What is Third-Party, Fire and Theft Insurance?

Blue car with smashed windowCar insurance is a legal requirement in the UK, but knowing what car insurance policy to get can be an overwhelming decision to make if you’re not sure what level of cover you need.

When it comes to car insurance, there are numerous different kinds of policies to choose from, including third party only, third party fire and theft car insurance, also often referred to as TPFT and comprehensive cover. 

In our guide below, we cover everything you need to know about fire and theft car insurance, as well as what to do with a third party fire and theft accident that wasn’t your fault.

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What does third-party, fire and theft cover?

There are three main levels of car insurance you can buy:

  • Third-party only
  • Third party fire and theft
  • Fully comprehensive cover

Third-party only cover is the legal minimum amount of car insurance you can have in the UK, but many people choose a higher level of car insurance to ensure they’re protected in many eventualities.

When it comes to third party fire and theft, this policy covers any damage that you cause to another person and their property, as well as any damage caused by a fire and it also covers you if your car is stolen. However, it doesn’t cover your vehicle if you’re involved in an accident, it will only cover the other driver.

If an accident is deemed to be your fault, your TPFT policy will cover the costs as a result of you causing injury to another person, damage to someone else’s car or damage to a third party’s property. However, if you’re involved in an accident but it was the other driver’s fault and not yours, you won’t need to claim on your policy as their insurance should cover the costs.

What is the difference between third party only and third party fire and theft?

Third-party only covers the cost of repairs as a result of damage you caused to another person’s vehicle or property, whereas third party fire and theft will also protect your car in some circumstances, such as replacing your car if it’s stolen, repairs to your car if it’s damaged in an attempted theft and replacing or fixing your car if it’s damaged by fire.

Third-party VS comprehensive car insurance - What's the difference?

As it suggests in its name, comprehensive car insurance is the most extensive level of car insurance that you can get and it covers you for damage caused to other people and their property as well as any damage to your vehicle, even if it was your fault. 

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Advantages and disadvantages of third party fire and theft insurance

The type of car insurance that’s right for you depends on numerous things, but before you commit to a policy, it’s a good idea to weigh up the pros and cons of third party fire and theft insurance to see if it’s the right option for you.


  • It’s usually much cheaper than third party only cover, and you’re covered for more circumstances.
  • It offers peace of mind that your insurance will cover the cost of any damages or repairs required as a result of an accident that you caused.


  • You’re not covered for any damage caused to your vehicle, so you will have to cover the costs of repairs and replacements out of your pocket.
  • It’s not necessarily cheaper than comprehensive cover, so you could be paying more for a less comprehensive policy.

Can I get a no-claims discount with third-party, fire and theft insurance?

Even if you choose a third party fire and theft car insurance policy over comprehensive cover, you are still able to enjoy your no claims bonus, providing that you’re a safe driver and you avoid making any claims on your insurance.

Is third party fire and theft cheaper than fully comp cover?

While you would automatically assume that third party fire and theft cover would be much cheaper than fully comprehensive car insurance, it’s often only found to be marginally cheaper and a study carried out by USwitch found that it was only 1% cheaper.

However, in a study carried out by MoneySuperMarket in January 2020, they found that the average fully comprehensive policy costs drivers up to 45% less!

Of course, the cost of car insurance depends on many factors, so depending on your driving history, the car you’re insuring, plus other factors, this will determine how much you'll have to pay for your car insurance.

In some cases, however, it might be worth going for fully comp cover, even if it is marginally more expensive as it means that you’ll be covered for many more situations.

What is the average cost of third party fire and theft car insurance?

In January 2020, according to MoneySuperMarket, the average cost of a third party fire and theft car insurance policy was £886 a year, compared to an average of £490 a year for fully comprehensive cover.

How to find the best deal

When it comes to finding cheap third party fire and theft insurance, there are several things you can do to keep the cost of your premiums as low as possible while still ensuring you get the right level of cover. 

The best way to find cheap third party fire and theft insurance is to simply shop around and compare quotes from different competitors. While it can seem like quite an arduous and time-consuming task to sift through quotes from different providers, it can end up saving you a lot of money, rather than going for the first provider you see.

Paying annually for your car insurance can also help you to save money rather than paying monthly as you avoid having to pay any interest rate fees that some insurers charge. It’s also important that you’re honest about your driving history when applying for car insurance so that it reflects how well you can drive.

Get a quote with Bobatoo today, or check out our related guide for more tips and advice!

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