under 21 are involved in 15% of all accident deaths.
  • New drivers make up just 10% of licence holders, but are involved in 29% of accidents.

Because of these factors insurance premiums are very high for the new driver. However there are ways to cut your insurance premium. For more information on keeping your costs down, see our page on how to keep car insurance low and Car insurance tips for young drivers.

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