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Comprehensive vs third party car insurance

This article was originally published in April 2018 and has been updated.

Which level of car insurance is right for you? This guide can help you decide.

When you’re choosing car insurance, it’s important you have the facts so you can make an informed decision. And understanding what you’re covered for can help you avoid unexpected costs. This article explains the difference between comprehensive and third party car insurance.

First though, what does Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurance cover?

First off, all car owners need Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance – it’s a legal requirement. CTP protects people injured by your car if you cause an accident and, provided your car is registered, you’ll already have it. CTP insurance differs from state to state, so it’s a good idea to be across what’s relevant to you.

CTP covers personal injury claims arising from an accident you’ve caused. It doesn’t cover the cost of damage to your or anyone else’s car or property - that’s where comprehensive and third party insurance comes in.

What’s the difference between comprehensive and third party car insurance?

At QBE, we offer two levels of car insurance cover in addition to CTP insurance. Here’s a breakdown to clarify the difference:

Comprehensive car insurance

QBE’s Comprehensive Car Insurance is our highest level of protection. It covers your car for accidental damage, fire and theft as well as damage your car may cause to other people’s cars and property.

When purchasing this insurance, you can choose either a Market Value or Agreed Value policy. The Market Value is the value of your car in your local area immediately before the incident. To determine this value, we may use recognised industry guides and consider things like the make, model, age, kilometres travelled, both factory-fitted and legal after-market modifications and accessories, plus the general condition of your car. In the event of a total loss, this amount will be paid out on the claim.

An Agreed Value is a fixed amount that is chosen when you take out your car insurance policy. You can select the amount from a range that we provide, based on the car that’s being insured, which then insures it for that value for the insurance period. When you choose an Agreed Value policy, you’ll find it’s generally more expensive than the Market Value option, and the level you choose will impact your premium. Agreed Value amounts are adjusted on renewal and take into account changes in value of the vehicle over time, such as depreciation.

You’re also able to boost your cover through our range of optional benefits.

Third Party Property Damage car insurance

QBE’s Third Party Property Damage car insurance covers damage caused by the use of your car to other people’s cars and property, but not damage to your own car. For an extra premium, it can also cover your car for fire and theft for up to $10,000.

For more on what’s covered under each policy, go to QBE car insurance.

So, which car insurance is right for you?

Choosing a comprehensive or third party car insurance policy depends on how much protection you want. You might consider things such as the value of your car, how you use your car or who will be driving your car.

For example, if you want to be covered for damage to a new or expensive car, you might decide you want the benefits of comprehensive cover.

Or if you’re only concerned about avoiding a hefty repair bill for someone else’s car, basic Third Party Property Damage car insurance cover might be enough for you.

If you’d like to talk through your car insurance options, we’re here to help. Call us on 133 723.


This insurance is underwritten by QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited (ABN 78 003 191 035, AFSL 239545) (QBE). Any advice provided is general only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and may not be right for you. To decide if this product is right for you, please read the relevant Combined Financial Services Guide and Product Disclosure Statement.

QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited (ABN 78 003 191 035) (QBE). QBE holds a CTP license and issues CTP policies in NSW, QLD and SA.

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