Third party fire and theft car insurance is designed to cover you when your vehicle is stolen or damaged by fire, or if you’re responsible for an accident that damages someone else’s vehicle or property. This mid-level car insurance option provides cover against the most common risks you face when on or off the road, and is designed to be more affordable than comprehensive car insurance.
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Third party fire and theft policies cover fire, theft and your liability for loss or damage to other people’s property. A typical policy includes the following benefits:
- Damage to someone else's property. Protects you if you cause an accident and damage someone's property, including another driver's car, someone's fence or a street sign.
- Loss or damage to your car from fire or theft. Covers up to the market value of your car if it's stolen, someone tries to steal it or it's damaged in a fire. Your cover will often include all the expenses associated with towing and storing your damaged car.
- Damage to your car if you're hit by an uninsured motorist. If an uninsured motorist hits your car and you can identify the person, TPFT will cover some of the damage. However, this is only partial cover and will usually only cover you for up to $5,000 worth of damages.
What's the difference between CTP and third party insurance?
The mandatory compulsory third party insurance (CTP) only pays for injuries that you cause to others with your car. It's also called your green slip.
TPFT picks up where CTP leaves off by also protecting you if you damage someone's property like their car, bicycle or fence. It also provides some protection for your own car.
You can view them as two important pieces to the same puzzle, where both work together to offer you well-rounded cover without any unnecessary overlap.
Is this type of car insurance right for me?
With several different types of car insurance available, it can be tricky to work out which type of policy is the best fit for you. To help make your choice easier, check out the comparison table below:
|Cover||CTP insurance||Third party property damage insurance||Third party fire and theft insurance||Comprehensive car insurance|
|Damage to my vehicle in an accident|
|Damage to another person’s vehicle or property|
|Loss or damage to my car due to fire|
|Loss or damage to my car due to theft|
|Loss or damage to my car due to storm, hail and flood|
What are the benefits of third party fire and theft car insurance?
There are several reasons why you may want to consider this type of cover for your vehicle:
- It covers the most common risks. Car accidents, theft and fire damage are three of the biggest risks all drivers face, and third party fire and theft insurance provides protection against all of them.
- It's cheaper than comprehensive car insurance. Third party fire and theft insurance is a mid-level policy option that combines a broad range of cover with affordable premiums. Because it doesn't offer the same level of cover as comprehensive car insurance, it's a whole lot more affordable.
- It can be a good choice if your car isn't overly expensive. If your car is a little older and perhaps not as valuable as it used to be, forking out big bucks for comprehensive car insurance may be overkill. However, third party fire and theft cover may offer the right combination of essential cover and cheaper premiums.
- It offers additional benefits. Most third party fire and theft policies also include a range of additional benefits, such as towing and storage costs, a hire car after theft, and cover for damage caused by uninsured motorists.
- It provides peace of mind. Like any form of car insurance, third party fire and theft insurance is all about peace of mind. It gives you the confidence and reassurance you need to hit the road.
What isn’t covered by third party fire and theft insurance?
There are a few situations where TPFT won't cover you and they are most in relation to damages to your car. Here's where you won't be covered:
- Natural disasters. You won't be covered for natural disasters including thunderstorms, floods, hailstorms, earthquakes or landslides. The one exception is bushfire since TPFT does cover fire of all types.
- Vandalism. You won't be covered for vandalism, for example if some kids throw a rock through your window. However, you will be covered if someone damages your car while attempting to steal it.
- Hit and run. You won't be covered if someone hits your car and they never find the culprit.
- Accidents you cause. You won't be covered for any damage to your own car if you cause the crash.
- Hitting an animal. You won't be covered for hitting an animal even if there was nothing you could do to avoid it.
How much does third party fire and theft car insurance cost?
That depends on a whole lot of things. When you apply for a third party fire and theft policy you’ll need to answer a whole range of questions about your car and where you live. Your answers to these questions reveal a range of risk factors that can affect the cost of car insurance, such as:
- The car you drive. The more expensive or powerful your vehicle is, the more it will cost to insure. Whether or not it has a security system fitted can also affect premiums.
- Where you live. If your suburb has a high rate of theft, expect to pay more for cover. You can also expect to pay more if your car is kept on the street rather than locked in a garage.
- The insured drivers. The age, gender, experience, driving record and claims history of all drivers will be assessed by the insurer when determining your premiums. Young drivers pay more than older drivers and cover tends to be more expensive for men than women, while safe drivers with a clean record will be cheaper to insure than those with a chequered history.
- Other factors. Is the car used for business or private use? How many kilometres do you drive each year? Has the car been modified at all? Your answers to all of these questions will have a bearing on how much you pay for cover.
Is third party fire and theft cover worth it?
Third party fire and theft is worth it if you don't need the full suite of cover for your own car, but have a higher risk of experiencing fire damage or theft.
As the middle ground between third party property cover and comprehensive cover, the cost is usually closer to that of third party property cover, meaning you won't have to fork out nearly as much as you would for full protection.
Meanwhile, you'll find it more useful than the more basic third party property cover, especially if you:
- Don't have secure parking
- Commonly travel with your car
- Live in a bushfire-prone area
- Live or work in a high-crime area
Many TPFT policies also cover you for a hire car if your car is stolen and may even offer emergency transportation and accommodation if it's stolen while you're far from home. This gives you an added safety net that goes beyond just protection for your car.
Where can I find the cheapest third party fire and theft policy?
Keep the following tips in mind to help you save money on your car insurance premiums:
- Compare policies. It’s quick and easy to compare car insurance quotes online, so get quotes from multiple insurers and see which policy comes out on top.
- Choose the right level of cover. The lower your level of cover, the less you will pay for your policy. With this in mind, consider whether third party property damage only-cover might be a better fit for you than a policy that also covers fire and theft.
- Choose a higher excess. The higher your excess, the cheaper your premium will be.
- Take advantage of discounts. Many insurers offer discounts to people who insure multiple cars, hold multiple policies with the same provider or are long-term customers.
- Restrict cover. Restricting cover to drivers over the age of 25 or 30 only can help you reduce your premiums.
- Secure your vehicle. Vehicles that are kept in a locked garage and that also have their own security and anti-theft devices installed are harder for thieves to steal, which therefore makes them cheaper to insure.
- Buy online. Some insurers offer substantial discounts if you purchase cover online.
Want to save on your third party fire and theft insurance?
How can I find the best third party fire and theft insurance?
Most third party fire and theft policies cover the same broad set of events. Some of the differences lie in the additional features each offer you. To find the best policy for your needs, you'll want to identify the features that are important to you, track down a few policies that offer them and then go from there.
Here's what to keep in mind:
- Do you travel far from home? If so, you'll want a policy that offers emergency repair transport, accommodation cover. This helps you get back home or to a hotel immediately after a covered event.
- Can you live without a car? If you'd find it hard to go without your car while it's being repaired or replaced, you should consider a policy that covers the cost of a hire car.
- Do you carry expensive items with you? If so, you should consider a policy that has cover for your personal items. Also pay attention to how much personal item cover each policy offers.
- Do you have a repairer you like? Some policies make you use a repairer that they choose. If you have a different repair person you like, you'll want a policy that lets you choose where to go.
Once you land on a few policies that offer the features you want, get quotes from each of them to see who offers the best possible price.
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