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Can you get car insurance without a permanent address?

Peter Terlato avatar
Peter Terlato
- 4 min read
Can you get car insurance without a permanent address?

To secure a car insurance policy, it's necessary to provide your insurer with pertinent information about the policyholder and primary driver. This usually includes licence details, how the car will be used, claims history and a residential address.

However, for individuals such as international travellers and Australians without a fixed address, you may be able to use the address where your vehicle primarily resides.

What address must I provide my car insurer?

Together with other pertinent information, individuals taking out a car insurance policy are required to provide an address indicating where the car will typically reside. This is because car insurance premiums are partially determined by the postal code where your car is typically parked overnight, as well as whether it's stored in a garage, carport, or on the street.

For the majority of people, the location where they normally park their car overnight will be at their residence. Your car can still be covered by insurance if you keep it somewhere else overnight (e.g. if you’re staying with family and friends in a different suburb or city or holidaying around Australia) but only as long as your vehicle is parked more often than not at the address stated on your insurance policy.

It's also common for car insurance policies to stipulate that the policyholder must reside at the address where the car is usually parked. Remember to review the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for any exclusions and limitations.

Additionally, if you leave your declared home state for more than three months, you must update your driver's licence and vehicle registration to your new state of residence. For instance, if you initially registered in New South Wales but have lived in South Australia for over three months, you are obligated to re-register your vehicle in South Australia.

However, if your travels span over three months and you haven't exclusively stayed in one state during that period, you won't need to change your address.

If there are any address discrepancies, you’ll need to discuss these details with your insurer to determine if you’re eligible for coverage. Some insurers may be more permissive than others.

What if I’m an international traveller?

Generally, people visiting Australia can take out car insurance on vehicles they purchase or rent. However, the address you provide may not be your permanent residence. You might be staying in a hotel or hostel, or at a friend’s place. In these cases, it’s important to continually update your insurer of your new address anytime it changes.

This way you can be sure that you’re covered for any incidents that may occur and any valid claims will be processed successfully.

It’s also important to remember that you’ll need to ensure you have a valid international driving licence and an International Driving Permit (IDP) if your licence is in a language other than English. You may also need to apply for an Australian licence if your overseas licence expires while in Australia.

Check that the car you’re buying, renting or driving is properly registered, including Compulsory Third Party (CPT) insurance. Some state laws differ across Australia, so do your research before getting behind the wheel.

What happens if my address changes?

If you need to change the postcode where your car is mostly kept, you’ll need to contact your insurer to inform them of your new address. Oftentimes you can edit your policy details online. However, some insurers may require that you provide this information in writing, either via email or by post.

Be aware that your premium may be affected by a change in address as some postcodes face a higher risk of theft, vandalism, road accidents, environmental damage and natural disasters.

It’s sensible to contact your insurer if you’re unsure of how to update your address on your car insurance policy.

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Product database updated 22 Jun, 2024

This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Mark Bristow before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.