What Does Comprehensive Car Insurance Cover?

Caeva O'Callaghan | November 11th, 2020

What does comprehensive car insurance cover?

Do I really Need Comprehensive Car Insurance or are they alternatives?

Comprehensive, TPO and third party, fire and theft are all different types of car insurance. Comprehensive sounds like the best one – but is it right for you?

Comprehensive car insurance covers third party liability, fire and theft, as well as damage to your car. It does not matter whether the accident is your fault or not.

Comprehensive cover, like the name suggests, covers almost everything that can happen in a car accident. It means that as long as your claim is successful, you will not be paying anything out of pocket.

In this article, we’ll answer questions such as:

  • Do I need comprehensive car insurance?
  • What does third party, fire and theft mean?
  • Will comprehensive car insurance pay for damage to my car?

Whether or not you need comprehensive car insurance depends on the value of your car and your risk tolerance.

Types of car insurance cover

Third Party Only (TPO) cover is the minimum insurance Irish law requires you have to be able to drive in Ireland.

Third party car insurance covers damage to others as a result of an accident that is your fault. This kind of cover does not apply to damage to the vehicle you were driving. Nor does it cover damage or loss if your car is broken into or stolen.

For example, imagine you are reversing out of a parking space with several vehicles around you and misjudge the distance between your car and the one behind. You back into it, smashing its headlights and denting its bumpe. Meanwhile, the car you’re driving also has a dent on the rear.

With TPO coverage, the insurance company will cover the damage done to the other car. However, it will not cover your own car, so you’ll have to pay out of pocket.

Third party, fire and theft covers third party liability, as above, but also includes fire and theft. This means that if your car is broken into, a successful claim will include the cost of damages and losses. And, if there’s a fire, you will be able to replace or repair your car with no additional cost except the excess. This cover applies to your vehicle as well as what is inside.

What comprehensive cover means

Third party, fire and theft cover will not apply to your vehicle if it is in an accident. That’s where comprehensive cover comes in. No matter if the accident is your fault or not, comprehensive cover will cover you for the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle. This is as well as covering all damages to the other party.

So, is it a good idea to have comprehensive car insurance? Yes, in most cases. However, depending on your daily driving habits and the value of your vehicle, maybe not. For instance, if your car is worth only €2,500 and you would only feel slight inconvenience if you lost it, it is probably not worth paying the additional premium (if any) for comprehensive cover.

On the other hand, if you have just bought a brand new, top-of-the-line Mercedes, it is likely you will want to insure it comprehensively. This would mean that if you got into a smash, your car would have protection no matter what.

Differences in price

It’s always worth getting a quote for comprehensive car insurance, even if you think you won’t need it. No one ever regrets getting a rough estimate. It doesn’t cost anything to find out, and you might get a pleasant surprise.

Often, there is very little difference in the price between comprehensive cover and third party fire and theft. In some rare instances, it can be even cheaper. It’s always worth checking special offers and getting a broker with experience to shop around for you.

No matter what your car insurance needs are, we’re here to help. Call us up today if you have any more questions about comprehensive car insurance, or if you want to compare quotes.