How to Choose Between Comprehensive Car Insurance and Third Party, Fire, and Theft Insurance

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When comes to protecting yourself and your car in the event of an incident, it can be difficult to decide between comprehensive car insurance and third party, fire, and theft insurance. The two coverage types are very similar, but each one is appropriate for slightly different circumstances.
By following the instructions laid out here, you will be able to make a more informed decision about your car insurance. We’ll cover why it’s important to know what each type covers, suggest how you can factor in your own situation, and teach you how to compare prices.

Type of Insurance and What it Covers

Third Party, Fire, and Theft Coverage
  • Covers damage or injury sustained by any third party and/or their property in the event of an incident
  • Covers damage done to your vehicle in the event of theft or fire
  • Does NOT cover damage done to your vehicle in the event of an accident
Comprehensive Coverage
  • Covers damage or injury sustained by any third party and/or their property in the event of an incident
  • Covers damage done to your vehicle in the event of an incident (including, but not limited to, accidents, theft, and fire)*
Step 1: Understand the difference between the two types of coverage. These two policies are very similar, but the big difference is in how much coverage is given to your car.
Essentially, a comprehensive policy will cover everything that a third party, fire, and theft policy would cover, with the added coverage of any damage done to your own car as a result of an incident.
Comparatively, third party, fire, and theft only covers your own car in the event of theft or fire.
Step 2: Consider your own specific circumstances. Once you know the difference between these two coverages, it is important to consider how they relate to your particular driving situation.
Factors like your driving record and habits and the value and age of your car are especially relevant.
For example, if you are an experienced driver and/or you drive a newer or more expensive car, comprehensive coverage may be the best choice because of the extra coverage it provides.
On the other hand, if you are a newer driver, have a lower annual mileage, and/or drive an older car, third party, fire, and theft coverage may be the best choice for you because replacing your car after an incident may be cheaper than buying the more extensive coverage.
Step 3: Compare the prices of each policy. It may be that your budget will dictate how much coverage you are able to purchase for your car, therefore it is important to familiarize yourself with your pricing options.
Specific rates will vary between insurance companies, but calling several companies and obtaining quotes will give you a good idea of what you can expect (and which company may offer you the best deal).
In general, you will notice that the rate for a comprehensive policy will usually cost more than the rate for a third party, fire, and theft policy. This is because the latter offers less coverage.
In some cases, the value and age of your vehicle and your driving record may cause comprehensive coverage to actually end up being the less expensive option, so be sure to provide accurate information about yourself and your car when collecting your insurance quotes.
Step 4: Make your decision wisely. Taking into account your coverage needs, your driving habits, your specific car, and your budget, choose the coverage type that will work best for you.
Selecting the right amount of coverage when two policies are as similar as comprehensive and third party, fire, and theft can be a daunting task. That being said, if you consider the crucial difference between the coverages and look carefully at all of the relevant factors, you can make the best possible decision for your circumstances. By following the instructions laid out here, you will be able to make a more informed decision about your car insurance.

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