Is Comprehensive Car Insurance Worth Having?

By Oliver Matlock

As most people know, there are three main levels of motor insurance to choose from when insuring your car.

To summarise quickly, the lowest level of cover is Third Party only. This is the legal bare minimum insurance, covering your legal liability to third parties. Next is Third Party Fire and Theft insurance. This not only covers your legal liability, but reimburses you if your car is stolen or damaged by fire. The highest level of cover is Comprehensive, which also covers the cost of repairing your car in the event of an accident.

Comprehensive insurance is generally the most expensive to buy, so the logical conclusion is that it is also the best; however, whilst it undeniably does give the greatest protection in most situations, there are one or two instances where comprehensive car insurance might not be in your best interests.

In the early years of your car’s life, when its value is much higher and the cost of replacing it more than you could afford on your own, buying comprehensive insurance is definitely your best bet. Shop around for the cheapest quotes and use specialist brokers where appropriate to find fully comp cover at the best rates.

However, as your car gets older, it becomes less valuable. Its market value, ie the price you would have to pay to replace it like-for-like in the open market, declines.

One day a tipping point will be reached where the cost of repairing your car if it’s involved in an accident, together with all the associated administration by the insurance company, outweighs its market value.

When this point is reached, your car is considered “beyond economical repair” and it won’t matter whether your car is covered by fully comprehensive cover or not. You’ll be offered the market value for the vehicle at the time, but the insurance company won’t offer to cover the cost of repairs.

So is comprehensive insurance worth having?

Definitely, in most situations; however you should weigh up the cost as your car gets older. It’s also worth noting that as your car gets older, the cost of comprehensive insurance comes down to a point that there may actually be very little difference between that and the cost of Third Party, Fire and Theft insurance. If your fully comp policy gives you a few little extras that TPF&T doesn’t (courtesy car, legal cover, windscreen cover, cover to drive other cars with the owner’s permission etc), you may as well stick with the higher level of cover to be honest.

And whilst your car insurance company may only pay you the write-off value of your car when it reaches a certain age, a Third Party Fire and Theft policy would pay nothing at all.

Insure Your Motor advises its policyholders about the right car insurance for them. For cheap comprehensive car insurance, give them a call on 0844 493 7743

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