Excess - Breakdown Cover Explained

Broken Down Car
By , 24 March 2021

3 min read

In an attempt to make insurance and more specifically breakdown cover a less tedious affair, we’ve decided to try and demystify the often-boring subject of insurance benefits.

In this guide we cover everything about “excess”. Its relationship with breakdown cover and why it’s an option in the first place.

What is Excess?

Unfortunately, this is also often one of the most misunderstood terms in the industry. We can’t tell you how many questions we get asked about this from potential customers, but let’s just say it’s in EXCESS of thousands (sorry).

One of the most common aspects of any insurance cover is a policy excess.

Excess, in its simplest form, is an inclusion in a policy and which applies to either the whole policy or individual policy benefits and means when you make a claim, you either pay the excess amount towards the cost of the type of claim you’re making or the excess is deducted from any cash settlement from your insurers. For example, you may have a breakdown cover policy with no excess for a general breakdown claim, but a £30 excess if you’ve misfuelled.

But remember it’s really important you thoroughly check your policy before you purchase, so you know exactly what you’re buying and what excess you may or may not have to pay during a claim.

What Types of Excess Exist?

Excesses are either compulsory, set by your insurer or optional, selected when you arrange a policy in order to reduce the overall cost of an insurance policy, to help make it more affordable. It is especially useful for people who think a claim on their policy is very unlikely – and can therefore spend less up front, potentially saving them money.

How Do I Pay It?

For your average breakdown cover policy, you’ll typically be asked to pay the excess securely over the phone via credit or debit card.

When Do I Pay It?

Usually you pay the excess due on your policy once you’ve made your claim and during the process of getting help to you, depending on the type of insurance policy you have, you may be asked to pay the excess at different points throughout your claim.

For breakdown cover, when you phone your assistance provider, they’ll notify you if you have an excess to pay in order to receive assistance. You’ll usually pay this over the phone, before the recovery agent arrives to provide help.

Should I have a policy with or without it?

This really comes down to the type of policy you’re happy with, and what you need the policy to cover. More often than not, a breakdown cover policy that includes an excess to pay if you claim will be cheaper than a policy with zero excess. So if you want to pay less up front and don’t mind paying a fee when you claim, then choosing this option may be better for you.

If you’re happy paying a little bit more up front, knowing that when you claim the assistance will all be included in the initial price, then perhaps a policy without excess is more appropriate for you.

Find Out More About Breakdown Cover

Want to learn more about breakdown cover and the different types of policy benefits you could be entitled to? We’ve put together a load of pages to help educate our customers and people looking for great breakdown cover, but who may not understand the ins and outs of insurance, take a look at some of our other “Breakdown Cover Explained” pages:

I Have More Questions…

No problem! Take a look at our FAQs page.

Still not satisfied? Head to our contact us page, type in your query and our customer service team will be in touch.