Third Party, Fire and Theft Car Insurance

Is it worth taking out TPFT cover?


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By Cai Bradley

on Thursday 24 October 2019


Car with damage on side after accident

Car insurance is one of the financial burdens that, unfortunately, all drivers are legally required to deal with in the UK, and deciding which cover is best for you is never easy.

There’s no one-size-fits-all policy for all drivers and there are different types of car insurance deals on the market that come with various benefits.

One of those car insurance policies is third party, fire and theft (TPFT) cover, which we will introduce, explain, and evaluate here in this guide.

Jump to:

What is third party fire and theft insurance?

What does third party fire and theft cover?

The other types of car insurance available

Comprehensive vs third party fire and theft insurance

What is third party fire and theft insurance?

Third party, fire and theft – or TPFT cover – is one of the most popular types of car insurance policies available in the UK.

It provides more protection than third-party only cover (TPO), but is not as extensive as fully comprehensive insurance, so it could be considered a middle-ground policy of some sort.

But what exactly does it cover?

What does third party fire and theft cover?

Third party, fire and theft car insurance includes all of the cover offered by TPO, in addition to protection against both fire damage and theft to your own vehicle.

A good third party, fire and theft insurance policy typically covers:

  • Injuries to a person in another car

  • Injuries to a passenger in your car

  • Damage to another person’s property or vehicle

  • Theft

  • Fire damage (accidental and intentional)

There may be some limits and exclusions within each TPFT policy, so be sure to check the terms of your car insurance to avoid any unpleasant surprises when it comes to making a claim.

It is a useful policy for those who require slightly more protection than what third party only insurance offers, but do not feel the need for the most extensive fully comprehensive cover.

Those with a car that is relatively cheap and easy to repair are among those who benefit from TPFT insurance, as they do not need protection that’s quite as extensive as fully comprehensive insurance and they save money by avoiding the cost of covering any damage done their own vehicle.

What is not covered by TPFT insurance?

If you are involved in a car accident or road traffic collision, your TPFT cover is unlikely to pay out if:

  • Your vehicle has been damaged by a fire that was caused by mechanical, electrical, electronic or technical breakdowns or failures

  • Your vehicle has been stolen but it was not parked in a sensible place or secured properly

  • You are injured and don’t have separate personal injury cover in place (you will need to pay for your own medical and legal costs)

  • Your car is damaged in an accident that was your fault

  • Your windscreen was damaged

  • Any of your own personal possessions are damaged

You also won’t be covered if you are involved in an accident while driving a different car to the one that you listed on your policy, but that’s also not covered by most basic fully comprehensive policies either, unless you add driving other cars (DOC) cover as an optional extra.

The other types of car insurance available

What other types of car insurance are available in the UK?

There are three main policy types, including:

  • Third party only (TPO) cover

  • Third party, fire and theft insurance

  • Fully comprehensive insurance

Third party only car insurance is the minimum level of cover legally required to drive on public roads in the UK, while fully comprehensive insurance is the most thorough and extensive level of cover available. TPFT – as we mentioned before – is something of a middle-ground between the two.

Read more: The Main Types of Car Insurance Explained

The average cost of each car insurance policy is as follows:

  • Third party only: £1,212

  • Third party, fire and theft: £818

  • Fully comprehensive: £514

Fully comprehensive cover is, on average, the cheapest type of car insurance available in the UK. But if it’s the most extensive level of cover available, why is it the cheapest?

Industry statistics show that drivers who take out the TPO and TPFT cover are more likely to make a claim, which makes them more of a risk to insure and therefore raises the cost of their premiums.

Comprehensive vs third party fire and theft insurance

The main difference between comprehensive and third party, fire and theft insurance is that TPFT does not cover injuries to you or damages to your vehicle caused by an accident that was your fault.

Both have various benefits and differ quite considerably in terms of what they cover, but which type of insurance best suits you depends on your personal situation and what level of cover you require.

If you would like more information on car insurance and the surrounding topics, tap any of the links below:

Types of Car Insurance in the UK

Fully Comprehensive Cover

Complete Guide to Temporary Car Insurance

Third Party Only Car Insurance


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