In Great Britain, Section 143 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states that - “A person must not use, or cause or permit any other person to use, a motor vehicle on a road or other public place unless there is in force in relation to the use of that vehicle by that person or that other person, as the case may be, such a policy of insurance or such security in respect of third party risks as complies with the requirements of part VI of the Road Traffic Act 1988.” Anyone found guilty of an offence against this act is liable to a fine and disqualification.
In the UK there are four types of car insurance that can be obtained.
- The first is known as ‘Act Only' and is the absolute minimum insurance that will permit the use of a vehicle on the road. The cover provided is so basic that it is very unusual these days to come across an insurance company that is prepared to issue a certificate.
- Secondly,Third Party Only. This type of motor insurance policy provides insurance cover for both public highways and private land to which the public do not have access. The policyholder is covered for any personal injury or damage caused to another person's property. As an example, if you collide with another vehicle and the driver of that car is injured, the repair of the other car is covered as are any medical costs and expenses incurred by the other driver. The cost of the repair to your own vehicle and your own expenses are not. Similarly if at the time of the accident you had a passenger in your car, any injury sustained by that passenger is covered. This type of policy will not recompense you if your car is stolen or catches fire. It does however cover certain legal costs that you may incur.
- Thirdly, Third Party Fire and Theft – This type of policy gives exactly the same cover as ‘Third Party Only' with the addition of allowing a driver to claim if his car catches fire or is stolen.
- Finally, Fully Comprehensive cover. This is the best and most expensive type of policy. It covers the driver for most – although not all – eventualities. As well as providing the cover outlined above, it allows a driver to claim against accidental damage to his own vehicle, however and wherever that damage was caused. Some comprehensive policies also provide a level of life insurance and medical expense cover.
This has been a description of the general types of motor insurance available. It should be noted that all individual policies vary in many ways, with some policies offering extra benefits such as a courtesey car if your own vehicle is off the road. It pays to check out as many insurance providers as possible to get the best deal.