An insurance excess is the amount of money you will have to pay in the event of a car insurance claim i.e. if your excess if £100, then you will have to pay the initial £100 of any claim.
The excess makes up the first part of a claim, so if the claim was for £500, you would pay the first £100 and the insurer the remaining £400.
Compulsory Excess and Voluntary Excess
Some car insurance policies have a compulsory excess which must be paid, whereas a voluntary excess only applies if you have chosen to have it added to their policy. Where a driver is under 25 years old, there will always be a compulsory excess – the amount varies from policy to policy, but you’ll always be told when you get your quote.
Voluntary excess is normally used to help reduce the insurance premium to gain cheaper car insurance. It’s really important to remember that if you choose a voluntary excess then this will be added to any compulsory excess in the event of a claim so the total excess can work out quite expensive.
There are other excess that could be applied to certain policies, for example a young drivers excess, night time driving excess, windscreen excess. These are clearly documented on your quote and in your policy documents once you’ve purchased cover.
Specific terms and/or conditions that apply to your policy and are shown in your policy schedule. For example, this could be an exclusion for driving other cars, or the exclusion of personal accident cover amongst others.