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Guide to Motor Insurance

What are the different policy types of UK motor insurance?

Regardless of the type of motor vehicle you have there are just four basic types of motor insurance policies available in the UK, these are outlined in the table below for you as a quick reference guide:

Insurance policy type What it covers
Act Only An absolute minimum policy to be legal, only covers third party liability on any public road. Very limited cover which doesn't cover damage to property, only really suitable for people unable to obtain other forms of cover, maybe because of a poor driving record.
Third party insurance Covers the insured person when they are driving on private and public property and roads. In addition to third party claims, it provides cover damage to property and legal liabilities such as passenger indemnity. For example if your passenger opens your car door and knocks over a cyclist, you are covered. You're also covered for legal costs.
Third party fire and theft The same as third party insurance, but with additional cover for damage or loss caused by an attempted or actual theft, or a fire. A cheaper alternative to comprehensive cover when you have an older vehicle, which doesn't need to be covered for every possible risk.
Comprehensive This is the widest cover you can get, it provides the same cover as the three types above but with the addition of accidental damage cover, which means you can get your vehicle repaired if it gets any kind of damage, not just damage due to theft or fire.
Even if you have a Comprehensive policy
not  ALL risks are
covered by it, despite
it's name!

Therefore on top of these basic policy types motor insurance there are several optional extras you can add on to your policy for an additional charge, depending on type of vehicle and your specific needs.

The most common types of optional extras available are outlined in the table below:

Extra cover type Description
Personal Accident Cover Extra benefits in the event of an accident, i.e. if you suffer injuries like a loss of sight or a limb or maybe death. If people sustain an injury in your motor vehicle, you can get medical cover for them.
Limited mileage cover By committing to only doing a certain number of miles per year you can keep your motor insurance costs down. If you spend your time in one spot in your camper van you could make substantial savings.
Courtesy or hire vehicle cover This insurance will pay for a courtesy or hire vehicle If you're unable to use your vehicle through theft, an accident or having damage repaired.
Additional legal expense cover Enables you to make a legal claim against another party, for example reclaiming your policy excess, costs of damage to possessions in your vehicle, travel expenses, compensation for injuries and loss of earnings.
Breakdown cover Covers the costs of roadside assistance and recovery of your vehicle if you breakdown. If you breakdown while you are travelling it might be in the middle of nowhere!
Windscreen cover Covers the cost of replacing your windscreen if it gets cracked or broken. Van windscreens can cost into the thousands to replace.
Extended cover for driving abroad Automatically provides the same level of cover for driving in the EU as when you are in the UK, don't have to let your insurer know when you go abroad. Covers you for up to 90 days away per trip.
Multiple vehicle or driver cover You can cover more than one vehicle, or name more than one driver on your policy. Several insurance providers offer substantial discounts if you are intending to insure a fleet of vehicles.
Voluntary excess cover You can lower your monthly or annual premium amounts by opting to pay a larger excess in the event of a claim.
No claims bonus protection cover. Protect your no claims bonus and prevent it from being reduced or removed in the event of a claim.
Payment protection cover This cover pays your regular monthly or annual premiums in the event you can't pay them due to accident, sickness or redundancy.


Download the Motor Insurance PDF Guide here - see our other free PDF guides here

Guide Contents

What is motor insurance cover?
Why should I consider a more comprehensive motor insurance policy?
What are the different policy types of UK motor insurance?
Motorcycle insurance
What you can do to get the cheapest motor insurance premiums
Low cost motor insurance premiums by shopping around
Applying for a motor insurance policy
Motor Insurance Information - FAQ
Where can I go to get more motor insurance advice

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