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Top 3 things to know about car insurance in the ACT

Choose the right car insurance for you

A driver can choose from different types of insurance to protect their car while driving in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

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Consider adding car insurance to your MAI

While it’s mandatory in the ACT for all motor vehicles to have Compulsory Third Party insurance, known in the ACT as Motor Accident Insurance (MAI), you can also purchase cover to protect your car.

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Learn what can affect your premiums

While the levels of car insurance typically remain the same across all states and territories in Australia, where you live can affect the premiums you pay, among other factors.

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Car insurance

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A guide to car insurance

Last updated 19/02/2024

Kenneth Young
Written by Kenneth Young

Adrian Taylor, Executive General Manager of General Insurance
Reviewed by Adrian Taylor

Find out more

Car insurance in the ACT

By comparing your car insurance policies at least once a year, you could make sure you’re not paying more than you need to for insurance.

What types of car cover are available in the ACT?

There are three levels of car insurance for you to choose from in addition to Motor Accident Insurance (known as Compulsory Third Party [CTP] insurance in other states or Green Slip in NSW), which is mandatory for all vehicles.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive car insurance offers the broadest insurance coverage for your car. It insures against many different scenarios and may cover you for accidental damage to both your vehicle and a third party’s property, as well as fire damage, theft and damage from attempted theft. Depending on the circumstances, with comprehensive cover you may also be covered if your car is completely written off, allowing you to replace it and get back on the road sooner.

Third Party Fire and Theft

Third Party Fire and Theft (TPFT) insurance operates similarly to TPPD policies, with additional cover: it covers the replacement costs of your vehicle if it’s stolen or damaged/destroyed in a fire. However, your vehicle’s repair costs aren’t covered if you’re at fault in a traffic accident.

Third Party Property Damage

Third Party Property Damage (TPPD) insurance covers damage you cause to other people’s property with your car. You may have a limited amount of cover for your vehicle if it’s damaged in a no-fault accident by an uninsured vehicle and you can identify the driver responsible, depending on your insurer. Typically, this level of car insurance doesn’t cover your vehicle for at-fault claims.

Motor Accident Insurance (MAI)

MAI (known as CTP or Green Slip in other states) is mandatory for driving in the ACT and around Australia. It covers your liability if you cause injury or death to someone else in a motor vehicle accident involving your vehicle. In the ACT, you have the option of choosing between several different MAI providers.

You should read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for the above products and see whether the policy is suitable for your personal circumstance.

What type of car insurance should I get?

In the ACT, every registered vehicle on the road must have MAI, but you may want to consider a further level of cover to protect your investment. It comes down to your circumstances and needs, comprehensive car insurance or TPFT could be an option for you to consider if you want the repair or replacement costs to your own vehicle to be covered. The table below is a summary of the cover each level of car insurance provides.

 

Insurance typeDamage to your carDamage to another person’s car or propertyDamage or loss to your car caused by theft and fireInjuries or death to other people in an at-fault accident
Comprehensive
Third Party Fire and Theft
Third Party Property Damage
MAI (or CTP)
Note: Other factors and variables may affect your level of coverage. Always refer to your relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for a full explanation of your cover.

What features do ACT drivers look for in a comprehensive car insurance policy?

The below features may be available to drivers as either standard inclusions or optional extras (for an additional expense). If you get into trouble on the road, these extras could be worthwhile.

  • Towing after an accident. You can have your vehicle towed up to a certain kilometre radius from the incident whether you’re still in the ACT or interstate at the time.
  • New for old car replacements. Your vehicle may be replaced with an equivalent, new one if it’s written off in an accident.
  • Hire car after an accident. If your vehicle is damaged or written off in an accident (regardless of fault), you may be eligible for a hire car until your vehicle is repaired or replaced.
  • Key and remote replacements. Keys can be expensive to replace. Your policy, however, may cover these costs.
  • Windshield replacements. Get your windscreen fixed at a reduced cost or without any excess applied.
  • Roadside assistance. Never fear a breakdown on the side of the freeway again.

These features are likely to have limits that will vary between insurers.

How car insurance works in the ACT

How much is car insurance in the ACT?

Car insurance premiums are different for everyone, no matter whether they live in the ACT or not. This is because insurers calculate how much it’ll cost to cover your vehicle by taking into account things like:

  • Your vehicle’s age, make, model and market value
  • Your claims and driving history
  • Where you park your car overnight and during the day (e.g. garage or street)
  • Any modifications you’ve made to your car
  • Your home address in the ACT.

As such, how much you pay in premiums will usually differ to your work colleagues, friends, neighbours and even the people in your household.

If you’d like to know how much you could potentially pay for car insurance in the ACT, you can complete a quote through our car insurance comparison service.

Does moving house within the ACT affect my car insurance?

The ACT suburb you reside in  can affect the price of your premiums due to the level of risk and insurance claims in the area. Furthermore, where you park your car overnight could also affect your premium depending on your insurer. For example, if you park indoors in a secure garage, your premium may reflect the lower likelihood of someone stealing your car.

It’s wise to contact your insurer when you plan on moving, both to notify them of your new address and to understand if it will affect your premium.

Can I insure my car for an agreed value?

Most cars are insured for their market value (meaning the car’s value at the time of a claim) regardless of location, but some policies allow you to insure the car for an agreed value. The agreed value can change over time, but you’ll know what it is as your insurance provider lists it on your renewal notice. Having an agreed value policy means you’re likely to receive this amount that you’re covered for should your vehicle be written off after an insured event (like a car accident). Please check your PDS or contact your insurer as terms and conditions may apply.

Will I need to pay an excess to make a claim?

In most cases, you’ll pay a basic excess when you submit a claim, but you may also need to pay additional excesses depending on the circumstances of the incident. For example, if someone who isn’t listed on the policy was driving your vehicle when an accident happened, you may incur an unlisted driver excess as well.

Additionally, if the driver was under a certain age, even if they’re the primary driver and listed on the policy, they may face a young driver excess if that’s a part of the policy.

MAI insurance in the ACT

What’s the difference between MAI/CTP/Green Slip and comprehensive car insurance?

Comprehensive car insurance covers a wide range of incidents and events that can damage your vehicle, as well as the damages you cause to other cars. MAI/CTP/Green Slip insurance is different in that it’ll only cover your liability for injuries or deaths to third parties in an accident where you’re at fault.

This type of cover is compulsory to drive legally in the ACT and Australia – it just goes by a different name depending on the state and territory.

Am I stuck with a single MAI provider in the ACT?

Nothing is stopping you from choosing a different MAI provider if you’re not happy with the price you’re paying for cover each year.

What’s covered by car insurance in the ACT

If my car is written off in an accident, am I covered?

Some car insurance policies have a new car replacement benefit depending on your level of cover. Typically, if you’re the first owner of a car and it’s written off within a certain time frame (usually the first two years of ownership), you may get a new one to replace it.

Are towing costs covered if I have a car accident in the ACT?

Towing costs may be covered following a car accident if this benefit is listed in your policy (usually comprehensive policies). Third Party Fire and Theft policies generally include towing following a fire or theft incident.

Will car insurance cover my caravan?

Some comprehensive car insurance policies may have a small amount of cover for damages to a caravan or trailer when it’s attached to your car, but in general, most car insurance policies only apply to your vehicle. The exact details of what’s covered will be in your PDS.

Does car insurance in the ACT have any exclusions?

Exclusions depend on your level of cover and the product you have chosen However, there are some common exclusions shared across the different products and levels of cover, such as:

  • Deliberate and wilful damage
  • Being intoxicated at the time of the incident
  • Normal wear and tear
  • Illegal actions (such as too many people in the car or an unlicensed driver behind the wheel)
  • Unapproved car modifications.

Adrian Taylor, Executive General Manager of General Insurance

Meet our car insurance expert, Adrian Taylor

As Executive General Manager of General Insurance at Compare the Market, Adrian Taylor is passionate about demystifying car insurance for consumers, so they have a better understanding of what they’re covered for. Adrian’s goal is to make more information available from more insurers, to make it easier to compare and save.

Adrian has over 13 years’ experience in the financial services industry. He helps review general insurance content on Compare the Market to ensure it accurately breaks down complex insurance topics.

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