In a road accident, what difference does my insurance cover make?

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There are three types of motor insurance policies; fully comprehensive, third party fire and theft, and third party only. The type of insurance cover you have will determine how things are dealt with following an accident.

Third Party Only

This type of policy is the minimum legal level of insurance. If you are involved in an accident with another vehicle, this insurance covers your liabilities in respect of injuries to others and damage to other peoples' property. Your insurers will not pay out for any damage to your vehicle or property.

Third Party, Fire and Theft

This type of policy covers the risks mentioned above, but has the added benefit that your insurers will pay out for any damage to your vehicle caused by attempted theft and fire. If you are involved in an accident, your insurers will not pay out for any damage to your vehicle, so you would need to fund the cost of the repair or replacement yourself.

Fully Comprehensive

This type of policy provides the greatest level of cover. It covers the third party, fire and theft risks, but additionally covers a host of other things including the damage to your own vehicle. If you are involved in an accident, your insurers will pay out for the damage to your vehicle regardless of whether or not the accident was your fault. When purchasing a comprehensive policy, you are able to tailor the policy to suit your requirements. So you may also have the added benefit of a courtesy car or a credit hire vehicle which you can utilise following an accident.

I have a replacement vehicle from a credit hire company, what is credit hire?

Credit hire is the supply of a replacement vehicle on a credit basis to a vehicle owner following a non-fault accident.

Think of credit hire in the same terms as when you purchase something on your credit card - you buy on credit and settle the bill at the end of the month. With credit hire rather than paying for the hire of the vehicle at the time of hiring, the credit hire company will instead seek to recover the cost of the hire once the hire period has finished.

As the hirer you will sign a credit hire agreement which ultimately means you are liable for the charges, however the credit hire company will seek to recover these credit hire charges from the insurance company of the 'at fault' vehicle. They will attempt to recover them directly with the insurers or if unsuccessful, the charges may form part of your claim for any uninsured losses.

You should always be aware that a credit hire company is entitled to pursue you for any unrecovered costs, but this is a rare occurrence and dependant on the circumstances and reasonableness of hiring a vehicle.

Can Passengers Claim?

If you are a passenger travelling in a vehicle which is involved in a traffic accident and you suffer an injury as a result, you should be entitled to pursue a compensation claim.

As a passenger, you are likely to be the 'innocent party' and your claim would be against the negligent driver, whether that is the driver of another vehicle or the driver of the vehicle you were in. For more information, please visit our passenger injury claims page.

How Can We Help You?

Your type of insurance will make little difference in pursuing an injury claim, but will have an effect on dealing with vehicle or car repairs after an accident.

Our team of solicitors have years of experience dealing with all road accident cases, including as car accident claims, motorcycling injuries and accidents on public transport.

If you have been injured on the road, and are wondering about your options the best thing to do is contact us. Call us today on 08000 93 00 94 or make an online enquiry and one of our friendly advisors will call you back.

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