Third-party car insurance makes sure you’re covered when somebody else claims against you if you cause an accident or damage when driving.
What is third-party car insurance?
Third-party car insurance is the minimum legal level of cover needed to drive a car. It covers you if you damage someone else’s property or injure them while driving, and will cover your passengers too.
Why get third-party insurance?
The level of cover offered by third-party insurance policies can be good for drivers who are more likely to claim for any damage they cause when driving – and for drivers who can afford to pay repair costs for their own car without needing to claim on their insurance.
Insurance providers may charge a higher annual or monthly insurance fee than the other two main types of car insurance policy – ‘fully comprehensive’ and ‘third-party, fire and theft’ – because third-party policies are typically designed for higher-risk drivers.
But because the risk costs are built into annual or monthly payments, you might not have to pay as much if you do claim than you would with other policy types.
To get low voluntary and compulsory excess fees for third-party, fire and theft cover, you may need to have a telematics box installed.
What is covered by third-party insurance?
If you have an accident while driving the car that’s listed on your policy, third-party 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
What isn’t covered by third-party insurance?
If you have an accident and you cause damage to another person or their property while driving, your third-party policy provider may not pay out if:
- You have to pay any medical or legal costs for your own injuries, including physiotherapy
- Your car is damaged in an accident that you caused
- Your car is stolen, damaged or destroyed by fire
- 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 is damaged
You might be able to add extra levels of cover like personal injury to your third-party policy, so it’s worth reading the policy documents carefully to make sure you know what will and won’t be covered – and to check if there’s a possibility of getting enhanced third-party cover.
What is third-party, fire and theft cover?
Third-party, fire and theft cover offers the same level of protection as third-party insurance, but it also covers your car in case it’s stolen, damaged or destroyed by fire.
Third-party, fire and theft insurance won’t cover any damage that’s caused by a collision or an accident – just like third-party insurance.
Third-party, fire and theft cover can be more expensive than fully comprehensive insurance, but less than third party only insurance.
*According to MoneySuperMarket data, correct as of January 2020
Why is it not cheaper to get third-party only insurance?
Third-party only insurance is generally more expensive than fully comprehensive insurance because providers’ own data has shown that people who take out third-party policies are statistically more likely to claim on their insurance than people who purchase fully comprehensive policies.
And because all insurance policies are priced according to risk, the average cost of third-party car insurance has been driven up.
You’ll always need to provide your no-claims history and the number of years you’ve been driving to get a better idea of how much a third-party insurance policy might cost, because your driving history and other personal information will affect the price.
What is the difference between third-party and comprehensive insurance?
Fully comprehensive car insurance offers the same level of protection as third-party and third-party, fire and theft cover – but it also offers cover for any damage to your own car during an accident, and any injuries you might get.
Fully comp policies can cover damage to your personal belongings, the medical and legal costs you need to pay for any injuries you’ve suffered, windscreen repair work and other claims that might not be covered by third-party policies.
Some fully comprehensive features might come with an excess fee that you’ll need to pay if you want to claim, so it’s a good idea to read the policy properly to make sure you’re aware of any extra costs you might need to pay.
Comparing third-party only car insurance quotes
You can compare third-party only car insurance quotes to help you find an affordable deal, and a deal that will offer you the right level of cover – should you ever need to use it.
MoneySuperMarket’s car insurance comparison tool lets you compare third-party only policies, and you can also see how the costs differ in comparison to third-party, fire and theft and fully comprehensive quotes. You’ll need to enter some information about your driving history, the car you want to add to your insurance policy and when you want the deal to begin to then compare.
You can then select from third-party only cover, third-party fire and theft cover or comprehensive cover to filter the results. It’s also a good idea to filter and compare by monthly and annual costs, because a monthly payment cycle could see you pay more than you might with a one-off yearly payment – once you factor in the interest that gets added on to your repayments.
You’ll then be able to order the results by price to see how much you’ll be paying for what level of cover, and which voluntary and compulsory excess fees you might need to pay for each policy. You’ll also be able to see any insurance features and extras that can be included, such as legal expenses, personal accident, windscreen cover, breakdown cover and the cost of hiring a courtesy car.