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Third party car insurance

We don't currently offer third party only insurance to new customers. However, we do offer third party fire and theft insurance. Want to know more? Find all you need right here.

What is third party only and third party fire and theft insurance?

Let's start with third party only insurance. This is the most basic level of cover you're legally required to have to drive your car on public roads in the UK. If you're involved in an accident and found to be at fault, third party only insurance covers losses to any third party cars or property – but here's the important bit, it doesn't cover your car. And with this type of cover, you won't receive a payout to repair or replace your car if it's damaged or stolen.

There's also third party fire and theft insurance. This is one level up from a third party only policy. It's the same cover, with the addition that your car is covered if it's stolen or damaged by fire.

What does third party only and third party fire and theft insurance include?

  • Losses from damage to third party cars.
  • Losses from damage to third party property.
  • Third party medical expenses.

In addition to this, third party fire and theft insurance also includes:

  • Damage to your car because of attempted theft, for example smashed windows.
  • Accidental and non-accidental fire (cases of arson must be reported to the police and you'll need to get a crime reference number).

And be aware that if the accident is found to be your fault, you'll be expected to pay the excess you agreed when you took out your insurance.

Do you need third party insurance?

Yes you do as third party car insurance is the minimum required by law – and you could be fined thousands of pounds if you're caught without the appropriate cover. Third party is the most basic level of insurance, so you might choose to boost your protection with a more thorough policy:

Comprehensive insurance offers the highest level of protection, as it covers damage to your own car. This means your insurer will pay to repair or replace your car up to its current market value, even if you're found to be responsible for causing the accident.

Is third party insurance cheaper?

Third party policies were traditionally cheaper than other types of cover, but not so much now. You're likely to find comprehensive insurance can be the most affordable option. And that's all to do with statistics.

Drivers with less experience are more likely to take out third party insurance – but they're also more likely to have a crash and then claim. It means insurers have to raise premiums to balance that risk. Unfortunately, this also affects drivers with lots of experience and who have a claim-free driving history.

It's not only statistics that insurance providers take into account when calculating your cover; things like your driver history, experience, occupation and where you keep your car all play a part too.

Can you get a no claims bonus with third party fire and theft?

Yes you can. As long as you're the main driver on the policy (and not just a named driver), you can build up a no claims discount on all types of car insurance. Generally speaking, the more years of no claims you have, the greater the discount to your car insurance premium when you come to renew.

Can you drive someone else's car with third party insurance?

With third party insurance, you're not covered to drive someone else's car – even if they give you permission. You need to have a comprehensive policy to do this, and there may be some restrictions as well. So it's really important to check the terms and conditions with your insurer.

And if you drive someone else's car under a comprehensive policy, please remember you'll only have third party protection.

Do you have to pay excess towards a third party claim?

If you're involved in an accident and the other driver claims against you, you don't have to pay the excess – your insurer will cover this. As we've said, you can't claim if your own car is damaged in an accident, or you're injured and need medical attention. Those costs will be down to you.

So, is third party the right option for you?

The most important thing to bear in mind with third party cover is this – if you're ever involved in an accident, you'll have to cover all personal costs. Could you afford to repair your car if it was severely damaged? Or replace it altogether? If you think you'd be able to do a lot of the repairs yourself, third party cover could be a good option for you.

If you start looking around and third party comes back as the cheapest option, remember the level of protection you actually get is far less than comprehensive insurance. So in the event of an accident, you might have to pay out much more.

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