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Car Insurance Australia: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Drive

I am a worried driver.

Every time I enter a car, I am reminded of my mortality in a rather alarming fashion. I watch the news – I know that in July of 2015 alone, 91 people were killed in road-related accidents. And I can’t even escape this alarm in the vehicle – every time I turn on the radio, someone has an accident which is causing traffic congestion somewhere.

Roads are scary places.

So when someone told me about getting car insurance in Australia, this wonderful country of my birth (full of wildlife specifically designed to kill me, mind you), I was initially quite relieved. Finally, I thought, here is something that can make my life easier and -

Well, it was going to be easier. Until I became immersed in a world of confusing paperwork, byzantine form-filling, and labyrinthine loopholes and conditions.

At which point I decided to go and research everything. And here is what I have discovered.

Now I can help present the general types of Australian car insurance. Please note that I won’t be showing individual policies – rather, I focus on the broader categories. Furthermore, if you want to compare Australian car insurance policies, check out the different insurance comparison sites such as Compare the Market or Canstar.

Researching the Beginnings – the CTP

So, one thing I have discovered in my studious investigation is this: in Australia, there is a minimum amount of coverage that every driver must have with their car: the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurance.

CTP insurance policies are the minimum you can get – and it kind of shows. With this coverage, nothing of yours is covered. Instead, only the medical costs of anyone else involved in an accident are covered. So for example, were you to accidently crash into another car, and the other person was injured, only the cost of their medical bills would be covered by the insurance.

All the other costs, such as your vehicle and the vehicle of the other person, not to mention any other potential property damage, is up to you to pay.

Also not covered are your medical bills.

As a little sting in the tail, it should be noted that who pays for the medical bills is determined by who was at fault. So make sure you are driving carefully when you have this coverage!

Whilst the CTP is common to all states in Australia, the process of getting your “green slip” as it is colloquially known as does vary. Make sure you have checked your state or territory government’s policy to get the basic level of coverage.

Other Kinds of Insurance:

There are a world of different Australian car insurance policies – believe me, I’ve looked. Don’t be deceived though, as the vast majority of these policies are covered under three other general headings. These include:

  1. Third Party Property Cover: The “next step” in the car insurance ladder, this type of insurance covers the damage to someone else’s car or property, but not your own.
  2. Third Party with Fire and Theft Cover: Same as above, but with the addition of cover in the case of your car bursting into flames or being stolen.
  3. Comprehensive Cover: The highest form of car insurance in Australia, Comprehensive Cover ensures that your car and property is covered as well as other people’s property and/or car.

There are other policies out there that are unable to be adequately categorised – however, most insurance policies will fall into one of these categories mentioned (including the CTP).

Prepared

It is important to know and understand your car insurance policy. You don’t want to be driving peacefully along, then get caught in an accident and find yourself having to pay for everything out of hand because you failed to comprehend the fine print. That is not a good feeling for anyone – and it is something I intend to avoid.

So, now that you’re a little more aware of the different types of car insurance in Australia, you can get an insurance policy that will suit your needs. And then you will be like me: respectful of the roads, but confident enough to drive with no fear.