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Buying guide

Car insurance protects you against responsibility for any expenses if you injure someone or damage their vehicle or other property while driving. In the United Kingdom, it’s compulsory for drivers to have car insurance and the minimum legal requirement is third party insurance.

Third party insurance only covers you against having to pay if you injure someone or damage their vehicle or other property, but won't pay to repair damage to your car.

Third party, fire and theft cover will also pay to repair or replace your own car if it is stolen, or damaged or destroyed by fire.

The most commonly purchased option is comprehensive cover. Comprehensive cover pays to repair damage to your car, including windscreens, in addition to all of the cover described above.

Car insurance policies vary, so always check what your policy offers as standard and what optional extras you have to pay more for.

Legal costs - Optional Legal Protection Cover pays for legal costs if you're involved in a legal dispute because of an accident that is not your fault.

Legal Protection from John Lewis Car Insurance offers:

  • up to £100,00 of cover for legal costs where you have the contact details of whoever caused the accident and the legal team believe that there is at least a 50% chance of achieving a positive outcome;
  • help to reclaim uninsured financial losses such as loss of earnings; and
  • cover for the cost of defending against some motoring offences related to the use of the car on your policy. However, we can't provide cover if you were driving without a licence, disqualified or were under the influence of drink or drugs.

Car breakdown - Breakdown policies provide different levels of cover that can include:

  • roadside assistance
  • assistance if your car won't start at home
  • recovery of a broken down vehicle to the nearest garage or your home address
  • cover in Europe.

John Lewis Car Insurance offers three levels of optional cover for the car you insure with us - Roadside Rescue, Home Rescue and European Rescue.

Our Breakdown Cover is designed to get you back on your way as quickly as possible, but it won't cover the cost of replacement parts, fuel, tyres or other materials used in the repair. Always keep your car properly serviced and maintained in accordance to the manufacturer's specifications.

Excess Protection - this cover protects you against those situations where you have to pay the excess yourself, for example, theft or an accident that was your fault.

John Lewis Car Insurance offers optional cover for you to reclaim excess payments up to £500, as long as the claim is for the same, or more, than your excess amount. You can call on this cover twice a year (excluding windscreen claims).

Courtesy car - many policies increasingly only provide a courtesy car as an optional extra while others only provide a courtesy car if your car requires repair, but will not provide a replacement should your car be stolen or written-off.

John Lewis Car Insurance provides a Courtesy Car during repairs and a Replacement Car for up to 21 days following theft or write-off after an accident that was your fault. These are provided as standard. Comprehensive Cover only.

Insurance abroad - if you're going to be driving your car on holiday, you'll need insurance.

John Lewis Car Insurance offers 90 days cover in Europe as standard, and you have the option of adding breakdown cover in Europe, too.

Personal accident - Our Comprehensive Cover includes personal accident cover which will protect you or your spouse/civil partner while you're travelling in any car.

John Lewis Car Insurance offers up to £10,000 as standard.

Audio or Sat Nav equipment - cover tends to differ on whether in-car equipment has been fitted by the manufacturer or if you’ve organised the fitting of audio systems and Sat Nav yourself.

John Lewis Car Insurance provides unlimited cover if it’s been fitted by the manufacturer and up to £500 for non-manufacturer fitted equipment.

Windscreens - All insurers provide cover under a comprehensive policy for damaged or broken windscreens and windows. However, it's worth checking whether by having the glass repaired instead of replaced, you can avoid paying any excess.

This is the case with John Lewis Car Insurance and if you claim for your windscreen, your No Claims Discount won't be affected.

Most insurers give discounts for no claims. The level of discount depends on the number of claim-free years. Many insurers only offer discounts up to 65%.

John Lewis Car Insurance offers a discount of up to 75% (maximum 75% is available with 9 years or more No Claims Discount) and in most instances we also give you the option to protect your No Claims Discount against any two claims in three years.

  • Fitting extra security to your car, such as an immobiliser, can help cut the cost of your policy and keeping your mileage low may also mean lower premiums.
  • A higher excess usually lowers the premium, but remember this is the first part of any claim that you’ll need to pay, so be sure you’re happy to pay that amount, just in case.
  • You can use the voluntary excess to increase your total excess. Compare policies and see what they offer.
  • By adding our optional Excess Protection to your policy you can claim back up to £500 in excess payments following accident repairs to your vehicle.
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