How car insurance can turn friends into frenemies

How car insurance can turn friends into frenemies

18 February, 2011

Brothers, sisters, partners, friends, cousins, coworkers – these are just some of the people who might have a huge impact on the cost of your comprehensive car insurance this year, depending on who you allow to get behind your wheel.

These extra drivers add convenience and variety to your trip, but what happens when a relaxed drive becomes a disaster?

There’s often a lot of confusion when it comes to whether or not you’re covered when someone else driving your car is involved in an accident. The common truth is that you are only covered for drivers who are listed on your policy, and conversely, accidents caused by someone else are only covered if your vehicle is listed on their car insurance policy.

This means that if you make a claim where the driver is not nominated in your policy, you could be paying over thousand dollars in excesses. However, this figure varies greatly between car insurers, so it’s always important to compare policies and read the fine print.

Consider these tips to save on car insurance
When it comes to insuring an entourage of drivers for your vehicle, there’s a lot to consider if you want to save on excessive costs.

Firstly, the age of your drivers makes a big difference. Drivers less than 21 years old will usually add the highest excesses to your policy, while ones between 21 and 24 years old will have moderate costs. Even 25-year-old drivers will add to your excess if they have less than two years’ driving experience.

On the topic of experience, drivers who take education courses such as defensive driving classes may be eligible for discounts for being a safe driver.

For students, better grades can even translate to higher discounts, as insurers may assume that academic achievement makes you a more responsible driver.

And lastly, make sure that there are no nasty surprises in their driving histories; those with long records of fault in accidents can put a dent your insurance budget.

Don’t rely on guess work
But with all of the above, check with your insurer to make sure that the different excesses and discounts are offered, because each car insurance provider has their own set of rules, costs, and exceptions.

You shouldn’t have to choose between your car and your drivers. To keep everyone happy and save thousands on your excesses, compare how different car insurers treat your drivers, and make sure you have the best policy for anyone in the front seat.


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Learn more about car insurance

Does insurance cover a stolen car if keys were in the car?

A car insurance policy that covers the theft of your car, such as third party fire and theft insurance, usually covers a stolen car, even if the keys were in the car’s ignition.

However, your insurer may deny the claim if you live in an area where there have been several car robberies reported recently. They will see you leaving the keys in the car as a case of negligence. In such cases, your insurance provider may even expect you to have installed anti-theft security measures in your car. 

You may need to confirm whether or not you left your keys in your car, and if they had been stolen or misplaced, before filing your car insurance claim. The loss or theft of your car keys may be covered by a comprehensive car insurance policy, but usually as an optional item.

If you can confirm that your car keys were stolen, mention this in your claim as this will help establish that your car was not stolen as a result of your negligence.

Can you insure your car for 6 months?

Most Australian insurers won’t offer you a 6-month car insurance policy, so you may need to buy a policy that covers your car for damages and cancel it after six months. You will need to purchase comprehensive car insurance to protect your car from accidental damage, theft, vandalism, or natural disasters.. 

Consider checking whether your 6-month comprehensive car insurance will cost more if you pay monthly or six-monthly premiums instead of a one-time annual premium. Another question to ask the insurer is whether you’ll need to pay administration or cancellation fees when you cancel the policy.

Alternatively, you can look for a suitable ‘pay as you drive’ car insurance policy, which usually offers you the coverage of a comprehensive car insurance policy but only requires you to pay for the distance driven. Such a policy may not be the ideal 6-month car insurance plan as it is based on how much you drive rather than for how long. If you need to drive a lot, you may end up paying more than you’d pay for regular car insurance.