Perfect match: Finding the right car insurance cover

Perfect match Finding the right car insurance cover

If you apply the same commitment to finding a partner when choosing car insurance, you will find the right fit while saving time and money, according to Sandy Bhalla.

March 3, 2009

Searching for the right type of car insurance cover can be like searching for that special someone. If you make some good decisions you can save yourself a lot of time and money but if you’re not careful, you may leave yourself exposed.

So how do you set about choosing an insurance cover that’s right for you? Exactly as you would in any relationship, by determining the type of product you require, the level of risk you are willing to take and the amount of investment you can afford to make.

No frills cover
If achieving low cost is your main objective then taking budget cover, such as a ‘no frills’ car insurance policy may be your cheapest option. Opting for ‘no frills’ car insurance means you have cover for all the most basic requirements that enable you to continue driving on the road without any of the added extras. Unfortunately this also means that you may be accepting more liability in the event of an accident and that any extra expenses will fall out of your pocket, should you need them.

Insurance with all the extras
However, if its peace of mind you are after, full coverage insurance at a higher premium may be your preferred choice. Depending on the provider, a higher premium will cover you for a range of convenient extras including coverage for personal belongings should they be stolen, choice of your own repairer, as well as windscreen replacement or a courtesy car.

The higher the premium you are willing to pay, the less you may have to hand over when misfortune strikes.

For a cover to best suit your needs, calculate the time you actually spend driving your car and do your research for insurance policies online that meet your basic requirements. Different providers will offer different benefits so make sure you always read the product disclosure statement (PDS).

With so many options available and new products and providers continually entering the market, it’s easy to get side-tracked. Comparing quotes and services online will save you time and money. Remember, just as you would in your search for a date, it’s important to always remain focussed on what you really need.

 

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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. 

Can I drive a new car without insurance?

It is illegal to drive a car in Australia without insurance. Most states require that you get your insurance in place before you drive the car off the dealership’s plot. So, the answer to whether driving a new car without insurance is no, it is not allowed.

The only time you can possibly legally drive an uninsured car is when you have to get the vehicle registered. You should drive straight to an inspection station or your state's vehicle registry. You must also make sure that you take the most direct or convenient route possible.

It is important to note that your compulsory third party insurance (CTP or green slip) isn’t valid until your car is registered.

Driving an unregistered or uninsured vehicle can have severe legal repercussions. If you are involved in an accident, and are driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle, you will be personally liable to pay compensation to anyone hurt, as well as for damages. If you are caught driving a vehicle without insurance, you may be fined or even have your vehicle seized.