Levels of car insurance explained
Once you’ve found your ideal car, the next step is to find insurance. Here’s a guide to car insurance options in Ireland and how to choose the right one for you.
Third Party Only
Compensates third parties if you cause an accident. Damage to your car won’t be covered. It’s the minimum legal requirement.
3rd Party, Fire & Theft
Covers third parties plus protection for damage to your vehicle caused by fire or theft. Damage by vandalism isn’t covered.
Covers all parties involved in accidents, your car and belongings. Plus theft and damage caused by vandalism.
Three main types of car insurance offer different levels of protection. The more fully you’re covered, the more you’ll usually pay for your premium.
What is third party only cover?
Third party cover is the minimum legal level of car insurance you can get in Ireland, so you must have at least third party insurance to drive your car on the road.
What’s not covered
What is third party, fire and theft cover?
This cover has all the benefits of third party insurance and adds cover for fire damage and theft. This means if your car is stolen or damaged by fire in an accident you can claim for damages.
What’s not covered
What is comprehensive cover?
Comprehensive car insurance offers the most complete financial protection for you and your vehicle.
It is often the most expensive type of insurance because it offers the most thorough level of cover.
As well as covering third parties, fire damage and theft, you’re also covered for damage to your car in the event of an accident or vandalism.
Plus, unlike the other types of car insurance, if you cause an accident or damage your car you’re covered regardless of whose fault it was.
What’s not covered
* Some comprehensive policies may also cover personal injury, so check the policy schedule before adding as an extra benefit.
Is comprehensive insurance worth it?
If you have a brand new car and commute daily or drive as part of your job, a comprehensive policy could give you peace of mind. However, third party insurance may provide adequate cover if you drive a cheap car and only drive occasionally.
If you can afford it, it’s worth spending more on comprehensive car insurance and any extra benefits you need because you never know what’s around the corner.
What else affects your quote price?
Comprehensive cover is usually, but not always, the most expensive type of policy, though other factors can affect the price too. They include:
- Your age
- Your car and how you use it
- Your claims history
Find out more about what affects the price of cover in our guide, How your car affects the price of car insurance.
The average cost of car insurance in Ireland
Comprehensive cover is typically the most expensive and accounts for 83% of all premiums. Source: NCID Private Motor Insurance Report Central Bank of Ireland
Should you buy the cheapest cover?
We rely on our cars for life’s essentials like getting to work, shopping and taking children to school, so before you buy, consider
- your lifestyle and driving habits
- the age and price of your vehicle
- how much you can spend
Choose the level of insurance that meets your needs within a budget you can afford.
Other types of car insurance in Ireland
Here are some other types of cover designed for specific vehicles or special circumstances.
Young driver’s insurance
If you’re under 25, car insurance is more expensive because new drivers are considered more of a risk on the road, but there are ways to make it more affordable.
Visit our Young Drivers page for tips on finding good value car insurance for under 25s.
Black box insurance
This type of cover uses a telematics device to monitor your driving habits and set your premiums based on how safely you drive.
Telematics uses GPS technology to monitor:
- Journey data
- Driving data
- Road data
Young drivers can sometimes qualify for cheaper insurance if a black box is installed in their car. Check out our guide on black box insurance to learn how it works.
Classic car insurance
You may qualify for classic car insurance if you have a vintage car or it’s over 25 years old.
Classic car insurance is usually cheaper than standard car insurance due to the lower likelihood of an accident or damage.
Insurers will have different definitions or rules for eligibility, so it’s worth gathering quotes from several insurers to find the best insurance for your classic car.
Find out more and get the best classic car quotes on our classic car insurance page.
If you have more than one car registered at your address, you could save money by insuring all vehicles with the same insurer.
This is known as multi-car insurance and could earn you a discount of up to 15% if you insure all cars on one policy. It’s ideal for families, couples and co-habitants who live in one household and all own a car.
Learn more about getting a multi-car quote on our multi-car insurance page.
Temporary car insurance
This type of cover can last from one hour to several months. It’s handy if you need to borrow someone else’s car for a short period, driving a car home after purchase, or for occasional use of a vehicle you keep off the road.
Although short-term cover isn’t available in Ireland at the moment, temporary car policies are usually only offered as comprehensive cover.
Tips for choosing the right level of cover
Before you buy car insurance, think about your needs, weigh up the pros and cons of each type and decide how much you can afford.
If you’re still not sure which insurance to buy, consider these questions:
Car insurance types FAQs
Does comprehensive cover include flood damage?
In most cases, yes, you can claim for flood damage. But you must prove you’ve taken every precaution to safeguard your car from harm.
If the insurer judges that you’ve taken a risk, for instance, deliberately driving your car through a flooded road, you may not be covered for any damage caused.
Does comprehensive insurance cover passengers for personal injury?
No, they are not automatically covered for personal injury, even if the accident wasn’t your fault. You may want to consider opting for personal injury as an extra benefit if it is not included as standard. Check with your insurer.
Can you drive another car with comprehensive insurance?
It depends on the insurer. Some insurance policies include this benefit as a standard feature, but others will require you to add it as an optional extra.
What is a no claims discount?
It’s a discount based on the number of years you’ve held a policy without making a claim. The reduction in your premium is based on the number of claim-free years you have. For example:
|No.of years with no claims||% discount|