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Third party, fire and theft car insurance


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What’s third party, fire and theft (TPFT) insurance?

A TPFT policy combines third party cover with protection for your car against fire and theft.

Third party insurance is the minimum level of car insurance you need in the UK. It covers any damage or injuries you may cause to other people, their vehicle or property, but not you or your car.

A TPFT policy is one step up from third party only - it also provides cover for your car if it’s damaged by fire, or if it’s stolen or damaged in an attempted theft.

However, if you want the costs of any repairs to your car to be covered in an accident that was your fault, you’ll need comprehensive cover.

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What does third party, fire and theft cover?

A TPFT policy will typically include cover for:

  • Damage you cause to someone else’s car or property
  • Causing an injury to someone else
  • Replacing your car if it’s stolen
  • Repairing any damage caused by an attempted theft
  • Repairing or replacing your car because of fire damage

How much is third party, fire and theft cover?

TPFT is typically seen as the middle option for car insurance, but the cost will depend on several factors including:

  • The make of your car
  • Where you live
  • Your driving history
  • If you drive the car for work or business use
  • Your annual mileage
  • Any modifications made to your car
  • Additional drivers on the policy

What isn’t covered by third party, fire and theft?

Although you’ll have the added protection against fire and theft, you won’t be covered for other situations including:

  • Damage to your car or injuries to you if the accident was your fault
  • Any flood damage to your car
  • Your car being stolen when you hadn’t secured it properly
  • Loss, theft or damage to your personal belongings
  • If your windscreen needs repairing or replacing
  • Fire damage caused by mechanical, electrical or electronic failure

Other types of car insurance

Third party only

This type of policy will only cover damage you cause to someone else, their vehicle or their property. It won’t cover your car or any of your injuries if the accident is your fault. This is the legal minimum level of car insurance in the UK.

Fully comprehensive

This provides the highest level of cover. You’ll get all the protection of TPFT, but you’ll also be covered for the cost of repairing or replacing your own car if you’re in an accident that was your fault - minus your excess.

Multi-car insurance

Whichever level of cover you choose, if you have more than one car at the same address it’s possible to cover them all under the same policy. You can get a discount for adding extra vehicles to the policy and each car can still earn its own no-claims discount.

£4 million refunded to customers with free excess cover^^

If you need to claim, we’ll pay £250 towards your excess^. Just another reason to make your life choices on Go.Compare.

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What’s the best policy for you?

The cheapest car insurance isn’t always the best option so it’s important for you to consider different features and compare what’s on offer.

When you’re looking around, check the small print carefully to understand what’s covered.

Some policies may include features like breakdown recovery and windscreen cover, or you may have to buy these as policy extras.

The right policy will be one that suits your needs and pays out when you need it to, as well as being affordable.

How can I get cheaper car insurance?

Prices can vary and insurers calculate your premiums using a number of factors, including your age and driving history.

But there are ways to help lower the cost, including:

  1. Getting quotes early

    Don’t leave sorting out your cover until right before the renewal date. Typically, the earlier you buy car insurance the cheaper it will be

  2. Adding a named driver

    Adding an experienced driver with a good driving history can help to lower your overall risk and may lower your premium

  3. Checking your mileage

    Estimate your mileage as accurately as you can. Driving fewer miles means you’re considered a lower risk to insure, so try to limit the amount you drive each year

  4. Improving your car’s security

    Installing devices like alarms, immobilisers, dash cams and wheel lock devices could make your car insurance cheaper

  5. Using telematics

    A device is installed in your car to monitor your driving. Insurers use this data to give good drivers discounts on their insurance at renewal time

  6. Choosing the right policy

    Consider what level of cover you actually need. If your car isn’t worth very much, a TPFT policy could save you money. Make sure you check the policy covers everything you may need before committing.

  7. Paying annually

    It’s usually cheaper to pay annually

  8. Driving safely

    If you can avoid accidents and driving offences by driving with care, you can build up your no-claims discount and keep your premiums lower

Frequently asked questions

The main difference is that with fully comprehensive insurance you and your car are covered if you’re in an accident that was your fault.

A comprehensive policy provides the highest level of protection, so it covers all damage and injury to you and anyone else involved in an accident that you caused.

Even if you add fire and theft cover to a third party policy, you’ll still have to pay out for any damage to your car caused by an accident you were responsible for.

Yes, most car insurance policies will cover you for driving abroad. But you’ll usually only be given third party cover when you’re overseas.

This means that if you’ve got a TPFT policy, you won’t benefit from fire and theft cover when you’re abroad.

Before you go away always check what will and won’t be covered. There are certain countries where you may need to get a green card from your insurer to prove you’ve got car insurance, so check whether this applies for your trip.

Historically, because TPFT offers less protection than comprehensive cover, it was cheaper.

However, over time insurers have collected data on drivers and their car insurance.

This has shown that drivers with third party cover are typically involved in more accidents and have higher value claims. They also tend to be younger.

As a result, insurers now view third party drivers as a greater risk, so they’ve increased the price of these policies.

This means that TPFT can sometimes cost more than comprehensive cover, so it’s worth comparing the prices of different types of policy.

This depends on whether the accident was your fault. If someone else caused the accident, you’ll be able to claim for any injuries and damage through their insurance provider.

But if you were responsible for the accident, you’ll need to claim on your insurance policy for any damages you’ve caused to the other party. And you’ll lose your no-claims discount.

In an accident that was your fault, you won’t be able to claim for any damage to your car.

Whatever the cause, it’s important to tell your insurer about any car accident you’re involved in as soon as possible, even if you’re not making a claim.

Yes, whatever level of car insurance you choose, you can still build up your no-claims discount.

Insurers reward you for every year you don’t make a claim. This can make your premiums cheaper and this discount will increase the longer you remain claim-free.

You can also usually take your no-claims discount with you if you switch providers.

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Page last reviewed: 24 January 2023

Page reviewed by: Jasmine Hembury