Third Party Fire and Theft Car Insurance

Find out ways to compare Third Party Fire and Theft insurance policies to ensure you receive the best coverage at a good price.

Written by 
Savvy Editorial Team
Savvy's content writing team are professionals with a wide and diverse range of industry experience and topic knowledge. We write across a broad spectrum of finance-related topics to provide our readers with informative resources to help them learn more about a certain area or enable them to decide on which product is best for their needs with careful comparison. Meet the team behind the operation here. Visit our authors page to meet Savvy's expert writing team, committed to delivering informative and engaging content to help you make informed financial decisions.
Our authors
, updated on February 15th, 2024       

Fact checked

At Savvy, we are committed to providing accurate information. Our content undergoes a rigorous process of fact-checking before it is published. Learn more about our editorial policy.

Car Insurance Banner

Insuring your vehicle can be the difference between having to pay tens of thousands of dollars in a bad situation and keeping that money in your account. Car insurance is a must for those who want security in knowing such an important asset will be protected if something goes horribly wrong. Third Party Fire and Theft insurance is one of the optional insurance policies you’ll have to choose from, so it’s worth finding out more about it in this extensive guide. Read about ways you can compare insurers and policies to find the coverage that suits your needs.

How does Third Party Fire and Theft insurance work?

Third Party Fire and Theft insurance (also known as 3rd party fire and theft insurance or TPFT insurance) is one of three types of optional insurance available to Australian car owners. While it’s non-compulsory, taking out a vehicle insurance policy on top of your Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance can save you a significant amount of money if you find yourself in a sticky situation with your vehicle. TPFT insurance will cover the following types of damage:

  • Damage sustained by another vehicle or property in an accident for which you’re liable
  • Damage sustained by your car due to a fire
  • Damage sustained by your car due to theft
  • Loss of your car due to theft

It’s important to note that damage sustained by your vehicle in an accident isn’t covered under a TPFT insurance policy, nor will it cover you for any injuries or deaths caused by an at-fault accident. The latter of those is covered by Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance, which is mandatory for all vehicle owners to take out.

Why should I choose Third Party Fire and Theft insurance over comprehensive car insurance for my vehicle?

The primary benefit TPFT insurance holds in this comparison is its price. Premiums for TPFT insurance policies, while not as cheap as Third Party Property Damage (TPPD) policies, are less costly than those of comprehensive car insurance policies. Comprehensive car insurance is the most expensive when it comes to non-compulsory insurance options, which is thanks to its wide coverage across different types of damage. If you don’t have the financial capability to afford comprehensive car insurance, or if you simply don’t want to pay that much for your premiums while still retaining protection for your car, you might end up selecting a good TPFT insurance policy.

Another reason you might look to take out a TPFT policy is if your vehicle isn’t new anymore or has declined in value. Weighing up the options, it may not end up being worth the extra cost every year to insure your vehicle for accident damage. TPFT might strike the perfect balance of premium cost and coverage, as you’re not exactly getting short-changed when it comes to what you can be reimbursed for. Also, if the area you’re living in is more vulnerable to theft or bushfires, or don’t have a secure place to park your vehicle, you may reason that they’d be more likely reasons for your vehicle to end up being stolen or affected by fire. Let’s take the example below to see how you can save with a TPFT insurance policy:

You’re tossing up whether to take out a TPFT or comprehensive car insurance policy for your car. You’ve had it for a few years now, during which time you haven’t made any claims or been in any accidents, but it’s worth much less now than when you bought it new. You decide that the most important area of coverage for you is fire or theft damage, as you’re a safe driver with a spotless accident record but live on a property with no in-built parking facilities. Because your car isn’t worth a huge amount, you believe that if an accident did happen, you’d be more focused on the damage done to another car rather than your own.

You speak with an insurer who offers you a comprehensive car insurance policy valued at $90 per month. You then go to a different insurer for their TPFT insurance policy and find that they’re willing to offer $70 per month, which only omits coverage for damage to your car if you’re found liable for an accident when compared to the comprehensive car insurance policy. Laying out how much that might cost you, you find the following:

Monthly cost 12-month spend Overall saving
TPFT policy
Comprehensive policy

*Calculations are based on estimates. Rates may not reflect current market offers for TPFT or comprehensive car insurance.

Under these conditions, you’d save $240 in just one year by choosing not to cover damage to your car in the event of an accident because you’re a safe driver. In scenarios like this, it might seem like a no-brainer to choose the TPFT policy, but it’s still worth considering the coverage and how much value you place on it.

Types of car insurance you can choose from

Top tips on how to compare Third Party Fire and Theft insurance policies

Compare the cost of premiums

This is a good place to start. If you’re able to work out a certain price per month or annual lump sum that you don’t really want to go beyond, you can begin to narrow down your list of potential insurance providers.

Compare what you’ll be covered for

The coverage you’ll receive under your policy is another significant factor that you should consider. While every insurer will cover the same general ground (third party damage to property, fire and theft damage/loss to your vehicle), some will throw other bonuses into the mix. For example, you’ll be able to find insurers that’ll cover you for a rental car for as long as three weeks if it’s been stolen.

Compare how much you’ll receive from a claim

Some insurers may pay out more than others, so you should compare all your options and align yourself with an insurer that historically has a strong record of high payouts.

The pros and cons of Third Party Fire and Theft insurance


Cheaper alternative to comprehensive

TPFT insurance covers almost all of the areas that comprehensive car insurance does while charging you less for your premiums.

Provides legal liability for at-fault accidents

Not only will you be covered for the cost of any damage done to another vehicle or property, but also for legal proceedings that may stem from the accident.


Not covered for damage to your car in an accident

The only damage you can claim for is that by an uninsured driver, otherwise there aren’t any avenues to claim for damage in a crash that you’re liable for.

May not be covered for other extreme weather damage

The “Fire” in “Third Party Fire and Theft” is taken very literally, as many insurers won’t provide coverage for any other extreme weather events like earthquakes, hailstorms and floods.

Frequently asked Third Party Fire and Theft insurance questions

Will I be able to choose my own repairer if I make a claim under my Third Party Fire and Theft insurance policy?

Probably not – insurers tend to have their own repairers that they work with, so part of their cover is likely to be conditional on you going to their allocated repairer.

How do I reduce the chances of my vehicle being stolen?

There are a few ways you can decrease your chances of having your vehicle stolen. Simple things like parking in a garage or carport (if you have access to one) and keeping your car keys around you most of the time will help keep your car that much safer. Also, never leave a spare pair of car and/or house keys in your car, as this will open you up further to the possibility of theft. Following these steps could help you reduce your premiums.

Should I choose market or agreed value cover on my Third Party Fire and Theft insurance policy?

There are pros and cons for both types, but if you’re getting a TPFT insurance policy because you’re not as concerned about a sizeable payout for your vehicle, you may wish to insure for market value. This will be calculated by the insurer at the time you make a claim and comes with lower premiums. Agreed value tends to provide greater insurance protection financially for your vehicle at the expense of higher fees.

How are my Third Party Fire and Theft insurance premiums calculated?

There are a number of factors that insurers will take into consideration when calculating the cost of your premiums. These are the most common and significant ones:

  • Your age
  • Your driving history (your history of accidents and/or claims)
  • The type of vehicle you own (its make, model and age)
  • Where you live
  • Where your vehicle will be parked overnight (in a garage, driveway, on the street, etc.)
  • How much you use your vehicle on a weekly, monthly or annual basis
  • Any modifications you’ve made to your vehicle (anything from an added alarm system to a souped-up engine)
What’s the difference between Third Party Fire and Theft insurance, Third Party Property Damage insurance and Compulsory Third Party insurance?

TPPD insurance only offers coverage for damage caused by you to someone else’s vehicle or property, while CTP insurance is limited to covering you for any injury or death in an accident for which you’re held liable. You aren’t afforded any kind of protection to your own vehicle under either of these policies, which you are with TPFT insurance. CTP insurance is also mandatory, while the others are optional.

If I’m driving another car, can I still be covered under my Third Party Fire and Theft insurance policy?

No – TPFT only applies to your vehicle, not you. If you’re in an accident while driving another person’s vehicle, the cost incurred will depend on the insurance taken out on their vehicle rather than yours.

Will a Third Party Fire and Theft insurance policy cover vandalism of my vehicle?

Probably not – you’ll only be able to make a claim if it’s damaged in an attempt to steal it. There are optional extras that you may be able to take out that could cover you if someone smashes your car windows, for example, but makes no attempt to steal it.

Can I take out a Third Party Fire and Theft insurance policy on my motorcycle?

Yes – TPFT policies are open to other types of vehicles too, not just cars. You'll be able to find plenty of insurers that cater to your needs in this respect.

Helpful guides on car insurance

Car Insurance Banner - An exterior view of cars driving on a highway.

Unregistered Car Insurance

Find out whether you can cover your unregistered vehicle through Savvy’s informative guide today. Are you looking for insurance coverage...

Car Insurance Banner - Young couple looking at car insurance documents, including their certificate of currency.

Certificate of Currency

Learn about what a certificate of currency is when it comes to your car insurance policy in Savvy’s guide. Are...

Car Insurance Banner - Couple signing their car purchase and cover note contract at a dealership.

Cover Note Car Insurance

Find out how cover note car insurance worked and what your alternatives are to this type of cover today with...

Car Insurance Banner - Man sitting at home on his laptop holding his credit card to renew his car insurance.

Car Insurance Renewal

Find out about the process of renewing your car insurance and what to consider in Savvy’s handy guide. Are you...

Car Insurance Banner - Front view of a blue car which has been written off in an accident.

Car Insurance for Write-Offs

Learn about what to do when your car is written off and the insurance claim process in Savvy’s comprehensive guide....

Compare car insurance policies with Compare the Market

Savvy is partnered with Compare the Market to help you compare a range of car insurance policies from a panel of trusted providers.

Explore car insurance options by make

Select your car make and find out how much it may cost to insure, read helpful guides and compare quotes.


Savvy (ABN 78 660 493 194, ACR 541 339) provides readers with a variety of car insurance policies to compare. Savvy earns a commission from our partnered insurers each time a customer buys a car insurance policy via our website. All purchases are conducted via our partners’ websites. The integrity of our comparison service is unaffected by our partnerships with those businesses and our effort remains to bring further brands that do not already use our comparison service onboard.

Savvy’s comparison service includes selected products from a panel of trusted insurers and does not compare all products in the market. Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy. We always recommend readers to consult the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) of different policies before purchasing your car insurance.