What is third party, fire and theft cover?
Third party, fire and theft car insurance covers any damage to a person, their car or their property if you have an accident while driving – and it also covers your car in case it’s stolen or gets damaged or destroyed in a fire.
Why get third party, fire and theft cover?
Third party, fire and theft insurance can help to give you peace of mind that your insurance company will be able to cover the costs of any claims made against you if you get into an accident that injures another person or damages their car or property.
And if you live in an area where there is a higher risk of your car being stolen or involved in an accidental or maliciously-started fire, a third party, fire and theft policy could help to cover the cost or repairs or a replacement car.
What does third party, fire and theft cover?
If you have an accident and you were driving the car that’s been listed on your policy, third party, fire and theft insurance covers you for:
- Third party injury to a passenger or a person in another car
- Damage to another person’s car
- Damage to another person’s property, including driving into their wall
It will also cover you if:
- Your car is stolen
- Your car is damaged or completely destroyed by a fire – whether the fire was started accidentally or on purpose
If your car is completely destroyed by a fire, or it’s stolen and never recovered, third party, fire and theft insurance will provide a replacement car. And if your car is damaged in a fire or theft but can be repaired, third party, fire and theft insurance can cover the cost of repair work and provide you with a courtesy car while you’re waiting.
There may be limits to the type of fire and theft damage you can claim for, and how the damage happened might affect you being able to claim at all. So you should always read the policy document in full before taking out car insurance to make sure you know what to expect if you do make a claim.
What isn’t covered by third party, fire and theft insurance?
If you have an accident and you cause damage to another person or their property while driving, your third party, fire and theft policy provider may not pay out if:
- Your car is damaged in a fire that happens because of mechanical, electrical, electronic or computer failures, or breakdowns and breakages
- Your car is stolen but wasn’t properly secured
- You have to pay any medical or legal costs for your own personal injuries, including physiotherapy
- Your car is damaged in an accident that you caused
- You had an accident while driving a different car to the one that’s listed on your policy
- Your personal belongings are damaged
- Your windscreen needs repairing
You might be able to add extra levels of cover like personal injury to your third party, fire and theft policy, so it’s worth reading the policy documents carefully before taking out cover to make sure you know what will and won’t be covered – and what you might be able to add as an extra.
What’s the difference between third party and third party, fire and theft?
Just like third party only insurance, third party, fire and theft car insurance can help to cover the cost of any claims another person makes against you for an injury or any damage to their car or property that happens when you’re driving. But the difference is that it will also cover you in case your car gets stolen, damaged or destroyed in a fire that isn’t started by a car collision.
It’s important to be aware that third party only or third party, fire and theft policies do not offer cover for your own car if it’s damaged in an accident.
Third party, fire and theft versus fully comp
Fully comprehensive car insurance is different to third party, fire and theft because it can also offer cover for any damage that’s caused to your own car and belongings during an accident, and any personal injuries you might suffer – as well as damage to another person and their car or belongings. It can also cover the cost of windscreen repairs, which is usually included as an excess or enhanced feature of third party policies.
Third party, fire and theft insurance is the second most expensive type of car insurance policy, averaging £818 a year, compared to third party only insurance which cost £1,212, according to MoneySuperMarket data from January - July 2018.
Comparing third party, fire and theft policies
Comparing third party, fire and theft policy quotes can help you find the right level of cover for both your car and third parties. You can compare third party, fire and theft policies against each other with MoneySuperMarket’s car insurance comparison tool – and you can also see how the costs and levels of cover compare to third party only and fully comprehensive car insurance. By entering your driving history, the make and model of the car you want to add to your insurance policy, and the date you want the deal to begin, you’ll be able to see how much each type of policy costs by provider.
Choose from third party fire and theft cover, third party only cover or comprehensive cover from the dropdown options to filter the results. You can also change the view to compare by monthly and annual costs, because the interest charged on monthly payments could mean you end up paying more for a policy than if you paid a one-off annual fee.
You can filter the policy results by cost to see each policy breakdown by price, and any excess fees you might need to pay if you did claim on your insurance. Some third party, fire and theft insurance policies will also let you add extras like breakdown cover and a courtesy car to the standard policy, helping to make sure you’re covered in those situations, should you need to claim.