The auto insurance marketplace in the UK varies considerably to the Tort and no-fault systems applied in the United States. Road users in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have a legal obligation to purchase auto insurance coverage before they use a vehicle on UK roads and highways and are liable for the cost of injuries or damage to property of third-party drivers.
The UK uses a simple two-tiered system where drivers can purchase liability insurance as a minimum requirement or, if they want to cover themselves and their own vehicles, they can opt for a fully comprehensive auto insurance policy. These different policy types are incredibly easy to understand. A fully comprehensive auto insurance policy offers protection for all personal and third-party responsibilities including damage to the vehicle of the policyholder in an at-fault accident. Comprehensive coverage also includes protection from fire, theft, vandalism and acts of God.
Although third-party policies only provide liability coverage, it is actually possible to purchase third-party (Fire and Theft) auto insurance coverage. This type of policy will take care of all liability issues and covers the cost of repairs or replacement to the vehicle of the policyholder for fire and theft reasons only. Any accident-related damage in an at-fault incident will still need to be paid for independently.
Naturally, most auto insurance carriers offer additional services such as breakdown coverage or windscreen repair protection but there is no legal obligation to purchase these extra features. Indeed, many motorists find it is actually cheaper to purchase additional items on a separate basis through an independent company.