Car Insurance – An Explanation of UK Third Party Motor Insurance
Third party car insurance offers you cover for any claim made against you, your driver if somebody else was driving or the registered owner of the vehicle. The road traffic act specifics that you are required to have a certain minimum amount of cover. All UK car insurance policies providing "third party cover" or more, will provide greater protection than the law requires. Whether you just have "third party only", "third party fire and theft" or "comprehensive" you will have this section.
If you are to blame for causing an accident your insurer will pay for all sums of money that are awarded to those people (the third party) that you have killed or injured, or whose property you have damaged etc. This includes any legal costs incurred by either the victim's or your own attorneys.
This whole question of third party cover becomes somewhat more complex when you are a passenger in your own vehicle and it is being driven by someone else. Provided that the driver is allowed to drive it, then it is the other person who is protected by this part of the policy and not you. Your insurance policy will list those who are insured to drive the vehicle, for example, named drivers, passengers, employer. Thus if you, as the passenger, were to be injured owed to the bad driving of the person driving your car, you have the legal right to claim compensation from the driver. Thus, in this situation, your third party insurance policy would 'indemnify' the driver, not you. You would end up claiming (and almost certainly winning) damages from the driver on your own third party policy. Do not forget that this works both ways. In the above scenario if the driver were killed or injured while driving on your policy then there would be no liability on your insurance company.
Sadly, immaterial of who was behind the wheel, you can not claim for accident damage to your vehicle under this section.
If a thief takes your car and causes an accident (an all too often occurrence) this part of the policy will protect you, as the vehicle's owner, against any claim for injury or damage caused by the thief. This seems so unfair – after all it was the thief who was to blame, yet we'll lose our no-claims bonus because of something totally out of our control. Remember, we are concerned here with the law. The intention is to make sure that we can compensate innocent victims who suffer damage to their property or physical injury caused by a stolen car. Which car thief has the money to pay for such damage? That it is feasible, in actuality, for the victim to claim against your policy.