Save thousands by adding drivers to your car insurance

Save thousands by adding drivers to your car insurance

Most of us have been in this situation before, where your friend has asked to drive your car somewhere or you don’t feel like driving and told your friend to take over. But have you ever thought about what would happen, or how much it would cost you if they were involved in an accident?

RateCity looks into the myth that if your friend drives your car and they have an accident, their car insurance covers the costs involved.

This is false. Think of comprehensive car insurance as cover for the car rather than the actual person who is driving it. So even if your friend has car insurance for their car, they aren’t covered for all the cars they drive. Instead they are covered for the vehicles listed on their policy.

The same applies to your policy, so if you have not listed this particular driver on your policy then they won’t be covered; only the people that are listed will be. And if they have an accident you could be out of pocket for thousands of dollars.

For instance, Budget Direct states that you will not be covered if your car is driven by any members of your household who are not listed on your policy or any other individuals that you selected or they required to be excluded, which is shown on your policy. Budget Direct also says that your policy will not cover any loss, damage or liability by any unlisted driver excluded by age, other than for the commercial servicing, repairing or valet parking of the car.

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Allianz declares that any customers who make a claim for an incident where the vehicle was driven by someone not listed on your policy as a nominated driver will have to pay an “unnamed driver excess”, which replaces any other excesses that would otherwise have been applicable. The amount they charge will depend on a number of factors such as the age and type of car your own.

Also, if the driver happens to be under the age of 25 and not listed on your policy, you will have to pay an additional excess, which is in addition to the basic, age and any applicable driver excesses.

The good news is that if you have an existing policy, you can usually contact your car insurance provider and amend this at any time. Be aware though that your premium may increase in price as they could charge you more to add other nominated drivers. Or if you require a new policy, compare car insurance quotes online.

Next time your friend wants to drive your car you can rest assured knowing they are covered if you nominate them on your policy, should something happen, without you fretting in the corner.

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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.