Car insurance buyers guide

Why do you need it, what do you need and what should you look out for? Sit back, relax and let Elephant help you decide.

The right type of insurance for you

There are three main types of insurance cover for your car (or bike or van):

  • Third Party Only
  • Third Party, Fire & Theft
  • Comprehensive

Which one you choose is up to you, but these facts should help you decide.

Third Party Only

This is the basic level, which you must have before you can take your car on the public roads.

And if you don't have it?

Because it's so important to have car insurance, you must prove your car is insured before you can tax it. Driving without insurance or road tax is illegal, and you can be fined or even imprisoned. So don't risk it!

If you cause an accident, Third Party insurance pays compensation to, as the name suggests, a third party - someone who owns property damaged by the accident, or a person injured in the accident.

You need insurance because the compensation might run into thousands or millions of pounds. For example, to pay for replacing a car, repairing a house or to help someone rebuild their life if they lost a limb or worse still, if their partner was killed. It's unlikely an individual could afford to pay this level of compensation. But if you're properly insured, the insurance company will take care of it - up to the limits shown in your car insurance policy.

Third Party Only is the most basic level of motor insurance, so it's also the cheapest. But at Elephant, we like to give you more than the minimum. That's why even our Third Party only insurance includes:

  • Up to 90 days European cover
  • Flexible payment options

And with Elephant, you can have a lot more peace of mind for only a little extra, as we'll explain below.

Third Party, Fire & Theft

As the name suggests, this level includes everything you get with Third Party insurance, plus it compensates you if your car is destroyed by fire or if it's stolen.

It's worth bearing in mind that Third Party, Fire & Theft won't pay out for any other sort of damage to your car. Since the cost of, say, having your car repaired and repainted after an accident could run into thousands of pounds, it's worth considering the next level up: Comprehensive.


This includes all the insurance cover you get with Third Party, Fire & Theft, plus it pays for the cost of repairing your car if it's damaged in an accident.

If your car is older, one of our insurance assessors will inspect the damage and work out what it would cost to repair, back to the condition the car was before the accident. If the repair costs are less than the car is currently worth (what we call the market value), then we'll authorise the repair and get your car back to you as soon as we can.

It might be that the repair costs are more than your car is currently worth. In that case, the car is 'written off' and we'll pay you its market value instead.

One other thing to note: if the car you're insuring is financed by hire purchase or a leasing company, the finance company may insist you have Comprehensive insurance.


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