If you drive a car then you are legally-bound to have car insurance, and the minimum level of cover is a third party policy. This means that if you injure someone or damage their property, then they can claim against you.
For example, if you drove into the back of someone, or scraped your neighbour’s car on the daily commute, third party insurance would pay for any damages to their car. Or if you were found liable for someone’s medical expenses, because they were injured in a collision, then third party insurance would cover that too.
The downside to third party only cover is that you are not able to claim for any damage to your car or your property, and wouldn’t be able to claim back any medical fees.
Cover for your own car
If you want your policy to offer some cover for your own vehicle, you can opt for an upgrade to the next level of cover: third party fire and theft insurance. This is for drivers who feel they need a little bit more than just the basic cover.
In this case, you get the same cover for any third party and their property in the event of an accident that you are deemed liable for, but it also includes insurance for your own car if it’s stolen or damaged by fire. Plus, you would also be able to make a claim should your car be damaged by an attempted theft.
Third party fire and theft insurance offers slightly more than the legal minimum, but the cover you get is limited. Similarly to third party only cover, the policy will not pay out if you damaged your own car in an accident that was your fault, for instance. And you wouldn’t be able to make a claim if you suffered any injury.
This type of policy also excludes other claims, such as damage to your car during a flood. In other words, third party fire and theft insurance could leave you with a big bill should something other than fire or theft happen to your vehicle.
Fully comprehensive insurance
When you know the limitations involved in third party fire and theft insurance, you might want to consider a further upgrade and opt for a fully comprehensive insurance policy. This type of policy has a range of further benefits, including personal injury cover and legal expenses.
Plus, more often than not, third party fire and theft actually works out to be more expensive than fully comp, which has the lowest average premiums. But if you’re considered a risky driver, if you have lots of points on your license for example, then fully comp cover might not be the most affordable option for you, but it is always worth checking.
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 think that third party fire and theft is cheaper than comprehensive cover. This is rarely true now, as mentioned above, but it’s always worth comparing different policies.
TPFT in short
What do you actually get?
- Minimum cover for third parties.
- Cover if your car is stolen.
- Cover if your car is damaged or destroyed by fire.
- Cover if your car is damaged in any attempts of theft – such like a broken window or damaged stereo.
Compare third party, fire and theft car insurance
As with all insurance, it’s important to compare third party fire and theft car insurance quotes to make sure that you get the best deal for your circumstances.
This is where MoneySuperMarket’s free, independent comparison service provides a quick and easy way to compare hundreds of policies from the leading car insurers, so you can find the right cover at the right price.
While you are checking for third party fire and theft, you should also do a quick comparison for fully comprehensive deals too. This might be the better option for you, and gives much more protection for your money.