Types of car insurance cover

There are three types of insurance cover available, ranging from the minimum standard of third party, to the deluxe package, known as comprehensive.

In the middle there’s third party, fire & theft; this is often the minimum offered by many companies, because most claims are for accidental damage rather than fire or theft, so an insurer may as well lump those in with the collision cover.

Fully comprehensive 

  • Covers almost every eventuality, as it pays out whether you're at fault or somebody else.
  • Tends to be the most expensive cover, but not always as those who take out third-party cover only are more likely to be involved in a claim.
  • Sometimes insures the policy holder to drive any car (on a third party-only basis). But that other car must be insured on a policy of its own, and there may be restrictions on that other car's value and/or insurance group.

Third party, fire and theft

  • Covers only third-party costs after an accident, so if you're involved in an at-fault claim (ie it's your fault), your own costs aren't paid.
  • Covers theft of your own car, plus loss or damage to a third-party's vehicle if you're to blame for their losses.
  • Covers fire damage to your own car, however it's caused.
  • Doesn’t cover repairs to your car if the accident is your fault.

Third party 

  • The most basic form of insurance.
  • The legal minimum requirement in the UK.
  • Covers third party repairs only.
  • Doesn’t cover repairs to your car if the accident is your fault.
  • You're also not covered in the event of your car being stolen or catching fire.

It would be easy to assume that the best level of cover (fully comprehensive) is also the most expensive. But according to MoneySupermarket this isn't necessarily the case...