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How can I check if my car insurance policy is active?

How can I check if my car insurance policy is active?

In Australia, every registered car owner has the responsibility of carrying a minimum amount of car insurance called Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance.

It's also important to check from time to time that the insurance policy is active by, for instance, visiting your state’s check vehicle registration page if you live in a state where CTP insurance is included in your vehicle’s registration. In case you’ve purchased a policy covering not just your liability if you’re the at-fault driver but injuries to you and damage to your car as well, you can check the expiry date on your car insurance certificate.

How to check if my car is insured across Australia?

The car you own is likely registered in the Australian state or territory where you currently reside, and your registration will usually include Compulsory Third Party insurance which covers your liability for injuries caused by you to other drivers.

Consider visiting the state’s check vehicle registration page to find out the details about this CTP insurance policy, such as its expiry date, the insurance provider, and the coverage limits. Usually, a CTP insurance policy may only be valid for the term your vehicle is registered, but the validity may include a use-by date that covers the time it takes to renew your vehicle registration. 

If you live in New South Wales or South Australia, you can choose your CTP insurance provider, which means you may be able to keep track of the expiry date by checking your insurance certificate. This can be useful not just for renewing the policy as needed but also giving you time to compare car insurance quotes again in case you want to switch your provider.

You can also check the policy certificate for the expiry date in case you’ve bought a car insurance policy that covers more than just CTP, such as a third party property damage policy which covers your liability for damage to other vehicles or property.

Why do I need to check if my car insurance is valid?

Carrying an active car insurance policy, especially CTP insurance, is part of your responsibility as an Aussie driver. If you are involved in an accident and found at fault, but your insurance policy has expired, you will not only have to bear the cost of treatment of others injured in the accident, you may also be penalised and liable for hefty fines.

In New South Wales, for instance, even using an uninsured car can result in a penalty of approximately A$700. In case the accident is reported to the police, or there is a court proceeding, you may face even stiffer penalties. 

Do remember that traffic cameras can be used to capture the rego details of vehicles on the road and your insurance or registration validity can be randomly checked. You can even get pulled over by the cops if your car’s registration has expired, and not necessarily only after an accident. Usually, the insurance policy becomes inactive the day your car’s registration expires, which is another reason for you to check when this happens and make sure you renew the insurance policy and the registration well in time.

How do I check car insurance policy online?

In any Australian state or territory, you should be able to check your vehicle’s registration and insurance details online, through the state’s roads or transport department website. You’ll likely need to provide your vehicle rego number to access the details.

In some states, you may be able to buy CTP insurance separately, before you register your vehicle. You may need to check that your vehicle’s registration details accurately reflect the CTP insurance policy details, especially if you’ve bought the policy offline or physically through an insurance agent. You may also be able to call the vehicle registration department to confirm or correct the details if you aren’t able to access the details online.

You can also consider checking the insurance policy details through the insurer’s website, although it may be easier to check the expiry date on either the digital or printed copy of your insurance certificate. If you have filed any insurance claims, you can check the details to see your claims history as well. You may also need to check if your car insurance premium is likely to increase upon renewing your policy, in which case you can also search for fresh car insurance quotes.

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



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