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Third party car insurance

Car driving on a motorway.

If you need to insure your car, there are three main cover options to choose from: third party only, third party fire and theft and comprehensive insurance. Here's all you need to know about third party car insurance cover.

What is third party car insurance?

Third party insurance is the most basic level of cover you're legally required to have in order to drive your car on public roads in the UK.

If you're involved in an accident and you're found to be at fault, third party only insurance covers losses to any third party cars or property, but it doesn't cover your car. Likewise, with this type of cover, you won't receive a payout to repair or replace your car if it's damaged or stolen.

What does third party insurance cover?

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

If the accident is deemed your fault, you'll be expected to pay the excess agreed at the time of taking out insurance.

Do I need third party insurance?

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

  • Third party, fire and theft features all the benefits of third party cover but also offers protection if your car's damaged by fire or is stolen. If you're in an accident and deemed at fault, you could find it's your responsibility to cover any medical or repair fees.
  • 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 thought to be responsible for causing the accident.

Is third party insurance cheaper?

You may be wondering, what are the advantages of third party insurance? Well, these policies were traditionally cheaper than other types of cover, but today, you're likely to find comprehensive insurance can be the most affordable option.

This is 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 claim. Insurers therefore have to raise premiums to balance the risk, which unfortunately also affects drivers with lots of experience and who have a claim-free driving history.

Of course, there's no definitive answer to 'How much is third party insurance for a car?' It's not just stats insurance providers take into account when calculating cover; things like driver history, experience, occupation and where you keep your car during the day and night all play a part.

Can I 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 even then there may be some restrictions, so it’s important to check the terms and conditions with your insurer.

If you drive someone else's car under a comprehensive policy, bear in mind 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 mentioned, you can't claim if your own car's damaged in the accident or you're injured and need medical attention. You'll have to cover the associated costs.

So, is third party the right option for you?

The most important thing to bear in mind with third party cover is 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 your car is cheap or 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 the cheapest option, remember the level of protection you actually get is far less than if you were to take out comprehensive insurance and you'll probably have to pay out much more in the event of an accident.

Third party insurance with Hastings Direct

If you're after third party car insurance for a price that won't break the bank, look no further than Hastings Direct. All of our policies are packed with lots of benefits as standard, along with a number of optional extras so drivers can tailor cover to suit their needs. To see how much you can save, get a quote today.

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