Insurance can cover some or all of the following items:
- The insured party
- The insured vehicle
- Third parties
Different policies specify the circumstances under which each item is covered. For example, a vehicle can be insured against theft, fire damage, or accident damage independently.
An excess payment, also known as a deductible, is the fixed contribution you must pay each time your car is repaired through your car insurance policy. Normally the payment is made directly to the accident repair garage when you collect the car. If your car is declared to be a write off, your insurance company will deduct the excess agreed on the policy from the settlement payment it makes to you.
If the accident was the other driver's fault, and this is accepted by the third party's insurer, you'll be able to reclaim your excess payment from the other person's insurance company. If the other driver is uninsured, a policy's minimum limits include coverage for the uninsured/underinsured motorist(s) at fault.
A compulsory excess is the minimum excess payment your insurer will accept on your insurance policy. Minimum excesses do vary according to your personal details and driving record and by insurance company.
In order to reduce your insurance premium, you may offer to pay a higher excess than the compulsory excess demanded by your insurance company. Your voluntary excess is the extra amount over and above the compulsory excess that you agree to pay in the event of a claim on the policy. As a bigger excess reduces the financial risk carried by your insurer, your insurer is able to offer you a significantly lower premium.