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What is car insurance excess?

What is an excess in insurance?

An excess is the amount you agree to pay if you make a claim. 

If you have an accident and make a claim, an insurer will pay for most of the cost of repairs and replacement parts, no matter who caused the accident.

If you caused the damage, your insurer will pay. If the damage was caused by someone else, their insurer will pay. 

Your excess is the small amount that you'll need to pay towards the claim. You agree to this amount when you first sign up with your insurer.

How much does excess usually cost?

Just like your premium, your excess varies depending on lots of factors, like what type of car you drive and your past driving experience.

How does excess affect the price of my car insurance?

The amount of excess you agree to pay can change the price of your policy premium. 

If you decide to pay a higher excess in the event of a claim (see Voluntary Excess below), your premium will often be lower. Likewise, if you decide to pay a lower excess, your premium may be more expensive to compensate for that. 

What’s the difference between Voluntary and Compulsory excess? 

Compulsory Excess

This is the excess amount set by your insurer. This is the minimum amount you’ll be able to pay out if you make a claim.

Voluntary Excess

This is an amount you can agree to add on top of your Compulsory Excess. 

You set this amount when you sign up for a policy. Usually, by choosing to add a Voluntary Excess, you can lower your insurance premium. That’s because you’re agreeing to pay more if you make a claim.

So what do I end up paying if I make a claim? 

You will need to pay the Total Excess, which is your Compulsory Excess and Voluntary Excess combined. 

Despite the confusing term, once you agree to it your voluntary excess is not optional. You’ll have to pay the voluntary amount as well as the compulsory amount when you make a claim. So make sure you can afford to pay the total excess before setting your compulsory and voluntary amounts.

Want to know more about the claims process? Read our blog here. Or, check out our FAQs to find answers to our most asked questions.