What is comprehensive car insurance?

What is comprehensive car insurance?

As the name suggests, a comprehensive car insurance policy is the most complete coverage you can get, including not just coverage for your liability as an at-fault driver but also most kinds of damage to your car. You should consider buying such a policy if you feel it may cost a lot to repair your car after an accident, or if you are concerned about damage from vandalism or other incidents in your neighbourhood.

What does a fully comprehensive car insurance cover?

Every vehicle owner in Australia needs to carry compulsory third-party (CTP) insurance. This is considered the minimum insurance required to legally drive. However, depending on how much you can afford to pay for a car insurance policy and the precautions you wish to take, you can opt for additional policies offering much more than the minimum. 

A comprehensive car insurance policy will usually cover treatment for injuries to yourself and other drivers, damage to your vehicle as well as other vehicles or property. It may also cover damage to your car from theft, vandalism, or other adverse incidents.

When comparing comprehensive car insurance policies, you may want to check if the insurer offers roadside assistance and coverage for any possessions that may be damaged or stolen along with the car. Some comprehensive car insurance policies may also compensate you for getting your car towed, or the cost of travel after an accident, besides other temporary costs such as income support and accommodation costs. If you have nominated others to drive your car, they may also be covered in the event of an accident involving them. 

Is it mandatory to buy comprehensive car insurance? 

In most Australian states, only compulsory third-party insurance is mandatory. However, you may want to consider buying a policy that includes additional coverage, such as a third party property insurance policy. 

Third party property insurance =covers the cost of repairing or renovating someone else’s car or property from damage caused by you. You can also opt for the third party fire and theft insurance policy if you want this coverage for your car as well. You should remember that each additional coverage adds to the cost of your car insurance policy, with a comprehensive car insurance policy being the most expensive.

Common reasons you may seek comprehensive car insurance:

  1. You own a luxury vehicle. Owners of luxury vehicles may feel more encouraged to take out comprehensive car insurance, as the value of their car is typically much higher than the average, and therefore harder to replace out-of-pocket.
  2. Your car loan requires it. You may also need to buy a comprehensive car insurance policy if you have taken a car loan whose requirements include buying such a policy. 
  3. Your suburb requires it. If you live in an area known for frequent storms or incidents like vandalism and civil commotions, purchasing a comprehensive car insurance policy may be necessary. 

How do I compare comprehensive car insurance quotes? 

The cost of  comprehensive car insurance policy can depend  on your personal circumstances. For this reason, you should consider comparing policy quotes which are customised for your profile, by providing personal information like your age, gender, and the city you live in. While the car your drive does matter, your driving history can also make a difference in how much you pay for insurance. You may get a discount if you haven’t filed any car insurance claims in recent years and if you drive your car only for a limited distance on average. 

You should also look closely at what the policy includes, particularly the finer details like coverage for your belongings, for different incidents, and temporary support.

As the name suggests, the policy’s coverage has to be as thorough as possible, but each insurer may have a different view on what they should cover. It may be useful to read their product disclosure statement (PDS) to understand the policy more fully. Consider finding out what steps you can take to bring down your car insurance premium, such as adding security features or opting for an insurer from whom you’ve already purchased another policy. 

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Learn more about car insurance

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. 

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.