What are ‘total excess’ charges?

Last Modified 16th of February 2021

Total excess charges are generally applicable to full comprehensive insurance and they particularly apply when you make a claim on your policy due to a fault on your part (or being a victim of crime or misfortune). The total excess is simply the sum of the voluntary excess and the compulsory excess. If you make a claim on your own policy you will have to pay the excess. In reality this means that the amount of the excess will be taken out of your claim.


Your total claim for your vehicle is £3,000 and your total excess is £500 – you will receive £2,500 from the insurer. The compulsory excess is set by the insurer, you will be told what this is when you get a quote. It is non-negotiable and is normally the same for everyone.

The voluntary excess is up to you, you choose an amount, normally between £0 and £1000 at the start of the policy. The more you volunteer to pay the lower your premiums, but the more you pay out if you have an accident.

Final note:

The excess only applies to your property. If you hit another vehicle, your insurer will pay out in full for their damages and also for any injury claims they successfully make. However, on damages to your own vehicle you will have to cover the total excess costs. If your total excess is more than that cost of the damage to your vehicle then you will receive nothing. So if your total excess is £1,000 and your vehicle is only worth £800 you are effectively only getting third party cover.