Third Party Fire and Theft Car Insurance Explained

If you drive a car on a UK road, you must buy appropriate car insurance. The minimum level of cover is a third party policy in case you injure another person or damage their property.

As an example, third party insurance would pay out if you drove into the back of another person's car or reversed into your neighbour's garden wall. If you were found liable for another person's medical expenses following an incident, you policy would come into play.

However, you would not be able to claim for damage to your own car or property or for your own medical expenses.

Cover for your own car

So what should you do if you want insurance for your own vehicle? Some drivers decide they need a little bit more than simple third party cover and therefore choose to upgrade to the next level - third party fire and theft insurance. 

Here, the policy again covers any third party and their property in the event of an accident for which you are deemed liable, but it additionally includes insurance for your own car if it is stolen or damaged by fire. You would also be able to make a claim if your car were damaged in an attempted theft. 

Out of pocket

Third party fire and theft insurance offers more than the legal minimum, but the cover is nevertheless still limited. As with third party cover, the policy would not pay out, for example, if you were to damage your own car in an accident that was your fault. And you would not be able to make a claim if you suffered any injury.

It also excludes other types of claim, such as damage to your car during a flood. In other words, third party fire and theft insurance could leave you seriously out of pocket. 

Fully comprehensive insurance

It's important to understand the limitations of third party fire and theft insurance because you might prefer to opt for the more extensive fully comprehensive insurance cover, which includes a range of additional benefits such as personal injury and legal expenses. 

Sensible option

Third party fire and theft insurance doesn't suit every motorist, but it can be a sensible option for some people. For example, you might choose third party fire and theft car insurance if your car is cheap to repair, or if you are confident that you could tackle most repairs yourself.  Or maybe you would simply be able to afford to replace your car if it were written off in an accident.

Cost of third party fire and theft insurance

Some people choose third party fire and theft insurance because they presume it is cheaper than comprehensive cover. But it is always worth comparing premiums for different types of policy.

Motorists who take out third party or third party fire and theft insurance tend to be riskier and make more claims. Insurers therefore pay out more for limited cover and so push up the prices for these policies to cover their costs. So you might find that a little extra premium would buy you a lot more cover with a policy from the next tier.   

Compare prices

As with all insurance, it is important to compare prices of third party fire and theft car insurance to make sure that you get the best deal. MoneySupermarket's free, independent comparison service is a quick and easy way to check out the policies of the leading car insurers so you can find the right cover at the right price.

†82% of shoppers obtained a quote in 5 minutes or less. Source eDigitalResearch December 2012.