Is Third Party, Fire and Theft insurance enough cover?

Is third party, fire and theft cover for my car enough?

  • Weigh up the pros and cons
  • Third Party insurance is the minimum form of insurance
  • Cover yourself for repair costs to someone else’s vehicle
  • Third Party insurance is attractive to low-mileage drivers
  • Add Fire and Theft for extra affordable cover
  • The Road Accident Fund pays for injuries to third parties


The first thing motorists who cannot afford comprehensive insurance must evaluate is whether or not third party, fire and theft insurance is enough cover in the event of an accident.

Comprehensive insurance is not compulsory. That stipulation only applies to vehicles under finance from banks or other lending institutions.

However, motorists must assess for themselves the advantages, or otherwise, of foregoing comprehensive insurance in favour of more cost-effective options.

Firstly, let’s take a look at Third Party insurance.

What is Third Party insurance?

This form of insurance only covers the cost of repairing a third party’s vehicle. It does not cover any damage to the insured Third Party, Fire and Theftmotorist’s vehicle. However, in the event of an accident caused by the driver of another vehicle, the motorist with Third Party insurance can lodge a claim against that driver’s insurance company.

The third party is the motorist of the other vehicle.

Third Party insurance is particularly attractive to owners of older and fully paid-up vehicles. It is also a favourite among motorists who drive infrequently and short distances – such as visits to the local stores two or three times a week.

Third Party, while offering the owner no cover on his/her vehicle, will fully pay damages to another motorist’s vehicle, minus an excess in terms of the insurance agreement. This is very important insurance cover, particularly if the third party vehicle is an expensive model.

Third Party insurance also includes personal liability cover for an accident outside South Africa’s borders.

Now let’s take a look at Third Party, Fire and Theft Car Insurance.

Third Party, Fire and Theft insurance

Unlike stand-alone third-party insurance, this basic form of vehicle insurance provides cover for accidental damage caused to someone else’s vehicle, as well as covering the policyholder in the event of fire, theft and hijacking. But remember, Third Party, Fire and Theft insurance does not cover accidental damages caused to the policyholder’s vehicle.

Know these two important insurance facts

Most motorists are unaware of the principles of the Apportionment of Damages. This comes into play when the driver or more than one vehicle can be blamed for an accident.

For example, Drive A reverses out of his driveway without checking for oncoming traffic and Driver B crashes into the vehicle without taking evasive action.

Drive A’s insurance company may then apply the principles of Apportionment of Damages to estimate the amounts payable by both drivers for repairs to the vehicles. That is what is known as the Apportionment of Damages principle.

Another important insurance factor is that the Road Accident Fund (RAF) covers a driver’s liability when a third party is injured in an accident. While the RAF does not provide financial assistance for vehicle damages, it will cover personal injury to a third party.


Third Party insurance, whether or not it includes fire and theft, should be the minimum form of cover for all South African vehicle owners if they want to avoid the financial nightmare of finding the money to pay for repair costs when involved in an accident.

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All info was correct at time of publishing December 12, 2017