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Thanks to an abundance of attractions to explore – from the captivating Australian War Memorial to the remote wilderness of the Namadgi National Park – the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) punches well above its weight.

With no scarcity of places to drive to, having adequate cover for your car in and out of the ACT is essential. Motor accidents can happen in the most unlikely places and under the most inconvenient circumstances. Without the right level of insurance, an accident could leave you with a massive repair bill.

Many drivers take out car insurance for peace of mind, whether it’s Comprehensive, Third Party Property Damage or Third Party Fire and Theft.  We’ll take you through everything you need to know about car insurance in the ACT.

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What types of car cover are available in the ACT?

There are three car insurance options for you to choose from in addition to Motor Accident Insurance (commonly called Compulsory Third Party in other states or Green Slip in NSW), which is mandatory for all vehicles.

What types of car cover are available in the ACT?

Comprehensive

Comprehensive car insurance offers the broadest 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, 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 Property Damage (TPPD)

TPPD insurance covers damage you cause to other people’s property with your car. Depending on your insurer, 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. Typically, this level of car insurance doesn’t cover your vehicle for at-fault claims.

Third Party Fire & Theft (TPFT)

TPFT insurance operates similarly to TPPD policies, with an additional level of cover: it covers the replacement costs of your vehicle if it is stolen or damaged/destroyed in a fire. Your vehicle’s repair costs are not covered if you are at fault in a traffic accident.

Motor Accident Insurance (MAI)

MAI (which is the same as CTP insurance) is mandatory for driving in the ACT and around Australia. It covers your liability if you cause injury or death to someone else in an accident involving your vehicle and are found to be at fault. In the ACT, you have the option of choosing between several different MAI providers.

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 our roads, these extras can be worthwhile.

These features are likely to have limits that will vary between insurers. Always remember to check your policy’s PDS to know exactly what your insurer covers.

driver in nsw

Which type of insurance should I get?

In the ACT, every driver on the road must have Motor Accident Insurance (MAI – known as CTP in most other states and Green Slip insurance in NSW), but you may want to consider the following if you’re seeking a broader level of coverage.

If you’ve already invested thousands of dollars to pay for your car, wouldn’t you want to ensure that it’s sufficiently protected, particularly if you’ve taken out a loan to pay for it?

It comes down to your personal circumstances and needs, but if you believe repair or replacement costs could blow out your budget, comprehensive car insurance or TPFT could be an option for you to consider.

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 & Theft
Third Party Property
MAI
Note: There are more factors and variables that may affect your level of coverage. Always refer to your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for a full explanation of your cover.

How much is car insurance in the ACT?

Car insurance premiums are different for everyone. 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
  • Claims and driving history
  • 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 own 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.

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Driving in the ACT: How will it affect your insurance?

Whether you’re driving through ACT’s alpine region or heading to Mount Ainslie Lookout, Australia’s heartland is a great place for road trips. The only difference to insuring a vehicle in the ACT as opposed to some other states or territories (except QLD and NSW) is that you can choose your MAI insurer.

That being said, various factors may impact the car insurance policy you buy, from Third Party Property Damage to Comprehensive. Some of these include:

  • Where you park your car overnight and during the day
  • The colour of your car
  • Your address
  • Any modifications you’ve made to your car.

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Frequently asked questions about car insurance in ACT

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

That’s simple! Comprehensive car insurance pays for repair costs for yourself and other drivers, regardless of who is at fault in an accident. 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 in Australia – it just goes by a different name depending on the state and territory. Additionally, car owners cannot always choose their CTP insurer, depending on which state they call home.

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

Absolutely not! 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.

Does moving house within the ACT affect my car insurance?

The ACT suburb you reside in and park your car overnight can affect the price of your premiums due to the level of risk and insurance claims in the area.

Conversely, 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, to understand how or if your new address will affect your premium.

Does car insurance in the ACT have any exclusions?

The number of exclusions will depend on your level of cover. For example, comprehensive policies cover more and have fewer exclusions than Third Property Damage and Third Party Fire and Theft. However, there are some common exclusions shared across the different 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.

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.

If I buy a new car in the ACT, will it get replaced after an accident?

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.

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 a set 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. Unlike market value, having an agreed value policy means you’ll know exactly what the amount is that you’re covered for that year.

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

Towing costs can 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 I need to pay an excess to make a claim?

In most cases, you’ll pay a basic excess when you submit a claim. You may need to pay an additional excess depending on the circumstances of the incident. For example, if someone who isn’t listed on the policy was driving the vehicle, 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.

Lastly, window glass repairs and damaged windscreen claims may incur a windscreen excess, though car insurers often waive this with comprehensive cover.

Stephen Zeller, General Manager

Meet our car insurance expert, Stephen Zeller

As General Manager of General Insurance, Stephen Zeller works hard to make sure consumers have the facts when it comes to their car insurance, including what’s covered and how comparing policies can benefit them.

Stephen has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, and is an Allied Member of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) and helps review general insurance content on Compare the Market to ensure it accurately breaks down complex insurance topics.

Stephen’s car insurance tips for ACT residents:

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