You can get peace of mind by knowing that your car insurance policy is protecting your family on the road. But there’s no perfect policy – every family’s needs are different. By understanding the different types of cover available, you will be better placed to make the right choice for your family.
Types of cover
These are the three most widely available types of insurance. It is a legal requirement to have at least the lowest level of cover: third party.
- Third party car insurance compensates anyone you might injure (including your own passengers), or whose property you damage. However, it doesn’t cover your car against accidental damage, fire or theft.
- Third party, fire and theft offers all the cover of third party, but also compensates for the loss of or damage to your car by fire or theft.
- Comprehensive gives all the protection of third party fire and theft, and also protects your car against accidental damage. Some comprehensive policies offer limited cover for personal belongings left in your car, medical expenses and personal accident benefits.
When it comes to choosing a policy, think carefully about what you will need. Even if you’re thinking of a third party policy, it’s worth checking to see how the price compares with different types of cover. Take note of any added benefits that might come with various options.
Comprehensive policies often include extras that add value to your deal, or you might be able to purchase them in addition to your cover. Here are a few extra benefits that are worth looking out for.
- Breakdown cover – This is included in some packages, or it can be purchased separately. It’s worth considering this kind of cover for peace of mind in case of emergencies.
- Courtesy car – Some insurance offers the use of a courtesy car after an accident while your car is being repaired. There might be some conditions on its use, such as having to use approved repairers only, so check the details.
- Replacement of child car seats – If you have young children, it’s worth checking whether your insurance provider will replace child car seats after an accident. It’s advisable to replace any child car seat that has been in an accident, even if there are no external signs of damage, as an accident can weaken it and prevent it from functioning properly in the future.
- Cover for driver or passenger’s death or injury – Some comprehensive policies offer a limited amount of cover for your own death or injury, or that of other members of the family.
- Legal expenses cover – This provides access to legal advice, and cover for the legal costs of pursuing an action arising from a collision. It can compensate you from financial losses such as the policy excess.
When choosing car insurance for your family, the cheapest policy might not necessarily be the most effective. Always make sure that your policy gives you all the cover you need.
Gargi Shastri writes for the Sainsbury’s Money Matters blog on a range of topics including car insurance, car safety and other motoring topics. When she’s not writing, she enjoys yoga and cooking Indian food.