In the UK car insurance is a legal requirement for any vehicle which is kept on the street, on a driveway or in a garage. The only time that this is not required is if the vehicle has been declared SORN (Statutory Off Road Notice).

There are three types of cover available: third-party, third party, fire and theft, and comprehensive.

Third-party only policies

Motor insurance is a legal requirement as it protects other road users from any damage you may cause. The most basic type of motor policy is third-party only cover, and it provides a very minimal protection, against damage you are responsible for, to other people, their vehicles and their property.

In the event of a claim that is your fault, your third-party policy will pay for the cost of repairing any other vehicles, and also for medical treatment costs or legal claims against you.
It does not insure or cover you for repairs needed to your own vehicle or own medical expenses. You will not be covered if your vehicle is stolen or damaged by fire.

You should also consider that if you are involved in a claim where the fault can not be decided, you will also be unable to claim.

Third-party, fire and theft policies

As well as covering the requirements of third party only cover, this will insure you against your car being stolen or fire damaged.

Comprehensive car insurance

The difference with comprehensive cover is that this type of policy will cover you for damage caused to your own vehicle, as well as to other road users, even if an accident is your fault or if blame can’t be attributed. It also covers your vehicle against fire and theft.

There are a number of options available that you can add to your policy; from breakdown insurance to provision of a courtesy car whilst your vehicle is repaired. Check your cover carefully to ensure that these benefits are not duplicated with cover by another type of policy.