Protect yourself from the grim reality of our roads

Protect yourself from the grim reality of our roads

RateCity shows that there can sometimes be more than meets the eye when you get behind the wheel.

August 16, 2010

There are two ends of the spectrum when it comes to driving: at one end it can be an enjoyable and relaxing experience and at the other end it can change your life in an instant or even be life-threatening.

Unfortunately it is a grim reality but our roads can be dangerous and sometimes can be a killer. According to data report from the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA), there have been 638 fatal car crashes in Australia during the first half of 2010. Most of these occurred in NSW (203), whereas the Northern Territory and ACT have reported the least (12 each).

In addition the data showed the following shocking statistics:

  • Over the past 12 months (ending July 2010), there were more than double. the number of males involved in fatalities than females, 329 males compared to 126 females.
  • The majority of fatalities in the 12 months to July 2010 were aged from 50-59.

Every time we hop in the car, most of us do everything in our power to protect ourselves. We are more aware of safety features offered by car manufacturers such as air bags and safety ratings. There are laws that make certain we wear our seatbelts, prevent us from using mobile phones or being under the influence while driving, that our cars are registered and road worthy; and we adjust the mirrors and make ourselves comfortable for the journey ahead.

Does all this give you the type of total peace of mind you are seeking? Probably not, but there is one more thing that you can do and that is to make sure you have the right kind of car insurance.

Comprehensive car insurance will cover any damage caused to your car as well as any other cars involved in an accident. This way at least you can be sure that in the event of a non-life threatening crash you will be covered and won’t have to fork out hundreds or thousands of dollars to cover repairs and other costs. For your peace of mind, shop around and compare car insurance quotes online to find a lower priced premium that will cover you for more. And remember, drive safely and take care on the roads.


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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 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.


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.