What does third party, fire and theft insurance cover?
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. This mid-level car insurance option provides cover against the most common risks you face when on or off the road, but is designed to be more affordable than fully comprehensive car insurance.
A typical third party, fire and theft policy includes:
Cover for any damage or injury caused to other people and their vehicles 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 are the benefits of third party, fire and theft car insurance?
There are several reasons why you may want to consider this type of cover for your vehicle:
It’s usually cheaper than fully comprehensive car insurance. Third party, fire and theft insurance is a mid-level policy option that combines a broad range of cover with affordable premiums. Because it doesn’t offer the same level of cover as fully comprehensive car insurance, it’s tends to be more affordable.
It can be a good choice if your car isn’t overly expensive. If your car is a little older and perhaps not as valuable as it used to be, forking out big money for comprehensive car insurance may be wasteful. Third party, fire and theft cover may offer the right combination of essential cover with cheaper premiums.
It provides peace of mind. Third party, fire and theft is a step above third party only insurance, which is the minimum cover legally required to drive your car on the road. It has the added bonus of providing reassurance you won’t be left out of pocket if your car is stolen or damaged by fire (two of the most common risks).
It is important to note 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?
That depends on a whole lot 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 you premium, 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 and cover tends to be more expensive for men than women, 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 type of car insurance is right for me?
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, check out the comparison table below:
Third Party Fire and Theft
Agreed value cover
At-fault damage to other vehicles
At-fault damage to own vehicle
No claim bonus protection
Not at-fault damage to own vehicle
Third party personal injury
How can I save money on 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.
Choose the right level of cover. Lower cover levels tend to be cheaper, so consider whether third party only cover might be a better fit for you than a policy that also covers fire and theft.
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, hold multiple policies with the same provider or are long-term customers.
Restrict cover. Restricting cover to drivers over the age of 25 or 30 only can help you reduce your premiums.
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.
Frequently asked questions about car insurance
Both policies provide cover for your legal liability when you’re responsible for a car accident that causes injury to someone else and/or damage to their car or property. However, third party, fire and theft insurance also provides cover for loss or damage to your vehicle caused by fire or theft.
Yes, all of these benefits are included in a fully comprehensive car insurance policy, along with a range of other cover features. Check the policy details carefully before signing up, as cover will vary between insurers.
No. The insurance is for your vehicle only and will not cover you when you drive other cars.
No. This type of cover only covers damage to someone else’s vehicle or property in an accident for which you’re responsible.
The only way to find the best third party, fire and theft policy for your needs is to shop around. Compare cover features and quotes from a range of insurers to track down the policy that provides the cover you need at the best possible price.
*Based on independent online research by Consumer Intelligence (March ’20). 51% of car insurance customers could save £285.88.
Ronny Lavie is a deputy editor at Finder, specialising in insurance content. She has almost a decade of experience writing about financial topics, including five months spent as the interim managing editor for the Fintech Times newspaper. Ronny has a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from London Middlesex University and is currently working on her first book.
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