A comprehensive car insurance policy provides the highest level of protection of the available types of cover in Australia. It could cover you for damage to your vehicle as well as damage to other driver’s vehicles or property.
Furthermore, it can cover damage to your vehicle caused by fires, storms and hail, and replacement costs if your vehicle is stolen. A comprehensive policy can cover the cost of repairs regardless of which party is responsible for the damage. Depending on your policy, it could also include features like windshield replacement and a complimentary hire car while yours is getting repaired.
Exclusions are provisions on your car insurance policy that nullify coverage when it’s time to claim.
Exclusions can be found in the finer details of an insurance policy. Make sure you are aware of common exclusions within your policy so your cover isn’t void when it’s time to claim.
Typical exclusions to look out for include:
If you’re unsure about any specific details of your car insurance policy, always check your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or contact your insurer.
It all depends on what’s important to you and, of course, your car. There will typically be a range of extra car insurance options to add to your policy.
If you’re interested in taking out extra cover for additional peace of mind, some of your options may include:
Many insurers provide the option for car owners to insure their car for an agreed value. This means that, should you need to make a claim (e.g. for accidental damage, vandalism, fire, theft or total loss), and your car is unrepairable or it is not economically viable to repair your car, you’ll get that agreed value minus any applicable excess payments.
Generally, car insurance protects your car against specific events for the car’s market value, which is what it’s worth at the time of the incident.
You can choose a higher or lower excess, which will affect your car insurance premium. While the savings offered by reducing your excess can be tempting, make sure you weigh up the potential savings against the risk of making a claim, because the higher the excess, the more you will be left out of pocket if something happens to your car.
A comprehensive car insurance policy insures your vehicle – not you.
Therefore, you’re not covered by this policy if you use another motor vehicle and get into an accident. However, if you’re listed on this other vehicle’s insurance policy as a driver, you may be covered by that vehicle’s policy, depending on which one it is.
Like other insurance policies, you’re only covered for driving the vehicle which the policy insures. Depending on your policy and insurer, you may have other people nominated as drivers who will be covered in the event of an accident.
Full disclosure to your insurer is always encouraged to avoid any confusion or nullifying your cover altogether.
You can opt for a comprehensive car insurance policy with roadside assistance as an optional extra, which may cost you more. Depending on your insurer and level of cover, roadside assistance usually includes mobile technicians, towing and optional extras such as emergency accommodation with additional taxi fares.
Most insurers offer roadside assistance as an option with comprehensive cover, and it’s your responsibility to read through the policy’s terms and conditions to understand what you’re covered for.
Third Party Property Damage (TPPD), Third Party Fire and Theft (TPFT) and comprehensive car insurance can all cover learner drivers. Generally, the learner driver will need to be listed on their parent or guardian’s insurance policy as an additional driver of the vehicle, so you avoid paying an additional excess payment for an unlisted driver.
Should an incident occur while the learner is behind the wheel, an additional excess payment may apply for having a young driver under a certain age (e.g. 21 years old).
All the applicable excess payments and rules regarding cover for learner drivers will be listed in your policy documents.
Yes, you need Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance as it covers you for you cause to others (the third party) in a motor vehicle accident. Comprehensive car insurance does not offer this type of cover.
CTP insurance is, as the name suggests, compulsory. It’s a legal requirement upon registering your vehicle in Australia to take out this cover. It covers your liability against personal injury or death you cause in a motor vehicle incident.
So, if you’re in an accident where you’re at fault and someone gets injured, your CTP protects you. It does not cover damage to vehicles or other people’s property, which is why it’s important to have comprehensive car insurance to safeguard you if your car is damaged or stolen, or if you damage a third party’s vehicle.
Comprehensive car insurance is not compulsory in Australia. It’s a legal requirement for every car owner in Australia, to have Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance as a bare minimum of cover. This is included in your registration fees (in some states).
Comprehensive cover does provide greater protection from significant repair and replacement costs and may save you money in many different situations (e.g. traffic accidents, thefts, storms).
Making a claim on your comprehensive car insurance is usually a simple process. It’s a good idea to keep your insurance details in your car or on your phone, so they’re always on hand in case you’re involved in an accident.
Exchange details with other parties involved in an incident, and then contact your insurer. If possible, take photos at the location of the accident and the damage.
In an emergency situation, contact 000 immediately.
Most insurers provide a 24/7 claims lodgement and assistance service over the phone or online. You can contact them and they can help you through the process.
The severity of the damage to your vehicle may determine how your claim is assessed. If the incident is minor, your insurer make ask you to take your vehicle to one of several nominated repairers to be fixed.
If the incident is more severe, your car may need to be examined by your insurer’s assessor. Suppose your vehicle is not in a drivable or roadworthy condition due to the nature of the damage. In that case, your insurer may arrange to have it towed directly to their facility for a claims assessment.
It’s crucial that you always read the insurer’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), which outlines the conditions of cover including information about:
A car insurance excess is the sum of money you pay when you make an at-fault claim on your policy. The remaining cost for repairs or replacement is then covered by your insurer. There’s technically a limit on what your insurer will cover.
Comprehensive policies are not exempt to excess. The most common types of insurance excess are:
Having a higher excess is usually attractive with safer drivers, as it decreases your premium, and vice versa with a smaller excess. Lowering or increasing your excess is entirely your choice, so it’s a good idea to regularly review this to align with your circumstances.
Your insurer should advise you if an excess payment is required when you make a claim. It’s important to keep in mind that different insurers have different excess amounts, as stipulated by your policy.
While this depends on the insurer, it’s common for those with comprehensive car insurance policies to have a no claim bonus or discount. If you don’t make a claim over a certain number of years (which may take affect after one period of insurance or a couple years in a row), you could get a discount on your car insurance premiums.
The no claims discount (NCD) can compound for up to five years. Making a claim at any time during or after these first five years will reset your discount. No claim bonuses and discounts are sometimes available on Third Party Property Damage (TPPD) and Third Party Fire and Theft (TPFT) car insurance policies as well.
Discounts and cheaper insurance policies apply to customers that satisfy certain requirements, especially those who minimise their ‘risk profile’. For example, drivers who don’t travel more than 15,000 kilometres per year in their insured vehicle may qualify for a low-kilometre policy.
You can cancel your policy at any time. You’ll need to contact your insurer and notify them of your intentions. They’ll usually specify how you need to notify them (e.g. email, letter or phone call).
Be aware that some policies may have cancellation fees. If you decide to cancel your policy, you may qualify for a refund on the unexpired parts of your premium, less any fees your insurer has stipulated on your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).