Third party, fire and theft car insurance

Protect your vehicle against fire and theft, and get protection if you damage someone else’s vehicle or property.

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Name Product Ratings Courtesy car Windscreen repair Accident cover Multi-car discount EU Cover Link
AA Third Party, Fire and Theft
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★★★★★
★★★★★
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★★★★★
★★★★★
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Finder's summary: There are two levels of cover. The AA doesn’t offer third party (the legal minimum) on its own, but it does offer third party, fire and theft (TPFT) and comprehensive. If you’re a young driver with a car that is not worth a whole heap of money, you may be better off going for third party, fire and theft insurance.

Who it might be good for: Someone who needs the basics covered.
LV= Third party, fire and theft
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★★★★★
★★★★★
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★★★★★
★★★★★
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Finder's summary: LV= has grown to become a well-known car insurance provider in the UK. It also offers a range of other insurance products such as van, motorbike, home, travel and pet insurance. Its third party, fire and theft policy allows a low-cost option to cover the very basics needed.

Who it might be good for: Someone who is looking for a very basic low-cost cover.
Saga  Third party, fire and theft
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★★★★★
★★★★★
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★★★★★
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Finder's summary: Highly commended in our 2020 Finder Customer Satisfaction Awards with a score of 5 out of 5 stars. Unfortunately, you must be at least 50 years old to be eligible for cover.

Who it might be good for: Over 50s looking for the basics to be covered on third party, fire and theft cover.
Admiral Third Party, Fire and Theft
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★★★★★
★★★★★
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★★★★★
★★★★★
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Finder's summary: In our 2021 customer satisfaction awards, Admiral car insurance got 4 out of 5 stars for their car insurance service. Admiral has a range of products on offer to cater for a variety of needs, including black box, classic car and learner driver policies.

Who it might be good for: Someone looking for a trusted company policy that has the option to easily upgrade to a higher level of cover.
Churchill Third Party Fire and Theft
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★★★★★
★★★★★
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★★★★★
★★★★★
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Finder's summary: In our 2020 customer satisfaction awards, Churchill got 4 out of 5 stars, with 83% of customers saying they would recommend the service. Churchill’s policies are not the cheapest, but you get what you pay for so always consider your needs above the price tag.

Who it might be good for: Someone looking for a policy that has the option to easily upgrade to a higher level of cover.
More Than Third Party, Fire and Theft
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★★★★★
★★★★★
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★★★★★
★★★★★
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Finder's summary: Despite narrowly missing out on a spot in our car insurance top 10, many of More Than’s customers commented on the high level of service offered by the company. More Than’s car insurance is 5-star Defaqto-rated with a range of options

Who it might be good for: Someone looking for a 5 star Defaqto policy that covers all the essentials needed with many benefits included as standard.
AXA Third Party, Fire and Theft
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★★★★★
★★★★★
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★★★★★
★★★★★
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Finder's summary: In our 2020 customer satisfaction awards, AXA got 3.5 out of 5 stars, with 72% of customers saying they would recommend the service. The company’s third party, fire and theft cover offers a lot of benefits as standard which is not always the case for this type of cover.

Who it might be good for: Someone looking for a 5 star Defaqto policy that covers all the essentials needed.
Endsleigh Third Party Fire and Theft
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★★★★★
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★★★★★
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Finder's summary: Whether you’re a new driver or well-experienced behind the wheel, having the right insurance policy is the best way to avoid splashing the cash if you end up in an accident. The Post Office offer tailored car insurance for drivers both under and over 50. Within these policies, you can choose from three different levels of cover.

Who it might be good for: Someone looking for a car insurance policy that covers all the essentials needed.
1st Central Third Party, Fire & Theft
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★★★★★
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Budget insurance Third party, fire and theft
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Third party, fire and theft car insurance is a mid-level of cover for your car. It’ll pay out for damage you cause to other vehicles or property, or if your car is stolen or damaged by fire. It won’t pay out for damage to your own car after an accident that’s your fault. Read on for full details of what it does and doesn’t cover, how it compares to fully comprehensive cover and how to keep costs down.

What is third party, fire and theft insurance?

Third party, fire and theft car insurance is designed to cover you when your vehicle is stolen or damaged by fire, or if you’re responsible for an accident that damages someone else’s vehicle or property. It won’t cover accidental damage to your own car, though.

It’s a mid-range level of cover, sitting between:

  • Third party insurance, which is the minimum legal requirement to drive a car and only covers damage to other people’s cars or property, and;
  • Fully comprehensive insurance, which includes everything that third party, fire and theft insurance covers, plus accidental damage to your own car.

How do I get third party, fire and theft car insurance?

Most mainstream car insurers will have a third party, fire and theft option. Whether you’re looking for insurance using a price comparison site (such as Finder’s car insurance comparison) or an insurer’s own website, there should be an option to show only third party, fire and theft policies.

We wouldn’t necessarily recommend defaulting to this, though. It’s worth viewing fully comprehensive policies too, so you can compare prices and levels of cover. You may find that some comprehensive policies are competitively priced compared to third party, fire and theft options.

When should I get third party, fire and theft car insurance?

Third party, fire and theft insurance is a step above basic third party cover, so offers reassurance you won’t be left out of pocket if your car is stolen or damaged by fire (2 of the most common risks).

There are a couple of reasons why you may want to consider this type of cover for your vehicle:

  • It can (sometimes) be cheaper than fully comprehensive car insurance. Third party, fire and theft insurance is a mid-level policy option that combines a reasonable range of cover with affordable premiums. Because it doesn’t offer as complete a level of cover as fully comprehensive car insurance, it can be more affordable. Don’t assume this is always the case though – some comprehensive policies may be equally competitive.
  • It can be a good choice if your car is fairly low value. If your car is a little older and perhaps not worth as much as it used to be, third party, fire and theft cover may offer the right combination of essential cover with cheaper premiums. You should probably only opt for it if spare parts are plentiful and cheap, though, as you’ll need to pay for repairs yourself in the event of an accident.

Bear in mind that, in some cases, third party, fire and theft cover can actually be more expensive than a comprehensive policy. It’s worth getting a quote for both options, to make sure you are getting the best deal possible.

How much does third party, fire and theft car insurance cost?

As with any car insurance policy, your premium will depend on a number of things.

When you apply for a third party, fire and theft policy, you’ll need to answer questions about your car and where you live. Your answers to these questions reveal a range of risk factors that can affect the cost of cover, such as:

  • The car you drive. The more expensive or powerful your vehicle is, the more it will cost to insure. Whether or not it has a security system fitted can also affect premiums.
  • Where you live. If the area where you live has a high rate of theft, expect to pay more for cover. You can also expect to pay more if your car is kept on the street rather than locked in a garage.
  • The insured drivers. The age, experience, driving record and claims history of all drivers will be assessed by the insurer when determining your premiums. Young drivers pay more than older drivers, while safe drivers with a clean record will be cheaper to insure than those with a chequered history.
  • Other factors. Is the car used for business or just private use? How many miles do you drive each year? Has the car been modified at all? Your answers to all of these questions will have a bearing on how much you pay for cover.

What does third party, fire and theft insurance cover?

A typical third party, fire and theft policy includes:

    • Cover for any injury or damage caused to other people and their vehicles or property when an accident is your fault
    • Cover to replace your car if it’s stolen
    • Cover for damage from an attempted theft, such as a smashed window or stolen car radio
    • Cover for an arson attack or fire damage to your car

What does third party, fire and theft insurance not cover?

Importantly, third party, fire and theft insurance won’t cover you for damage to your own car or injury to its occupants in an accident that’s your fault.

As with any car insurance policy (even fully comprehensive), there will be a number of other exclusions too, such as:

  • If your car is stolen because it wasn’t properly secured
  • If your car breaks down
  • Damage that’s a result of poor maintenance or general wear and tear

Depending on your insurer and your policy, there are likely to be more car insurance exclusions that you wouldn’t be able to claim for, so (boring as it is), always read the small print.

What’s the difference between comprehensive, third party, fire and theft and third party cover?

With several different types of car insurance available, it can be tricky to work out which type of policy is the best fit for you. To help make your choice easier, we’ve summarised the key points of what is and isn’t typically covered under each type of car insurance.

CoverComprehensiveThird party, fire and theftThird party
At-fault damage to other vehicles or property
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
At-fault damage to own vehicle
  • Yes
  • No
  • No
Fire damage
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • No
Theft of car
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • No
Windscreen damage
  • Yes*
  • No
  • No

*Cover varies by provider

If you are involved in an accident that is another driver’s fault, damage to your car or property should be covered by their insurance policy. However, you should still inform your insurer about the accident.

Is third party, fire and theft insurance cheaper than comprehensive cover?

Sometimes, but not always. Depending on your personal circumstances, third party, fire and theft policies can sometimes be more expensive than fully comprehensive cover.

So don’t make any assumptions. Get quotes for both types of cover so you can work out which is better (and cheaper) for you overall. You may get a pleasant surprise.

Can I get a no claims bonus with third party, fire and theft insurance?

Yes. A no claims bonus is a discount on your car insurance premium in exchange for building up years of claim-free driving. Different insurers offer different levels of discount, but in general the longer you drive without making a claim, the bigger the discount is likely to be. You can transfer your years of no claims bonus between insurers if you switch.

You can build up a no claims bonus whether you have third party, third party, fire and theft or fully comprehensive cover.

How can I save on my third party, fire and theft car insurance?

Keep the following tips in mind to help you save money on your car insurance premiums:

  • Compare policies. It’s quick and easy to compare car insurance quotes online, so get quotes from multiple insurers and see which policy comes out on top.
  • Don’t assume third party, fire and theft cover will be cheaper. Surprisingly, comprehensive policies can sometimes be less expensive, despite offering higher levels of cover.
  • Choose a higher excess. The higher your excess, the cheaper your premium will be. But make sure you can afford to pay the amount you set should the need arise.
  • Take advantage of discounts. Many insurers offer discounts to people who insure multiple cars or hold multiple policies with the same provider.
  • Drive safely. Building up years of claim-free driving can secure you a decent no claims discount.
  • Secure your vehicle. Vehicles that are kept in a locked garage and vehicles that have their own security and anti-theft devices installed are harder for thieves to steal, which makes them cheaper to insure.
  • Buy online. Some insurers offer substantial discounts if you purchase cover online, instead of over the phone.

Should I get comprehensive or third party, fire and theft insurance?

Danny Butler

Finder insurance expert Danny Butler answers

As is often the case when it comes to insurance, the right type of policy depends on your personal circumstances.

One of the key things to consider is whether you could afford to pay for replacement of or repairs to your own car following an accident that’s your fault. If not, comprehensive cover is likely to be a better option. Comprehensive insurance is also more likely to include, as standard, extra cover that you might find useful – cover to drive other people’s cars (on a third party basis) for example.

Even if you’re pretty sure you know what level of cover you need, we’d recommend comparing costs and levels of cover for both comprehensive and third party, fire and theft before making a decision. You might find that comprehensive cover is surprisingly affordable.

Comprehensive vs third party, fire and theft – worked example

We ran quotes with one of the UK’s biggest insurers for a 51-year-old Londoner with a Ford Fiesta, based on a £250 excess. In this scenario, the driver would have paid around £100 less for third party, fire and theft cover but, importantly, would have had to foot any bills for repairs to their car following an “at-fault” accident.

Comprehensive policy

Annual payment = £1,163

  • Damage to other vehicles following an accident
  • Damage to own vehicle following an accident
  • Fire damage to vehicle
  • Theft of car

Third party, fire and theft policy

Annual payment = £1,069

  • Damage to other vehicles following an accident
  • Damage to own vehicle following an accident
  • Fire damage to vehicle
  • Theft of car

Bottom line

Third party, fire and theft insurance might seem like a good compromise between fully comprehensive cover and the bare minimum legal requirement of third party cover. And at face value, it probably is. That’s because it gives you the confidence that you’ll be financially protected if your car is stolen or damaged by fire, 2 common causes of insurance claims. But even though third party, fire and theft offers less cover than comprehensive insurance, it isn’t always cheaper. Always check both options before you take the plunge.

Frequently asked questions

We compare policies from

Age Co car insurance
Elephant car insurance
More Than car insurance
Post Office Money Comprehensive
Churchill
AA Car Insurance
Aviva Comprehensive
Direct Line Comprehensive
LV= Comprehensive
Admiral Comprehensive
Sheilas' Wheels Comprehensive
Hastings Direct Standard
NFU Mutual comprehensive
AXA Comprehensive
Diamond Comprehensive

Find more providers

The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products we can track; we don't cover every product on the market...yet. Unless we've indicated otherwise, products are shown in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations), aren't product ratings, although we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it; this is subject to our terms of use. When making a big financial decision, it's wise to consider getting independent financial advice, and always consider your own financial circumstances when comparing products so you get what's right for you.
*51% of consumers could save £257.97 on their Car Insurance. The saving was calculated by comparing the cheapest price found with the average of the next three cheapest prices quoted by insurance providers on Seopa Ltd’s insurance comparison website. This is based on representative cost savings from January 2021 data. The savings you could achieve are dependent on your individual circumstances and how you selected your current insurance supplier.

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