What is third party car insurance?
Third party car insurance is the minimum legal level of cover needed to drive a car. It covers you if you damage someone else’s property or injure them while driving, and will cover your passengers too.
The average annual cost of third party only car insurance is £1326*, according to MoneySuperMarket data. This is considerably more than the average premium for a fully comprehensive policy, which is £579*.
Third party car insurance does not cover you or your car if you have an accident that is your fault, or if your car is stolen, damaged or destroyed by fire.
What are the advantages of third party car insurance cover?
Traditionally, third party insurance was the cheapest option for anyone looking to buy car insurance on a budget. But due to an increase of less experienced drivers buying third party cover and then needing to claim, insurance companies have upped the premiums considerably.
These changes in the market may mean that third party cover won’t necessarily represent the best value for money for you, either because a fully comprehensive policy is cheaper, or you can get more extensive cover for a similar price.
However, it’s important to research different forms of cover using a car insurance comparison tool that takes your personal circumstances into consideration, because fully comprehensive insurance cover could still prove more expensive than third party insurance for your particular needs.
Is it risky to buy third party insurance?
If your car isn’t worth a lot of money, third party insurance cover might be the right option for you. But as mentioned, since fully comprehensive cover is oftentimes cheaper, the choice depends on how much you care about your car.
Plus, it’s vital to be aware that third party cover won’t provide you with the level of protection that a third party, fire and theft or a fully comprehensive insurance policy would offer.
What’s different about third party, fire and theft cover?
Third party, fire and theft (TPFT) cover does exactly what you’d expect – it provides the same level of protection as third party insurance, but also covers you in the event that your vehicle was stolen or damaged by fire.
As with third party only, TPFT insurance won’t cover any damages caused by collisions or accidents and is on average more expensive than fully comprehensive cover.
Is third party car insurance the cheapest option for me?
Not necessarily. While you could be forgiven for assuming that third party car insurance will be cheaper for you than TPFT or fully comprehensive cover, this is probably not be the case.
MoneySuperMarket research has shown that in most cases, especially those involving young drivers, fully comprehensive insurance cover is cheaper than third party insurance. This is because insurance providers’ own data suggests that some customers who buy third party cover are statistically more likely to need insurance payouts than those who purchase fully comprehensive policies.
Because all insurance policies are priced in accordance with risk, it’s possible that third party insurance won’t be the cheapest option for you. In fact, you might find you can buy superior cover at a lower price!
Compare with MoneySuperMarket
The best way to find out whether a third party, TPFT or fully comprehensive policy will be the cheapest choice for you is to shop around and compare car insurance quotes.
*MoneySuperMarket data. Correct as of September 2017.