|Insurance type||Damage to your car||Damage to another person’s car or property||Damage or loss caused by theft||Injuries or death to other people in an accident|
|Green Slip (i.e. CTP)||No||No||No||Yes|
|Third party property||No||Yes||No||No|
|Third party fire & theft||No||Yes||Yes||No|
Exclusions are provisions on your car insurance policy that nullify coverage when it’s time to claim.
Exclusions are often hidden away in the finer details of an insurance policy, and can be easily missed if you’re not careful. So, if you’re in the market for comprehensive car insurance, you need to be aware of common exclusions within your policy to ensure your cover isn’t voided when it’s time to claim.
Typical exclusions to look out for include:
If you’re unsure about any specific details of your car insurance policy, always check your product disclosure statement (PDS), or contact your insurer.
A car insurance excess is the sum of money you pay when you make a valid claim on your policy. The remaining cost for repairs or replacement is then covered by your insurer. There’s technically a limit on what your insurer will cover, but it’s typically millions of dollars (so be careful not to write off a Bugatti Veyron!)
A clear example would be if you have an excess of $500 and your vehicle is damaged in a collision. Repairs could end up costing thousands of dollars, but you only have to pay $500 directly to your insurer.
Comprehensive policies are not exempt to excess. The most common types of insurance excess are:
Having a higher excess is usually attractive with safer drivers, as it decreases the price of your premium, and vice versa with a smaller excess. Lowering or increasing your excess is entirely your choice, so it might be a good idea to weigh up what’s more important to you in the event of a car accident.
Your insurer should advise you if an excess payment is required when you make a claim. It’s important to keep in mind that different insurers have different excess amounts, as stipulated by your policy.
This is one question you’re probably asking yourself, and, the answer isn’t that simple. It all depends on what’s important to you, and of course, your car.
If you are interested in taking out extra cover for additional peace of mind, some of your options may include:
Making a claim on your comprehensive car insurance is usually a simple process. You need to ensure your insurance details are in your car at all times (glove box or centre console), so they are always at hand in case you’re involved in an accident. Exchange details with other parties involved in an incident, and then contact your insurer. If possible, take photos at the location of the accident and the damage.
Most insurers provide a 24/7 claims lodgement and assistance service over the phone, while others also offer online claim lodgement. Give them a call and they will talk you through the process on lodging a claim.
The severity of the damage to your vehicle may determine how your claim is assessed. If the incident is minor, you may be asked by your insurer to take your vehicle to one of several nominated repairers, who will undertake repairs.
If the incident is more severe, your car may need to be assessed by your insurer’s assessor. If your vehicle is not in a drivable or roadworthy condition, due to the nature of the damage, your insurer may arrange to have it towed directly to their facility for a claims assessment.
It’s imperative that you always read the insurer’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) which outlines the conditions of cover including information about:
Discounts and cheaper insurance policies apply to customers that satisfy certain requirements, especially those who lower/minimise their ‘risk profile’. For example, drivers who don’t drive more than 15,000 kilometres per year may qualify for a low-kilometre policy, and pensioners qualify for their own specialised policy – both of which contain discounts because of the perceived reduced risk of these types of drivers.
If you do not make an insurance claim over the life of your policy, your insurance provider may offer you a no claims discount (otherwise known as NCD) when it’s time to renew your policy. If you don’t claim for multiple years, the savings may compound – up to five years.
Comprehensive car insurance is not compulsory in Australia. That being said, it is a legal requirement for every car owner in Australia to have Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance as a bare minimum of cover, which is included in your registration fees (in some states).
Comprehensive cover does provide greater protection from significant repair/replacement costs, and may save you money in many different situations (e.g. traffic accidents, thefts, storms).
Yes, you need compulsory third party (CTP) insurance as it covers you, your passengers, and others for injuries relating to a motor vehicle accident. Comprehensive car insurance does not offer this type of cover.
Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance is, as the name suggests, compulsory. It is a legal requirement upon registering your vehicle in Australia to take out this cover. It covers your liability against personal injury caused by you in a motor vehicle incident.
So, if you’re in an accident, where you’re at fault, and someone gets injured, your CTP protects you. It does not cover damage to vehicles or property, which is why it’s important to have comprehensive car insurance to safeguard you if your car is damaged, stolen, or if you damage a third party’s vehicle, or other related property.
You can opt for a comprehensive car insurance policy with roadside assistance as an optional extra, which may cost you more in the long run. Depending on your insurer, and level of cover, roadside assistance usually includes mobile technicians, towing, and optional extras such as emergency accommodation with additional taxi fares.
Most insurers offer roadside assistance as an option with comprehensive cover, and it is your responsibility to read through the policy’s terms and conditions to understand what you’re covered for.
You can cancel your policy at any time. You will need to contact your insurance provider and notify them of your intentions. Insurers should have all of their details listed online, and most will need to be notified in writing (email, letter, or fax).
Be aware that some policies may have cancellation fees. If you decide to cancel your policy, you may qualify for a refund on the unexpired parts of your premium, less any fees your insurer has stipulated on your policy’s product disclosure statement (PDS).
A comprehensive car insurance policy insures your vehicle – not you.
Your comprehensive car insurance policy insures one vehicle. Therefore, you’re not covered by this policy if you use another motor vehicle and get into an accident. However, if you’re listed on this other vehicle’s insurance policy as a listed driver, for example, you may be covered by another policy. This will depend on the owner’s policy though.
Like other insurance policies, you’re only covered for driving the vehicle which the policy insures. Depending on your policy and insurer, you may have other people nominated as drivers who will be covered in the event of an accident.
Full disclosure to your insurer is always encouraged to avoid any confusion, or worse – voiding your cover.
Our General Manager of General Insurance, Stephen Zeller, wants all consumers to have a better understanding of the value of their comprehensive car insurance, and the power of choice offered through comparison.
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.