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The Northern Territory (NT) is home to some of Australia’s brightest and wildest natural beauty, from Kakadu National Park to traversing the long and straight Stuart Highway to Uluru or plopping down with your caravan along the white sands of East Arnhem Land. Wherever you live and drive in the NT, it’s important that you have a suitable car insurance policy in place to take care of mishaps and misadventures on the roads.

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What types of car cover are available in NT?

Comprehensive car insurance

A comprehensive car insurance policy is the highest level of cover. It covers the cost of loss or damage to your car from things like theft, fires, storms, floods, malicious acts and accidental damage. It can also cover the damage you cause to someone else’s car or property in a car accident.

Third Party Fire and Theft (TPFT)

TPFT car insurance covers you for the damage to someone else’s vehicle or property from an accident that’s your fault, as well as for loss or damage to your own car from fire, theft with some providers offering cover for malicious acts. Some policies have limited repair cover when you’re not at fault in an accident and the other driver isn’t insured.

Third Party Property Damage (TPPD)

TPPD car insurance covers the costs of a third party’s damaged property or vehicle when you’re at fault for a motor accident. It can sometimes provide a limited amount of cover for your own car’s loss or damage as a result of the accident; however, this is limited and depends on certain circumstances (e.g. the at-fault driver isn’t insured).

Compulsory Third Party (CTP)

CTP insurance covers your legal liability for death or injuries you cause to passengers, other drivers, road users and pedestrians in an accident that’s your fault. It’s the minimum level of cover required throughout Australia and is provided by the Territory Insurance Office (TIO) in your car registration.

Which type of car insurance should you get in the NT?

While CTP insurance is a requirement for all Northern Territory, it’s still essential to determine which level of cover is right for you when deciding on additional insurance for your car.

Your significant investment shouldn’t go to waste after an accident (especially if it’s a brand-new car). Furthermore, lenders often require you to purchase comprehensive insurance if you’re taking out a car loan; in the event of an accident that results in a write-off, your loan with the financial institution can potentially be paid out.

To help you decide on the level of cover you want for your vehicle, here’s a brief rundown on what each type of cover includes.

Insurance typeDamage to your carDamage to another person’s car or propertyDamage or loss to your own vehicle caused by theft or fire
 Third Party Fire and Theft
 Third Party Property Damage
Note: Many factors and considerations may affect the level of cover you can receive. You should always read your relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for specific exclusions and conditions of your cover.

Which features should NT drivers look for in a car insurance policy?

Car insurance can come with a wide range of benefits and features, some of which may be included automatically in your policy and others that need to be added. Keep in mind, though, that any added cover is likely to increase your minimum premiums.

Some additional benefits and optional cover for your car insurance can be:

  • Cover for personal items. If personal belongings are damaged in an accident or stolen from your car, your policy may pay a cash benefit to replace them.
  • Roadside assistance. This feature can be valuable when you find yourself in a stressful situation, like a break down or accident.
  • No claim bonuses and discounts. If your insurer offers this, you could receive a discount on your premiums for being claim-free for a number of years.
  • Flexible payment options. Your insurer might offer you the choice between fortnightly, monthly or annual premium payments. Be aware that there may be fees applicable for instalment payments.
  • Excess-free windscreen repair. This feature can cover the cost of repairing or replacing a damaged windscreen and may save you from the excess payment.
  • Discounts for age restrictions. Limiting drivers to certain ages can bring down premiums.

How much is car insurance in NT?

The cost of car insurance in the will vary between the states and territories (including Northern Territory), as your premiums are based on many factors including the state you live in. Some other factors can include:

Furthermore, any additional drivers listed, optional extras or car modifications can all add to the cost of your car insurance.

If you want an idea of how much car insurance may cost you, you can complete a quote by using our free comparison service.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need car insurance in the NT?

Car insurance is a valuable product to have on your vehicle no matter where in Australia you are, so the question is less about whether you need cover and more about whether you can afford the cost of not being covered.

For example, could you afford the repair costs for an expensive vehicle you damage in an accident that’s your fault? Or can you easily replace your own vehicle if it’s written off after an engine fire? If these scenarios and more could cause a major dent in your finances, car insurance could be handy to have to give you peace of mind that these costs can be covered by your insurance provider.

What affects my car insurance premium in the NT?

Your postcode is one factor that can play a major part in how much your insurance will cost. If you live in an area in the Northern Territory with a high car theft rate or near roads notorious for accidents, your premiums will reflect this risk to insuring your car.

Some other factors that can affect your car insurance premiums include:

  • Your car. The vehicle’s age, make and model all have an impact on your insurance costs. This is because some car parts are easier and cheaper to fix and replace than others, and your insurance will factor this into the cost of your policy.
  • Your age. Younger drivers may pay higher premiums for their car insurance, as they generally have less experience on the roads.
  • Where you live. Insurers will consider your location when calculating your premiums, since where you live can contribute to your risk of claiming; For example, living in Darwin, Northern Territory may come with higher car theft rates, vandalism or likelihood of having an accident. Where you park your car at home or work can also affect your premiums.
  • Level of cover. The type of car insurance you choose will have a big effect on your premiums. Lower levels of cover (like TPPD or TPFT) may cost less, but it also offers less coverage and you may come away from an incident with significant out of pocket costs. On the other hand, comprehensive cover will cost you more, but you’ll have more value for money with broader coverage.

How can I lower the cost of my car insurance in the NT?

If you’re looking to lower the cost of your vehicle’s insurance in the Northern Territory, you might be able to do the following (depending on your policy and needs):

  • Park securely. Parking in a secure parking spot overnight (like a lockable garage) can lower your risk of theft and hail damage and, with that, the price of insurance, too.
  • Increase your excess. If your provider offers this insurance option, you can choose a higher excess amount to lower your premium. However, keep in mind that the excess is paid when you make a claim, so make sure it’s still an amount you can afford to pay in the event of an insurance claim.
  • Restrict the age of drivers. You can inform your insurer that you’ll only allow drivers over a certain age (e.g. 25 years) to take the wheel of your car, which can help you save on your insurance costs. Also, listing these additional drivers can save you from paying the unlisted driver excess if any of them cause a claim.

Adrian Taylor, General Manager

Meet our car insurance expert, Adrian Taylor with tips for car insurance in NT

As the Executive General Manager of General Insurance at Compare the Market, Adrian Taylor has over 13 years’ experience in the financial services industry. Adrian specialises in customer experience and is dedicated to helping customers better understand insurance products so they can save money on their household bills.

Adrian’s top tips for NT drivers

  1. Tropical cyclones and flooding can occur across Darwin and the Northern Territory, so it can pay to have cover for storm and flood damage in your policy for these events. You’d usually find this cover in comprehensive policies.
  2. Plenty of insurers provide a courtesy warning SMS to alert customers that a weather event is imminent. This will allow you to take reasonable steps to secure your vehicle or park undercover where possible so you can potentially avoid damage to it – and subsequent claims.
  3. Ensure your vehicle is regularly maintained. Keeping your car in good condition can help toward making it safer on the roads, and less risk when making a claim.
  4. If you have the option, consider paying your premium annually. Paying once a year as opposed to once a month leaves little risk of any late payment fees, should you pay later than the scheduled date.
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