What Is Comprehensive Car Insurance?

Not sure if Third-Party or Fully Comp is right for you? Find out more about Comprehensive Car Insurance.
Comprehensive Car Insurance
Tommy Power

Tommy Power

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Car insurance can be expensive, particularly if you are a new driver who has yet to establish a no claims bonus, but going for a low level of cover, such as third-party car insurance, or third-party, fire and theft (TPFT), could be false economy.

If you are looking to buy car insurance in Ireland, a comprehensive policy will give you a greater level of protection and peace of mind when you head out onto the open roads, but is it right for you? In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about comprehensive car insurance so that you can make a more informed decision when comparing quotes.

Car Insurance Requirements in Ireland

To legally drive a car in Ireland, you must have car insurance in place, and the minimum requirement is third party cover. While you are not legally obliged to insure your own car against fire, theft and damage, having the minimal level of cover could end up costing your more in the long run, and if you have invested a great deal of money in the car of your dreams, it makes sense to protect it with a fully comp car insurance plan.

Comprehensive Car Insurance: What Does It Mean?

Insurance terminology can be difficult to understand, and if you have been comparing car insurance quotes from several different providers, you may find it all a bit confusing. In short, comprehensive car insurance, also referred to as ‘fully comp insurance’ is the highest level of cover you can get for your vehicle. It allows you to claim for damage to your car, no matter who is deemed at fault, and it also covers you against theft and fire.

With third-party only and third-party, fire and theft insurance policies, you simply do not get this level of protection. These policies are designed to protect your liability to the ‘third party’ i.e. the person driving the other vehicle, and not your car, and so if your car is damaged in an accident caused by you, you will be left to foot the bill.

Buying Comprehensive Car Insurance: Is It More Expensive?

With all these extra benefits, comprehensive car insurance must be more expensive than other policy types, right? Well, not necessarily. Due to an increased demand for low-level third-party cover and TPFT polices in Ireland, which were once considerably cheaper than fully comp cover, the market has evened out, and in some cases, comprehensive car insurance plans can actually work out cheaper than those with less cover.

This is why it is essential that you shop around for car insurance and compare quotes from various insurers, before signing on the dotted line. Even if a fully comp plan works out slightly more expensive than third-party cover, it could be worth paying that little bit extra for peace of mind. Thousands of collisions take place on Ireland’s roads each year, and even the most minor of scrapes could lead to hundreds of Euros in damage.

Comprehensive Car Insurance: Policy Extras

In addition to protecting you and your car in the event of an accident, comprehensive car insurance often comes with policy extras and privileges such as a courtesy car while your vehicle is being repaired, breakdown assistance if you get stranded roadside, medical expenses, and even a replacement car if yours is beyond repair, but these benefits vary between insurers.

When shopping for car insurance, you should not automatically assume that your comprehensive car insurance policy is fully comprehensive – read the small print and don’t be afraid to ask your car insurance broker for advice.

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