Which car insurance provider offers the most comprehensive cover?

Last updated: 6 August 2019   By Justin Schamotta

Car insurance is a tricky matter. Finding the right balance of value and cover is like walking a tightrope, and the variety can be baffling. So, what does a driver need from an insurance policy - and which providers are offering it?

Drivers pay a lot for their car insurance in the UK. So, it can be a nasty surprise when, after an accident, it turns out they have to pay for stuff they assumed was covered.

Avoiding these shocks is a case of pinpointing what's required from car insurance and making sure the policy being considered includes it. Policies can be confusing, so knowing what to look for is a big help. That's why we've put together this simple guide.

car insurance cover
Credit: IgorAleks/Shutterstock.com

Types of car insurance

There are three main types of car insurance:

  1. Third-party only
  2. Third-party fire and theft
  3. Fully Comprehensive


This is the minimum legal cover needed to drive in the UK.

If there's an accident that is the covered driver's fault, third-party insurance covers damage caused to other people's vehicles or property, as well as costs and compensations for any related injuries to those people.

In theory, this would also be the cheapest type of insurance - but the market has now corrected to account for the fact that younger (and therefore risky) drivers opt for third-party. So, it's now the most expensive type of insurance on average.

Third-party fire and theft

As above, but the policy holder is also covered if their vehicle is stolen or damaged by fire.

Fully Comprehensive

As the name suggests, this is the most complete type of vehicle insurance. It covers everything that third-party insurance covers, as well as damage to your own vehicle and property.

Exactly what is covered, and how much can be paid out, will vary from policy to policy. So, we've had a closer look at some of the main providers.

What does a good car insurance policy cover?

The essentials

All comprehensive motor insurance policies should cover:

  • Damage to others' vehicles
  • Injuries to others
  • Damage to policy holder's vehicle
    • Theft
    • Fire damage
    • Damage caused in an accident
  • Courtesy car (something to drive while the damaged car is being fixed)
  • Medical expenses for the driver (although the amount will vary)

As well as these basics, there are common additions to comprehensive policies. Some of them are included as standard, and some will cost extra as "add-ons" to a policy.

Finding a provider that offers as much coverage as possible for a reasonable price is a challenge, but it's worth it.

Vehicle cover

The bulk of motor insurance policies are concerned with damage to the car itself.

Car rescue

If a driver is in an accident serious enough to make their vehicle undrivable, a good insurance policy should cover the cost of moving the car from the accident scene to a repair company.

Drivers should check whether their policy covers moving the car to a repairer of their choice, or only to an approved repairer.

Accident transport and hotels

A few policies may include drivers' and passengers' travel and accommodation expenses after an accident.


All comprehensive policies will include repairs for damaged vehicles, but still make some checks.

  • Does the policy stipulate that the driver must use a specific "approved" repairer?
    • If not, it will probably have conditions stating that repairs undertaken by an approved repairer will come with extra benefits like payment straight to the company
  • If so, will the insurer guarantee those repairs for a certain amount of time (12 months is common)?


Most policies will cover damage to windscreens but check whether the insurance will also pay for damaged windows and sunroofs.

New car replacement

If a policy holder's car is less than 12 months old and the cost of repairing it is over a certain percentage (usually 60%) of the retail price, or if it is stolen, some policies will replace the vehicle with a brand new one of the same spec.

Personal belongings cover

Most insurers will cover the theft of personal belongings from a car. There are often exceptions to this - for instance, most policies won't cover documents or cash taken from a car.


Some providers will also cover the theft of audio equipment. Check if the policy covers extra stereo fittings, or only those fitted by the manufacturer as standard. You might also want to check for sat nav cover.

Child seats

Drivers with kids may want to choose a policy that includes cover for child seats. They can be expensive, so lots of providers cap the claim limit around £300.

Look for the phrase "even if no apparent damage", as child seats should always be replaced after an accident.

Injuries/medical expenses

Most policies will include some level of medical expense for each person injured in the car being driven by the policy holder.

Some providers also offer personal injury benefit for serious cases such as the loss of a limb, loss of sight or death.

A few policies will cover injury from events like road rage assault or aggravated car theft.

No Claims Discount protection

No claims discounts (NDCs) can be a huge factor in the price of car insurance.
Some policies will protect an NDC by allowing a certain number of claims (two is common) before the discount is lost. A few policies include this as standard, but most will charge extra for the protection.

Driving abroad

Most comprehensive policies will include cover for driving in the European Economic Area (EEA), as well as a few other countries like Switzerland, Serbia and Andorra.

This cover will only last for a fixed period - usually somewhere from 30-90 days.

Drivers will need to get a Green Card from their insurance provider before they go abroad. They're usually free but will need to be requested in advance. Most brokers have a form on their website.

Few policies include driving elsewhere in their standard insurance.

What about Brexit?

As with all things insurance, Brexit has thrown a bit of a spanner in the works. In the event of a 'no deal' Brexit, Brits who want to drive in Europe might need to take further action for their car insurance.

What that will entail, exactly, is unknown. We'll keep our readers posted.

Which provider offers the best cover?

All the top insurance providers offer:

  • Courtesy cars
  • Vehicle recovery
  • Onward transport/accommodation
  • New car replacement


Insurance provider Personal belongings cover (up to) Extra stereo cover? Extra child seat cover? Medical expenses cover (up to)
AA £500 for AA members, otherwise £250 Yes Yes £100 per injured person
Admiral £150 Yes Yes £100 per injured person
Aviva £150 No Yes Not specified
Churchill £250 No Yes Not specified
Direct Line £250 No Yes Not specified
Hastings Direct £300 Yes Yes £500 per injured person
Liverpool Victoria £300 Yes Yes £250 per injured person


Combing through insurance policies is very dull. We know. However, it's necessary for drivers who want to avoid nasty surprises in the case of an accident or vehicle theft.

Finding the right balance of value and cover is a challenge, but there is usually a policy to be found that works for each driver.

Don't forget that calling up an insurance provider and negotiating terms can sometimes secure a better deal! It might be encouraging to know that insurers are being pushed to reward loyal customers, too, so it's worth keeping an eye out for offers even if switching isn't on the horizon.


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