For many British drivers, the concept of car insurance excess is quite familiar yet unclear at the same time because they end up knowing it through promos instead of full-on guides.

When you ask any driver about what they know regarding this type of plan, they might tell you about the discounts that they saw. However, if you ask them about how it works, you’d probably end up with no response. If you’re one of these drivers who know what car insurance excess is but doesn’t exactly know how it works, just know that it doesn’t take too much to get familiar with this essential upgrade. 

What is it, and how does it work?

Car insurance excess is simply defined as the amount of money that you’ll need to pay when making a car insurance claim if you get into an accident.

Generally, this excess is applicable to those who are deemed to be the guilty party of the accident. If you are to blame for any damage that was caused during an accident, you’ll only need to pay the amount incurred by the situation while your insurer pays for the repairs on your behalf.

What is it comprised of?

The standard car insurance excess policy is comprised of two different parts, namely:

Compulsory excess: Often regarded as the baseline for any policy, the compulsory excess in your plan is the total amount set by an insurance claim that you’ll need to pay during a claim.

Voluntary excess: Aside from the total amount set by an insurer in the compulsory excess, you can add on top of your plan’s baseline value by adding to that portion. Many opt to add to their voluntary excess because it helps reduce the price of a car insurance premium, making for lower, more manageable payments!

How much do you need to pay when using an excess policy?

For any plan, the standard cost of a car insurance excess policy is defined as the total amount that is derived by adding both the compulsory and voluntary amounts together. For instance, if your standard policy option has a compulsory excess of £250 and you get to add a voluntary excess of £350, then you’ll need to pay £600 when you claim car insurance excess. 

Aside from regular car insurance excess policies, you can also learn more about any additional coverage that comes with your pre-existing policy if you’re already insured!

Should you increase your voluntary excess?

In most cases, the total amount of voluntary excess is entirely up to a policyholder’s discretion as the optimal amount of extra coverage depends on one’s sense of preparedness. It’s safe to assume, however, that increasing your voluntary excess is definitely a worthwhile investment as it allows you to pay less for your insurance policy. Yet, you should add at your own risk as a higher voluntary excess means you’ll need to pay more during a claim!


While it may seem like a complex concept at first, the truth about car insurance excess is that it’s a simple idea to understand as long as you understand the basics. With the help of this guide, you can invest in your excess insurance policy with a more informed approach!

We’re a traffic accident management and non-fault accident management company that serves the needs of motorists in the United Kingdom. If you have recently gotten into an accident and need professional assistance, get in touch with us today to see how we can help!