First and foremost, there is a legal obligation: every car that drives on public roads must be insured. But there are different types of insurances, with major differences between them. Therefore: which insurance should you choose?
We can divide car insurances into three main categories: civil liability, limited comprehensive and (full) comprehensive.
1. Civil liability
The civil liability insurance is the only insurance that is compulsory, and covers both the material and physical damage suffered by third parties in the event of an accident. This could be another road user, but also a passenger in your own vehicle. The physical costs for the driver and/or his vehicle are not reimbursed.
2. Limited comprehensive
The coverage of the limited comprehensive insurance differs with each insurer. It usually includes broken windows, fire, theft, accidents involving animals, etc., in addition to the civil liability insurance, of course. On the other hand, costs incurred due to an accident in which you were at fault, or where the counterparty could not be identified (in the case of vandalism, for example), are generally not reimbursed.
Comprehensive insurance obviously covers most of the damage suffered, and is recommended for all new vehicles, especially if the vehicle was purchased through a loan. The main difference between a limited comprehensive insurance and a comprehensive insurance is that a comprehensive insurance also covers your costs if you are in default, or if no other party can be identified due to theft or vandalism. It is important, however, to carefully read through the clauses of the insurance contract, as the coverage is sometimes restricted. For example: If damage caused by animals crossing the road is compensated, the same is not necessarily true for damage caused by going off-road in an attempt to avoid animals.
In addition to these three main insurance categories, there are also various supplementary coverages that should not be omitted:
1. Assistance with solving problems
This coverage provides access to a breakdown and/or towing service. Be aware, however, that such a service is often already included (for a specific period) when you purchase a new car. It would be a shame to pay twice.
2. Driver’s insurance
The basic civil liability insurance only covers the medical costs of a third party, not those of the driver himself. It is better to tick this additional cover in order to avoid unpleasant surprises.
3. Legal assistance
Legal assistance covers the costs for lawyers or expert advice in the context of an accident. This protection is useful if you are not at fault (so that you can file a claim against the person who was responsible for the accident), but also when you are at fault (to defend your interests against the counterparty). The policyholder can freely choose his lawyer.