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What is Third Party Property Damage car insurance?

Third Party Property Damage is a type of car insurance product that covers you if you’re responsible for a car accident and damage someone else’s property. It’s a lower level of cover and more affordable than other types of cover (such as Third Party Fire and Theft or comprehensive car insurance).

What does Third Party Property Damage cover?

Third Party Property Damage insurance covers the damage you cause to other people’s vehicles and property, as well as your legal liability for this. Generally, it doesn’t cover damage to your own car caused by yourself or other motorists.

Some Third Party Property Damage insurance providers may also offer limited cover for your car if it’s damaged in a no-fault accident with an uninsured vehicle.

To see if you have any extra limited protections under the policy terms of your cover, check the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

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Frequently asked questions

Is Third Party Property Damage the same as CTP?

No, Third Party Property Damage insurance isn’t the same as Compulsory Third Party insurance (CTP), or Green Slip insurance in New South Wales, but it’s easy to get them confused.

CTP only covers you when you cause injury or death to someone as a result of an accident that’s deemed your fault and is a mandatory requirement for all registered cars in Australia. Third Party Property Damage insurance, on the other hand, is an optional insurance that provides legal liability cover for any damage you cause to someone’s property if you’re at fault for an accident.

Some states allow you to choose your CTP insurer, while others don’t. In contrast, you can compare and choose your Third Party Property Damage insurance provider no matter where you are in Australia.

You can use our free car insurance comparison service to compare Third Party Property Damage policies, as well as higher levels of car insurance, in minutes from a range of insurers.

What’s excluded from third party car insurance?

There are some things Third Party Property Damage insurance doesn’t include in its cover. Depending on your insurer, some of these exclusions could be:

  • Roadside assistance (sometimes available as an optional extra)
  • Fire damage
  • Theft and malicious damage
  • Storm and hail damage
  • Accidental damage to your vehicle
  • Hire car while yours is being repaired.

Keep in mind that higher levels of insurance can provide cover for the instances above. Furthermore, you likely won’t receive a payout for any insurance claim (no matter your level of cover) if you were:

  • Driving recklessly or illegally
  • Carrying too many people in the car
  • Driving under the influence of drugs
  • Had a higher blood-alcohol concentration than the legal limit set in your licence conditions

How is the cost of third party car insurance calculated?

The price of your car insurance policy is determined by several elements. These may include:

  • The make and model of your car
  • The car’s age
  • Your age and gender
  • Your insurance and driving history
  • Your address
  • Any aftermarket upgrades.

When comparing car insurance through our free comparison service, you’ll be asked to provide these details to help determine the price of the insurance quotes from our partners.

Can I reduce the cost of my Third Party Property Damage cover?

You might be able to reduce the price of your premiums depending on the choices your insurer offers. These could include:

  • Not letting anyone under 25 drive your car
  • Choosing a higher excess for a lower premium
  • Restricting the number of kilometres you drive each year.

Always check the PDS and policy documents of any insurance policy to understand the full details before you buy.

Do I have to pay an excess with Third Party Property Damage insurance?

You will likely have to pay a basic excess when you make any insurance claim on your Third Party Property Damage policy. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, you might need to pay an additional excess on top of the basic one.

For example, if the driver was under 25 or not listed on the policy, you may need to pay a young driver or unlisted driver excess as well.

Does Third Party Property Damage car insurance cover towing?

Third Party Property Damage does not cover towing costs for your vehicle, but it may cover towing costs for any other party involved in an accident where you damaged their car and were found to be at fault.

If someone hits my car, do I have any coverage?

Third Party Property Damage is designed to provide liability coverage if you damage other people’s property, but not cover for your own vehicle. However, if your car was damaged by an uninsured driver in their own car, your Third Party Property Damage policy may cover you.

In this scenario, you typically won’t have to pay an excess. You will need to provide details about the other driver (like their name, contact information and licence number) so they can be identified.

Stephen Zeller, General Manager

Meet our car insurance expert, Stephen Zeller

Compare the Market’s Stephen Zeller knows there can be a bit of confusion between Third Party Property Damage and other car insurance policies like Third Party Fire and Theft (TPFT) – so he works to help ensure drivers have got the facts.

Stephen has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry and is an allied member of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) and helps review general insurance content on Compare the Market to ensure it accurately breaks down complex insurance topics.

Stephen’s Third Party Property Damage insurance tips:

  1. This type of cover is generally suitable for low-value cars (under $10,000). It’s important to note that it only covers damage you cause to other vehicles and property, and it doesn’t cover your own vehicle for accidents, damage, theft and fire.
  2. There are three types of car insurance available: comprehensive insurance, TPFT and Third Party Property Damage. Each provides a different type and level of cover, so it’s important to read your PDS in order to make an informed decision for your individual needs.
  3. You don’t have to wait for your policy renewal to save money; you can switch insurers at any time. You may have to pay an early cancellation fee, but it could be worth the additional savings you may get by switching. If you’ve already paid your premium in full, your insurer will give you a pro-rata refund for the remaining period of your cover.
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