Third-party cover explained(Image: Andri Berger - Getty)

Third party insurance is the cheapest level of car insurance and the minimum required by law.

So, as far as the Road Traffic Act is concerned, it's essential. However, it will only cover your liability to others. There is no cover for injury or damage to yourself, or your vehicle.

If you hit another car and are held responsible for the damage and/or injury to the occupants of the other vehicle, a third party policy will pay to repair the vehicle and cover the cost of any medical claims for injuries suffered to the driver or passengers.

As far as you and your vehicle and its occupants go, you are effectively uninsured. All any injured occupants in your own car could do is claim compensation from you, as the driver, if it can be found that you were at fault.

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Another important thing to note is that basic third party cover doesn't cover the theft of your vehicle, or damage caused by fire. If you want that level of cover you need to opt for a policy that covers Third Party Fire & Theft.

If you have a car with a very low value, then third party cover may be the best option for you. It may also be all you can afford as a new driver with no insurance history. It may also be suitable if you have separate medical or life insurance that would cover injuries sustained in an accident.

However, if you want the peace of mind of knowing that you and your vehicle are fully-insured in the event of theft, fire, or an accident, either through fault of your own or that of a third party, then you are probably better off opting for a comprehensive policy.

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