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What Is Third Party Insurance For a Car


Third party cover is the minimum required cover for UK drivers to legally operate on the road. It will cover you against damage you cause to another person’s car as well as associated costs to others due to injury. Read on to find out everything you need to know about third-party insurance and why you need it…

What does third-party insurance cover?

Third-party is the minimum requirement for UK drivers to legally operate a car or motor vehicle on public roads. It is necessary to prevent people from causing damage on the road that they will not be able to financially cover. This effectively keeps all road users safe and ensures that everyone can drive without the fear of being in an accident that will leave them in a situation where they can’t recover the costs.

Third party only insurance meaning

Third-party-only insurance is another way of saying third-party insurance. This is typically to differentiate between third party, fire and theft or TPFT. Whilst third-party-only insurance is typically the minimum legal requirement for car insurance in many countries, as it ensures that the other party involved in an accident is compensated for their losses, third-party fire and theft includes the additional coverage of fire and theft compensation. Whilst third-party-only insurance may be adequate for many drivers, it won’t cover you for any damage to your own vehicle or person, hence third party only.

What is covered

  1. Damage you cause to other vehicles or property when your at fault – This will protect you against the cost of damages you cause to other vehicles or property.
  2. Associated costs due to injury caused to others when your at fault – You will be able to claim the costs against you for injury or death caused to another person if you cause an accident. However serious injury and death will be investigated by other agencies beyond your insurer including the police.

What isn’t covered

  1. Damage to your own vehicle – If you cause an accident the damage to your own vehicle will not be covered by the insurer
  2. Your own injury costs – You will not be able to claim the costs of your own injuries from an accident where you are at fault.

What are the disadvantages of third-party car insurance?

Whilst it tends to be the cheapest car insurance policy on the market, the main drawback of third-party-only insurance is that you will not be covered for your own damages in the event that you cause an accident. There are differing variations of third-party car insurance as previously mentioned such as third-party fire and theft. This will provide you the same level of coverage as standard third-party insurance but with additional coverage against fire and theft damage costs to your car. This is naturally more expensive given that your insurer will be covering you for more damages.

What are the 3 main types of car insurance?

  1. Third-party
  2. Third-party fire and theft
  3. Comprehensive cover

Each of these insurance types increases in their level of coverage as you move down the list. Third party as previously mentioned is the lowest level of coverage whilst third party fire and theft offers an additional level of protection against fire and theft.

Comprehensive cover offers you all the coverage of the previous two options but with the additional benefit of coverage against damage to your own vehicle and injuries. This means if you cause an accident your insurer will still be able to cover your own losses as well as the damages you caused to third parties.

What happens if I have a accident on third party insurance?

If you get into an accident, the first thing to do is to notify your insurance as soon as you have exchanged details with the other party. It will then be between your insurer and the other party’s insurer to determine who is at fault. Once this is determined there are three outcomes.

  • If you are at fault, You will be responsible for all damages to your own vehicle and the medical costs of any injuries to yourself. Your insurer will cover the damage to the party’s car or property along with any injuries you may have caused.
  • If you are not at fault, The other party’s insurer will be liable to pay you for damages to your car and person if you are injured.
  • If fault cannot be determined, if liability cannot be determined then the costs will be split 50/50. This means your insurer and the other party’s insurer will pay you both half of the money of the total claim amount. Your insurer will pay the other party half and their insurer will in turn pay you half your claim.

Can I drive any car with third party insurance?

No, you can only drive any vehicle you are insured for under your policy. There was a time where fully comprehensive allowed drivers third party cover for driving any car but this is no longer the case.

Can police stop you if you have third party insurance?

As long as you have not committed any offence then your third party insurance will mean you meet the minimum coverage requirements.

Can I drive my car with only 3rd party insurance?

Yes, driving with third party insurance will mean you have some coverage in place for your vehicle so you will legally be able to drive a car under third party insurance.

Which type of car insurance is best?

This really depends on you, you’re insurance premiums will likely be higher if you take out fully comprehensive but you will have more protection against an accident. If you take out third party only you may save on your premiums but lenders are aware that riskier drivers are more likely to opt for third party only. This means the amount you pay for comprehensive compared to the premiums of third party only mean it may be worth it to pay slightly more for the extra coverage.

At Quotezone, helping people find better deals is important to us. We can help you find the best deals on your car insurance with our panel of dedicated UK specialists. Whether you’re looking for third partythird party fire and theft, or comprehensive cover, Quotezone has you covered. We helps around 3 million users every year, with over 400 insurance brands across 60 different car insurance products as well as cover for bicycles, motorbikes and home insurance. Recommended by 97% of reviewers on Reviews.co.uk.

This article is intended as generic information only and is not intended to apply to anybody’s specific circumstances, demands or needs. The views expressed are not intended to provide any financial service or to give any recommendation or advice. Products and services are only mentioned for illustrative rather than promotional purposes.