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Levels of Insurance Cover

Short term cover is almost invariably comprehensive.

Motorists may choose the level of yearly cover that best suits their needs – comprehensive, third party fire and theft, or even third party only. All policies include lists of exclusions at each level, so those purchasing cover must be vigilant about the small print. At the same time, cover is not just a necessary evil. It protects motorists after an accident, so they should be sure not to scrimp on the value of that insurance; it may have unfortunate consequences.


Comprehensive cover is the most extensive policy type one can buy, but motorists should be aware that no policy purports to cover everything. Sometimes advertised as 'all risks' cover, it still comes with many exclusions about which motorists need to be informed. That said, it does offer the most extensive cover, including third party liability, provision for fire and theft, as well as provision for the motorist's own injury and van damage. It may include temporary breakdown cover, windscreen cover, courtesy van cover, and so on.

Third Party Fire and Theft

Third party fire and theft includes the same cover as third party only, plus provision for loss and damage from attempted theft, theft, and fire. It still won't cover the motorist's own injuries or damage to his or her van, but it provides slightly more cover and thus, slightly more reassurance. Motorists should not discount the possibility of theft or damage from attempted theft. Theft of commercial vans alone is estimated to cost £152 million and that's only counting the loss of the vans themselves, not necessarily their contents. For this reason, businesses purchasing short term cover might find it especially valuable to purchase third party fire and theft or higher.

Third Party Only

Motorists with comprehensive annual policies may also be covered to drive other vehicles on a third party only basis. If they'll be driving a van, they should check on the exclusions and limitations of that cover and make sure they're sufficiently covered for their purposes. Third party only is the legal minimum required to drive on public roads or in other public spaces. It only covers third party liability; the motorist's personal injury and damage to his or her van is not covered. For this reason, third party only cover is often considered insufficient. It satisfies the law, but may leave motorists open to an unacceptable level of risk. Still, it is an option, so motorists should be attentive to their needs and choose their cover wisely.

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