New South Wales (NSW) boasts some of Australia’s most recognisable scenery. Our Opera House and Harbour Bridge are as iconic as the Eiffel Tower or Big Ben, and our magnificent NSW coastline is dotted with picture-perfect spots from Port Macquarie to Byron Bay and from Sydney to Newcastle. Or, if you just want a taste of the quirky, Parkes has the annual Elvis Festival!
With so much road to cover, NSW residents would be well served with some form of car insurance product. So, here’s what you need to know about car insurance in NSW.
Your policy itself isn’t affected by the state you reside in. The only difference to insuring a vehicle in NSW over another state or territory is that you must purchase Green Slip insurance before you register your vehicle, whereas elsewhere in Australia, it’s part of your registration fees.
However, living in NSW does impact how much you pay for your insurance. Where you park your car at night, how far you drive each year and the weather elements you expose your car to can all influence your premiums.
The number of car thefts in NSW is one of the highest in the country. Motor vehicle theft in NSW (as of December 2022) has risen 17% over the last two years.1 In 2022 there were 12,274 motor vehicle car thefts in NSW.
Drivers in NSW who have a comprehensive car insurance policy or a TPFT policy can be covered against car theft.
Comprehensive car insurance pays for repair costs for both you and other drivers, regardless of who’s at fault in an accident. It also covers storm and fire damage on top of theft and offers a host of optional extras to choose from to extend your cover.
NSW Green Slip or CTP insurance is quite different in that it will only cover your legal liability if you cause injury or death to another driver in an accident where you’re at fault. It does not cover damage to your or other people’s cars and property. This type of cover is compulsory to drive legally in Australia.
In NSW, you are free to choose your Green Slip insurer if you’re not happy with the price you’re paying for cover each year. In fact, NSW is one of the few states that let you pick your Green Slip insurer.
Potentially, yes. Your postcode can affect your insurance premiums because your new neighbourhood may have a different rate of drivers making insurance claims. Also, where you park at night can affect your car insurance premiums. For example, if you park in a locked garage, your premium will reflect the lower likelihood of it being stolen, whereas parking it on the street may have the opposite effect.
Also, traffic accidents in your neighbourhood can affect your insurance premium. It’s best to give your insurer a call when you plan on moving not only so you can budget for the new price, but also so you don’t risk any future claims being denied because your insurer didn’t know about your new address.
You may have to pay a basic excess when you claim on your car insurance policy if you’re determined to be at fault for the incident or the third party responsible can’t be identified. Sometimes, you may even need to pay an additional excess, such as a young driver excess (for drivers under a certain age) or an unlisted driver excess (if the driver wasn’t added to your policy).
Regardless of whether you have a comprehensive car insurance policy or a more basic third party car insurance, it’s vital that you list all drivers (including learner drivers) who use the vehicle on your car insurance policy to avoid additional excesses.
Depending on your policy, you may have a choice of excess amounts. If you choose a higher excess, your premiums may be lowered as a result, and vice versa.
A range of car insurance insurers operating in NSW offer no claim discounts. You’ll have to hold your policy for a set number of years without making a claim to be eligible for this discount.
1 NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research – NSW Recorded Crime Statistics quarterly update. December 2022. Accessed March 2023.