Drivers may be unknowingly at risk of being uninsured due to negligent behaviour. Some of these careless habits include leaving keys or valuables on display inside the car whilst unattended, calling or texting behind the wheel and much more.
Australia’s biggest car insurance comparison website comparethemarket.com.au commissioned a survey of an independent, nationally representative panel of 1000 comprehensive car insurance policyholders on the common driving mistakes that may leave them uninsured.
Alarmingly, many respondents are risking more than their insurance when they are in the car. One in three (32 per cent) have called or texted while driving, and one in five (21 per cent) have also driven with worn out tyres.
The problems don’t stop once the keys are out of the ignition either. The most common error among Aussie drivers is leaving the car unlocked, with over half (54 per cent) admitting to this. When it comes to leaving the car unattended, 44 per cent left a window wound down, 27 per cent left valuables (such as a bag, phone or wallet) on display and 21 per cent left their car keys inside the vehicle too.
Rod Attrill, money expert at comparethemarket.com.au, said: “These results should act as a wakeup call for motorists to adhere to these common car rules, both on and off the road, and not turn a blind eye to their personal safety or protection of their valuables either”.
“Drivers need to be diligent to understand what their motor vehicle insurance policy includes and if they may be at risk of not being covered or being hit with higher premiums due to their hazardous road behaviour. Using comparison websites such as comparethemarket.com.au makes it easy for Aussies to compare car cover, review what the policy includes in terms of features and discounts, and find the most suited policy that won’t break the bank.”
Comparethemarket.com.au reveals five other ways consumers may be left uninsured or with increased car insurance premiums:
- Exceeding the kilometres driven. Many motorists opt to be considered as low kilometre drivers (if they drive 15,000 km or less annually) to potentially benefit from a cheaper insurance premium. If you select this policy, exceed the low kilometre threshold, and are then involved in an accident, this may affect your claim.
- Keeping tight lipped on damage. When applying for a policy, no matter how minor the accident or damage, there is never a situation where you shouldn’t inform your insurer of any car incidents you have had. Failing to disclose this information may lead to your insurer not covering you.
- Overloading your vehicle. You should think twice before over packing the car for a long trip too. Car manufacturers specify your maximum payload (the weight of your passengers, luggage etc.) you need to stay within when you’re piling up your car or trailer. If your passenger and storage weight exceeds the acceptable load capacity outlined by your manufacturer and State laws, you may find yourself without cover.
- Pets in the car not properly secured. Often your four-legged friends will be your most precious cargo when driving. Some providers will insure your pet travelling with you, if they are secured properly. In the event of an accident, not having the correct harness, carrier or cargo barrier will mean your policy may not cover you if you’re found driving with an unrestrained pet. Check whether your policy covers injuries to pets in the event of a car accident. Talk to your provider about what is and isn’t covered before driving with your pets in the vehicle.
- Not notifying your insurer of a job change. Your insurer may factor your employment type, such as whether you work full or part time, to calculate your insurance premiums and potentially offer discounts based on your status. Make sure you notify your provider of any career change to ensure your policy is up to date and you’re receiving the most competitive price.
Comparethemarket.com.au is an online comparison service that takes the hard work out of shopping around. We help Australians to quickly and easily compare and buy products from a wide range of providers. Our easy-to-use comparison tool enables consumers to find a product that best suits their needs and their back pocket. We’re also in the business of comparing personal finance products, utilities and can help find the lowest fuel prices in your area. Whether it’s car, health or home & contents insurance, we provide a completely free service, that empowers Australians to make buying decisions with greater trust, knowledge and savings. We’ve got your back, simples.
 Survey conducted by Pureprofile