Third party,fire and theft insurance explained

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There are three main types of car insurance: 'third party', 'third party, fire and theft', and 'comprehensive'. Third-party cover is the most basic of the three.

It's illegal to drive without at least third party car insurance in the UK, which covers you if you damage someone else's property or injure them.

Third party, fire and theft insurance is quite similar to third party cover but offers a bit of extra protection.

We explain everything you need to know!

What does third party, fire and theft insurance cover?

Third party, fire and theft insurance covers you for three main things:

Third parties

That just means it covers other people (third parties) and their property if you cause a car accident.

So if an accident is your fault, your insurer would pay for :

  • Any damage done to the other person's car, or someone else's property

  • Medical and injury compensation costs of another person/people if they got hurt in the accident

Fire

You'll be covered if your car is damaged in accidental fire (like if there was a fire in your garage). And also if your someone else sets fire to your car.

Theft

You'll be covered if your car is stolen. You'll also be covered if your car gets damaged while someone's trying to steal it, like if they smash its windows.

You can build up a no-claims bonus through third party cover

Most insurers offer a no-claims bonus for all insurance types, including third party.

This means you'll build your no-claims bonus at the same rate on a third party policy as you would a more comprehensive one.

Get a fairer policy price
Our new Smart Pricing feature factors how well you drive into your quote and could help you get a fairer price for car insurance! Learn more

Your insurer might not pay out for all fire and theft situations

Third party fire and theft insurance doesn't cover your own car if you have an accident and it's your fault. So if you accidentally scraped, bumped or crashed your car, your insurer wouldn't pay to fix or replace it.

The same goes if any of your any personal possessions get damaged in a crash - like your phone.

It also wouldn't cover your medical or compensation costs if you got hurt in a car accident.

(If the car accident is someone else's fault, their insurance will cover you).

Third party, fire and theft insurance doesn't cover you to drive another car, either.

You'd need to take out separate insurance to drive a car you don't own.

If your car is stolen, your insurer might not pay out if you left your car unsecured.

Say, if you accidentally left it unlocked or left a window down.

Claims
Your insurer may ask for evidence when you make a claim. We explain everything you need to know in our claims guide. Learn more

Third party, fire and theft insurance can be more expensive than fully comprehensive cover

Third party, and third party, fire and theft used to be one of the cheaper types of car insurance.

But then insurers started to realise that people who take out third party covers were having more accidents, making them riskier to insure.

As a general rule, drivers with a higher risk of making a claim get charged more for car insurance.

This means that third party fire and theft cover is usually more expensive than fully comprehensive insurance.

The average third party, fire and theft policy is around £847, almost double the price of the average comprehensive policy which costs £486 per year!

At Cuvva, we reckon it makes no sense to offer less cover for more money. That's why we offer flexible pay-monthly car insurance that's interest-free and comprehensive.

Read more
Why is car insurance so expensive? Learn more

Laid-up cover can be used if your car is declared off-road

Laid-up cover is a type of car insurance designed for cars that are officially 'off the road' (or 'laid up').

That just means the owner has told the DVLA that the car's out of use, so they don't have to tax or insure it.

Sometimes the owner might want some level of cover though, just in case the car gets stolen or damaged while it's laid up.

Does third party, fire and theft insurance cover you to drive your car abroad?

Most insurers will cover you to drive your car abroad - but this might only be at a third party level (even if you have third party, fire and theft cover in the UK).

You should always check with your insurer what exactly they cover you for before you make any plans.

You'll also need to get a Green Card to prove you have insurance before you drive abroad. To get one, ask your insurer and they'll give you one.

Until recently, you didn't need a green card to drive your car in Europe. You'd only need one to drive outside the EU. But now that the UK has left the EU, you need a green card to drive there, too.

Updated on 5th May 2021