Comprehensive vs third party car insurance

Which one is best for me?

The perfect car insurance policy would probably be free. But since that isn’t really an option you’ll need to look at cost vs cover instead.

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Let's break it down...

Do you want the full package, or just the essentials?

  • Third party car insurance: The all-important liability insurance.
  • Comprehensive car insurance: The full package. If it can make a mess of your car or your bank account, comprehensive insurance might be able to cover it.

Spot the difference

Third party car insuranceComprehensive car insurance
Covers third party liability?
  • Yes
  • Yes
Covers accident damage?
  • No
  • Yes
Covers fire, flood, earthquake, storm, hail and similar?
  • No
  • Yes
Covers theft?
  • No
  • Yes

What exactly is third party liability insurance?

If you rear-end a BMW, then the BMW driver is the third party. The liability is your obligation the cover the cost of damage.

Third party liability insurance can pay for your liability on the road. It’s the cheap “essential” type car insurance. It’s not mandatory like a green slip, but it’s still a good idea.

That’s because liability can cost a lot more than your car. Say you have a heart attack while driving and plow into a mansion.

Maybe it wasn’t your fault per se, but legally it was and you might have to pay for the damage.

Without liability insurance that could mean a lifetime of debt and garnished wages. And possibly a second heart attack when you get the bill. With liability insurance that could mean filling out some paperwork instead.

Just as useful, liability insurance might also let you “borrow” a high powered corporate legal team if some jerk pulls an insurance scam or otherwise tries to hold you liable for property damage.

It makes sense. Sometimes the insurer can save money by fighting a claim or reaching a settlement rather than paying for the liability. With liability cover you and your insurer have the same goals.

That’s exactly why a car insurance policy typically tells you not to admit to any guilt or liability after an accident. It’s so a pack of lawyers can defend you more easily if it comes to it.

What exactly is comprehensive car insurance?

Comprehensive car insurance includes liability insurance as above. It also covers damage to your car.

The main kind of damage is probably accident damage. But if needed, comprehensive cover may also pay out for floods, earthquakes, fire, theft, falling tree branches or being hit by a falling meteor on the freeway. All the usual driving hazards.

There are some catches though. You probably won’t be able to claim for a punctured tyre for example.

There’s also the excess to worry about. This is basically a flat sum that you’ll need to pay when making a claim. It’s designed to cover administrative fees, prevent customers from claiming every single nick and scratch, and to generally make you think twice before claiming.

Are there any other kinds of policy?

Between the two you’ll find third party liability insurance with fire and theft cover. This is exactly what it sounds like.

Fire and theft are two of the most common types of car insurance claim, other than accidents, so this might be a useful blend.

What else is covered?

You can also find a range of other benefits with car insurance. As expected, you’ll typically find a lot more with comprehensive than the other cover types.

These can include complimentary roadside assistance, lock and key replacement after theft, a rental car following a claim and many more.

Third party only policies are often a bit sparse on the extras, with the exception of an “uninsured driver extension.”

This is a limited level of damage cover for your car, usually around $3,000 to $5,000, usable in one specific situation; when a driver without any third party liability insurance of their own is found at fault for an accident and damage to your car.

They’ll need to be found at fault though. This usually means you need to get their details like name, address and contact number.

But for obvious reasons, a driver without insurance might not be too keen on stopping and swapping insurance details after an accident. So good luck with that.

Which is best?

It all depends.

Ready to compare car insurance policies?

Details Features
Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Save 24% on your policy if you've been claim free for 3 years.
  • Discounts: No
  • Pay monthly at an extra cost
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - up to $50 a day
  • Choice of repairer: No
  • Roadside assistance: No
Get Quote More info
Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Save up to 15% when you buy online.
  • Discounts: Buy online and save 15%
  • Pay monthly at an extra cost
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - up to $1,000 (limit 14 days)
  • Choice of repairer: Yes
  • Roadside assistance: Optional
Get Quote More info
Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Buy online and save up to 10%. Price-beat guarantee for drivers aged over 25.
  • Discounts: Buy online and save up to 10%
  • Pay monthly at no extra cost
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - up to $70 a day for up to 14 days
  • Choice of repairer: No
  • Roadside assistance: Optional
Get Quote More info
Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Complete a quote but don't end up switching? You'll still get 100 YouiDollars.
  • Discounts: Chance for 100 YouiDollars
  • Pay monthly at an extra cost
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - Reasonable costs for 14 days
  • Choice of repairer: Yes
  • Roadside assistance: Yes
Get Quote More info
Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Buy online and save up to 10% on your policy.
  • Discounts: Save up to 10% when you buy online
  • Pay monthly at no extra cost
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - up to $70 a day for 14 days
  • Choice of repairer: No
  • Roadside assistance: Optional
Get Quote More info
Price Saver (Comprehensive)
Price Saver (Comprehensive)
New customers can receive up to 10,000 Velocity Frequent Flyer points. Ends 28 Feb 2018.
  • Discounts: Buy online and save 15%
  • Pay monthly at an extra cost
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - up to $1,000 (limit 14 days)
  • Choice of repairer: Yes
  • Roadside assistance: Optional
Get Quote More info
Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Transforms your driving so it's 100% carbon neutral.
  • Discounts: No
  • Pay monthly at no extra cost
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - up to $70 a day for up to 14 days
  • Choice of repairer: No
  • Roadside assistance: No
Get Quote More info
Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Save up to 10% when you buy online.
  • Discounts: Buy online and save up to 10%
  • Pay monthly at no extra cost
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - up to $100 a day for up to 30 days
  • Choice of repairer: Yes
  • Roadside assistance: No
Get Quote More info
Comprehensive - Elegant Cover
Comprehensive - Elegant Cover
Save up to 20% when you purchase online.
  • Discounts: Save up to 20% when you purchase online
  • Pay monthly at an extra cost
  • Hire car after theft: Yes - up to $60 a day for up to 14 days
  • Choice of repairer: No
  • Roadside assistance: Optional
Get Quote More info

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