Women-only parking spaces

Parking spaces designated for the elderly, disabled or parents with prams and young children are a common phenomenon. Then there are the spots that are for particular employees, with prohibited individuals risking a fine or exorbitant towing fee if they park where they shouldn’t. On top of paying off a car loan, the last thing you want to do is incur hefty fines for parking your prized vehicle in the wrong place!

However, it appears that there’s a new kind of exclusive park: women-only parking spaces.

Parking equality or outright sexism?

Mainstream media in the West has recently picked up on South Korea’s women-only parking spaces, with a number of media outlets commenting on the initiative. Pink parking lines show female drivers where to drive — or reverse — into. The Korea Times noted that the project was first introduced in mid-2007. The rationale behind the move was to make Seoul city more “women-friendly”.

The recent mass circulation of the story has resulted in plenty of discussion, with opinion divided as to whether the female-only parking spaces are a much-needed necessity or incredibly sexist. 

Protecting your vehicle

Of course, the recent discussion presents an important consideration for vehicle drivers, no matter their gender: keeping their cars protected. According to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, the average premium per risk for domestic motor vehicles was $570 in the year ending March 2014.

Protecting your vehicle against theft and damage is essential — unless you fancy dipping into your savings account to pay for repairs, which can be incredibly costly. 

Likewise, it’s also worth having third-party insurance to cover you financially in case your car causes damage to someone else’s vehicle.

Whether your swing into a parking space was too wide for the narrow space or you’re involved in an accident with another vehicle, adequate coverage can offer substantial peace of mind.

Changes in South Australia

Vehicle owners in Adelaide and South Australia should pay attention to recently-announced changes that will affect their insurance obligations.

In SA, third-party insurance for motor vehicles is compulsory. The SA state budget outlined changes to the scheme, with opportunities for private sector involvement being opened.

Currently, the Motor Accident Commission acts as the single provider of Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance. From July 1 2016, the commission will no longer have this role, instead directing $500 million from its surplus net assets into the Highways Fund in 2016-17. Private providers will underwrite policies from July 1 2016.

The state is adopting a no-fault scheme for CTP, too. As the law presently stands, accident victims must apportion blame to someone else in order to obtain compensation.

“By moving to a no-fault scheme, motorists who suffer lifelong disabilities like paraplegia, quadriplegia, brain injury, whole limb or multiple amputation, severe burns or blindness in a motor vehicle accident will qualify for treatment, care and support,” Jack Snelling, Minister for Health, explained.

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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.