Car Insurance FAQs

Answers when you need them

Have a question about your comprehensive car insurance policy, confused about what an 'excess' is, or not sure how to figure out your No Claims Discount? Relax! Sergei has the solution.

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Car insurance Frequently Asked Questions


Will my car insurance rates rise after a claim?

Your car insurance premiums may increase after a claim, depending on your insurer and your situation. If you’re the at-fault party, it’s likely your premiums will increase. So, if you were to make multiple claims in a period, your insurer will see you as a greater risk to insure, which may result in higher premiums.

Even if you’re not at fault, it is possible your premiums could increase. As such, it’s important you compare car insurance policies to find a level of cover that suits your driving history, budget and needs.

How do I report a car accident to my insurer?

If you’re involved in an accident, the very first thing to do is call 000 for emergency services if there are injuries or public safety concerns. This is a legal requirement if anyone’s life is in danger. After this has been done, you can inform your insurer of the incident.

Your insurer may ask you for your policy number and further details of your accident. You may choose to do this over the phone or, depending on your insurer, you can go online to begin your claims process.

Be sure to provide as much information to your insurer as possible, including:

  • The details of any other person involved in the accident. These include their name, licence number and contact details
  • If applicable, the details of the other driver’s car or property (e.g. their registration number and their car’s make, model and colour);
  • The other driver’s insurance details
  • Any witnesses’ contact details (they may be able to help substantiate your claim)
  • A detailed account of the accident, including the date, time and nature of the damage. If you can, provide any photographic evidence and police reports to your insurer as well.

Don’t forget to take photos of your vehicle and the other vehicle to present as evidence of damage to your provider when you claim.

If the police attended the scene and documented your accident, your insurer will also use this to substantiate your claim (please record any police report details taken while the police were in attendance).

Your insurer may also require a vehicle inspection to determine the damage. Throughout the claims process, your insurer will take care of communication between the other driver and their insurer if needed.

Depending on your insurer, you may be able to track the progress of your claim online. If they require more information, they’ll contact you.

After you claim on your policy, you may notice an increase in your premiums. If this does happen, compare car insurance to ensure you’re paying for a great-value policy.

For more information, read up on what to do after a car accident for tips on how you can effectively manage an incident and gather any required information.

How do car insurance claims work?

If you’re involved in an accident and a vehicle (either your own or someone else’s) sustains damage covered by your policy, you can make a car insurance claim immediately. Depending on your insurer, this can be done online or over the phone. Even if the accident wasn’t your fault, it’s important you still contact your insurer so they can deal with the other person’s insurance provider.

When making a claim, you’re electing for your insurer to cover damages and losses. Your insurer will review your claim with the information and evidence you provide to support it. If your insurer accepts your claim, they’ll organise the repair or replacement of affected vehicles or property; this is known as the benefit or payout.

To ensure you’re covered, it’s vital you’re honest with your insurer about your claims history or any modifications or damage your car may have. If you aren’t transparent with your insurer when signing up for your policy, there’s a chance your cover could be invalid or your claim rejected.

When you’re at fault in an accident, you may be required to pay an excess. This is an amount you agree to pay in a claim when you take out or renew your policy.

How long should a car insurance claim take?

It may only take a short time to initiate a claim with your insurer over the phone or online. However, the length of time it takes for your claim to be finalised depends on its circumstances.

Your insurer will contact the other driver or their insurance company to gather more information to substantiate your claim. They will consider evidence from both parties, as well as any police reports to help determine who was at fault. On top of this, your insurer may request a vehicle inspection to ascertain the level of damage sustained from the crash.

If either party were injured during the accident, your Compulsory Third Party insurer might also need to undertake medical examinations as well.

Due to the extent of the damage and the communication with the other party, it’s difficult to say how quickly your claim will be fully processed. If all parties cooperate and communicate effectively, it could be a matter of days. If there’s any uncertainty or extra investigation required, it could take much longer.

Once your claim is finalised, your insurer will take the appropriate action that suits your policy.

Comprehensive cover

What does comprehensive car insurance cover?

Comprehensive car insurance can provide cover for a range of scenarios and is the most extensive level of protection. It covers damages to both your car and others if you’re involved in an accident, regardless of who’s at fault. It will also insure your car against things like theft, storm and hail damage, vandalism and other things that befall your vehicle.

While comprehensive insurance provides a wide level of protection for vehicles and property, it doesn’t cover your liability an accident occurs with your vehicle where another person is injured or killed. Only Compulsory Third Party (CTP; also known as Green Slip) insurance covers these scenarios and is a mandatory level of protection every registered vehicle in Australia must have.

To learn more about comprehensive car insurance, read more about the different types of car insurance available in Australia.

Is it worth getting comprehensive car insurance?

We think it’s worth taking out comprehensive car insurance, provided you can afford it. After all, you’ve spent thousands of dollars on your car – why not protect that investment?

Whether you need a comprehensive policy will ultimately depend on your individual needs and budget. Keep in mind that comprehensive car insurance provides a top level of protection for your car; not only does it cover you for damage to your vehicle as well as damage to another person’s car and property, but it also covers the cost to replace your vehicle if it’s stolen or damaged or destroyed in a fire.

Let’s say your car is left out the front of a friend’s house one afternoon after calling in for a visit and a storm hits and hail damages the exterior of your car. This could amount to several thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to be repaired. Could you handle such an out-of-pocket expense? This is where having a comprehensive insurance policy could save the day.

To learn more about how car insurance could protect you in a range of scenarios, take a look at comprehensive car insurance.

I have comprehensive car insurance. Do I need CTP?

Yes, every car on Australian roads must have Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance on their vehicle, otherwise known as Green Slip cover in New South Wales. In most states and territories, the cost of this cover is included in your annual registration fees, whereas in others, you can choose your CTP provider and take out insurance alongside your registration.

CTP insurance covers death or injuries caused by the registered vehicle.

Other policies, such as comprehensive cover, for example, are designed to cover the other things that CTP insurance doesn’t, like the repair or replacement costs of your car and a third party’s vehicle and property.

Getting insured

Can I buy six-month car insurance?

Car insurance policies are typically 12-month agreements. However, if you only require car insurance for six months, you can always cancel your policy early. Be aware that you may attract a cancellation fee, so it’s best to be upfront with any insurer of your requirements before taking out a policy.

Can I pay my car insurance with a credit card?

This depends on your insurer, but you can typically pay for your car insurance with a credit card. Be sure to contact your insurer to find out if this is a suitable payment method before taking out a policy or paying your premiums.

Can I insure a car that has been written off?

When a car is written off, it's entered into your state or territory’s written-off vehicle register. Once this happens, it’s typically difficult to get your car back on the road again. If your vehicle is deemed a statutory write-off (the car is too damaged to be repaired to road safety standards), you won’t be able to re-register and re-insure the vehicle at all, and its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) will be recorded as a statutory write-off.

If your vehicle is classified as a repairable write-off, however, you may be able to apply to your state or territory authority to re-register the vehicle if it’s repaired and passes both an authorised safety inspection and an inspection for written-off vehicles. You may then be able to re-insure it.

Can I get car insurance with a suspended licence?

Yes, some insurers will still offer car insurance if you have a suspended license – however, this doesn’t mean you’ll be covered if you drive with a suspended licence. If you’re not allowed to drive for any reason and you still take to the road, you’ll be in breach of your policy terms and will not be covered if you make a claim.

A license suspension may also drive up your excess or premiums, since a suspension or other driving disqualifications may indicate to your insurer that you’re a risky driver. You could still be able to get car insurance, but it will likely be more expensive as a result of your suspension.

Are older cars more expensive to insure?

There are a variety of factors that can affect the cost of your car insurance premiums. Along with the make, model and condition of your vehicle (as well as your claims history), your insurer also considers your car's age when you take out a policy. If your car is older and its parts are more difficult to source, it is likely your vehicle will be more expensive to insure.

Can I get car insurance on the same day?

Your car insurance is typically effective from the day you take out your policy, or whichever date you choose for your policy to start. However, your cover may be delayed if your insurer requires a vehicle inspection before you can take out your policy.

Additionally, in some circumstances and some locations, insurers may place a restriction (or embargo) on new policies if they deem it necessary. For example, you may not have cover for storm or flood damage during a certain period of time if these events are forecasted or are happening in the area your car is in. These exceptional circumstances, however, are outlined on your Certificate of Insurance and Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), so make sure you read this when you take out your policy.

Can I insure a car I don’t own?

Insurance is typically taken out by the owner of a car, so that there’s cover if the car is involved in an accident. You can also insure a car you don’t own if you have insurable interest in the vehicle – that is, if the car were damaged or stolen, you would suffer a financial loss. However, if you are driving a car insured in a friend’s name while they are away for any length of time, you may find that your insurer will void any claim you make in the event of an insured event.

Does my credit rating affect my car insurance?

It is not common practice for insurers to factor in your credit score when you take out car insurance.

How can I compare car insurance?

We make comparing car insurance easy with our online comparison tool. You just need to enter your car’s registration number into the journey so we can pre-fill some question fields (like your car’s make, model and age). We may ask for further details like the state/territory in which you reside and how you use your car.

You’ll also need to choose the level of cover you’re looking to take out: comprehensive cover, Third Party Fire and Theft or Third Party Property Damage). After you complete the question fields, you’re presented with a range of car insurance policies, where you can decide on which has the features and benefits that suit your budget and needs.

Keep an eye out for certain questions, like:

  • Any motor insurance claims you may have made in the last few years
  • Your driving history
  • Where you park your car (lockable garage or street-side).

If you fail to disclose past claims or mislead your insurer in any way, your cover could be cancelled or future claims may be denied. At the very least, your excess payments and premiums could increase significantly.

Can you buy a car without insurance?

Yes, you can purchase a car without insuring it with either of the third-party insurance products or comprehensive cover. However, your car will need Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance (or Green Slip cover in New South Wales) before you can drive it at all. CTP insurance provides a minimum level of protection to cover your legal liability if a third party is injured or killed in an accident, and it’s mandatory across Australia.

How you get CTP insurance will depend on which state or territory you register it in; for example, in Queensland, it’s included in your registration fees.

As CTP insurance doesn’t cover the damage costs to your car or property as well as other drivers’ cars and property, it’s important you consider an additional level of cover. Try our online comparison tool to find out which type of car insurance suits your needs and budget.

What do car insurance companies check when you take out their insurance?

When taking out a car insurance policy, each insurer has their own set of questions they’ll ask to determine their risk in insuring you. They’ll typically require the following information:

  • Your vehicle’s model, make and age
  • Your registration details
  • Any anti-theft devices fitted to your car
  • Any aftermarket modifications/fittings
  • Hail or accident damage
  • Your driving history
  • Your claims history
  • The address of where your car is parked and whether it’s garaged or parked on the street.

It’s vital that you’re transparent when applying for a policy. If you aren’t and you need to make a claim in the future, you could be knocked back by your insurer. As always, make sure you read and understand your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), including the information your insurer requires, before you take out a policy.

Do I have to pay for my car insurance up front?

If you decide to pay for your car insurance premiums annually, you will be required to pay for the full year upfront. This payment method may be cheaper for you in the long run, as you may dodge administration fees that are often added to direct debit monthly payments.

For monthly payments, you will pay the first instalment within a couple of days of commencement, if not immediately.

Can I insure a hail-damaged car?

Yes, you may be able to insure a hail-damaged car, but you are required to inform your insurer of this before taking out cover; otherwise, your cover may be void or future claims may be knocked back. You also won’t be covered for the existing hail damage to your car.

You may also be limited in your choices for policies. For instance, insurance companies may be reluctant to provide comprehensive cover for a hail-damaged car or may offer cover at an increased rate compared to other, undamaged cars.

Does car insurance include GST?

Yes, car insurance premiums include GST (Goods and Services Tax). You can see this amount outlined on your Certificate of Insurance.

Can I get car insurance without a driver’s licence?

You can generally take out car insurance without a driver’s licence; however, you won’t be covered if you drive the car. However, you may still want to take out cover to protect your car against vandalism, fire or theft.

You may also want to insure your vehicle if another driver regularly uses your car. In this case, you should list this driver on your policy, as you may have to pay an unlisted driver excess in the event of a claim if you don’t.

How can I insure a company car?

When taking out insurance for a company car, it’s important you flag it as ‘private and business use’ or ‘business use’ on the policy. Using your car for business reasons typically means you’ll be travelling on the road more often compared to a car that’s used for private use and commuting to work. As such, your premiums may be slightly more expensive given your greater claims risk.

When comparing car insurance with our comparison tool, we’ll also ask you other questions insurers need to know, like if your car will be used for:

  • Ferrying passengers for payment
  • Providing paid driving instruction
  • Making deliveries or ridesharing services
  • Hiring your car out to other people.

If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you may need to seek out specifically designed cover for business use, as standard consumer insurance may not provide protection for these activities.

How it works

How many drivers can be insured for a car?

The number of drivers you can have listed on your car insurance policy depends on your insurance provider, so it’s best to contact them directly to find out if they have a limit.

It’s important to note that drivers who use your car regularly should be listed on your insurance policy. If an unlisted driver is involved in an accident with your car, you could be hit with an unlisted driver excess on top of the standard excess. Your insurer could even refuse your claim.

Additional drivers on your policy may attract a higher premium, especially if they’re under the age of 25 or are inexperienced. This can also impact the excess you’re required to pay if they’re found at-fault in an accident.

If your vehicle is used for business purposes and any number of employees drive it, you may want to consider a specialised business car insurance policy.

Who should I complain to about car insurance companies?

If you believe your insurer has not fulfilled their obligation to you, as outlined in your policy’s Certificate of Insurance and Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), you can lodge a dispute with your insurance provider. Beyond that, you have a right to escalate it through an independent governing body.

In the first instance, it’s vital you contact your insurer to settle the issue. If you can’t come to an agreement with your insurer, you can contact the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), an impartial, independent organisation that offers free dispute resolution services to customers having troubles with their insurer.

Most reputable insurance companies are members of AFCA, and many are required by law to be members. It’s helpful to keep written records about your dispute for AFCA to settle issues between you and the insurer.

AFCA cannot assist with Compulsory Third Party (CTP)/Green Slip disputes. You must contact your state authority instead.

If you believe your claim was unfairly denied, here’s a guide on how to dispute a car insurance claim.

What happens if I let my car insurance lapse?

If you let your car insurance policy lapse, you may not be covered in the event of a claim. If the claim occurred during the period of insurance, you can still lodge a claim even if the policy has expired.

Whether you have Third Party Property and Damage, Third Party Fire and Theft or comprehensive car insurance, you will not be covered for any claims or incidents that occur after your car insurance has expired. This means you’ll be vulnerable to major out-of-pocket costs if you were to damage your car or another person’s vehicle (or property) in an accident.

Your insurance provider will send you a notice prior to your policy expiring, informing you if they will offer a new term of insurance and the conditions of that offer. There is absolutely no obligation for an insurer to hold cover after the policy expires.

However, if your car is still registered, Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance or Green Slip cover will remain in place, which covers your legal liability if your vehicle is responsible for injury or death in an accident. This cover is mandatory for all cars on Australian roads, and as such, you will not be able to drive on the road until you re-register your vehicle.

When taking out car insurance again, it’s important that you choose a policy that meets your needs and budget. You can use our helpful comparison tool to view policies side-by-side and compare their features, benefits, and limitations, as well as any discounts that may apply to you.

Can car insurers refuse to pay?

Car insurers can refuse to pay a claim if you don’t meet your policy conditions as outlined in your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). Insurers can also refuse payment if you were misleading when you first took out a policy (e.g. you failed to disclose that your car is parked on the street at night, rather than a garage), or if you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Your claim may also be refused if:

  • You didn’t pay your car insurance premiums
  • You modified your car and didn’t tell your insurer
  • You didn’t properly maintain your car and it’s no longer roadworthy
  • You restricted drivers to a certain age (e.g. 25 or over) but an age-restricted driver drove your car and caused an accident.

For the full list of reasons why you may be refused a claim, it’s vital you talk to your insurer and carefully read your PDS.

Do I need insurance to register my car?

Yes, you must take out Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance (known as Green Slip cover in New South Wales, MAC in Northern Territory and MAI in ACT) when you register your car. CTP insurance is a mandatory level of cover for all registered vehicles in Australia. It covers your legal liability if your vehicle is involved in an accident and another person is injured or killed.

In Australia, each state differs in how CTP or Green Slip insurance is applied to your vehicle:

  • ACT: Motor Accident Insurance (MAI) must be purchased separate to registering or purchasing your vehicle. MAI will only cover personal injury to the impacted driver and any passengers. It will not cover damage caused to another vehicle or property.
  • New South Wales: Green Slip insurance will cover you financially for the death, injury and damage your vehicle causes to other people.
  • Northern Territory: Motor Accidents Compensation (MAC) acts as a no-fault scheme where all parties involved in an accident have a level of cover and can make a claim regardless of who was at fault.

While you don’t have to take out any other type of car insurance, it’s likely to be in your best interest to do so, as you’ll get a much larger range of protection. For instance, if you were involved in a car accident where you were at fault, comprehensive car insurance would cover damages to the third party’s vehicle and property as well as your own vehicle’s damage.

Learn more about other types of car insurance and why they’re worth considering on top of your CTP insurance.

What types of car insurance are there?

There are four main types of car insurance cover available in Australia – three of which you can choose to take out as added protection for your car.

Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance is mandatory cover all cars driven on Australian roads must have before taking to the roads. It’s designed to cover your legal liability if your vehicle is responsible for injury or death to another person on the roads.

Third Party Property Damage (TPPD) covers you for the repair and replacement costs of damages you cause to a third party’s car and property. However, it doesn’t cover your car for damages, thefts, fires or other things.

Third Party Fire and Theft (TPFT) not only provides the same level of cover as TPPD, but it also provides an extra level of cover for repair and replacement costs if your car is stolen or is damaged in a fire.

Comprehensive cover provides the greatest level of car insurance you can take out. It covers the repair or replacement costs if your car is stolen, damaged by fire, theft, accidents or certain weather events. If you’re at fault for an accident, it will also cover the damage to another person’s vehicle or property.

Read more about different types of car insurance to find out which one may suit your needs. All insured events are clearly listed in any insurance company’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), so be sure to read this before taking out any policy.

Is car insurance mandatory in all states and territories?

No, none of the three car insurance types are mandatory, although they are highly encouraged. Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance is mandatory for every driver in all Australian states and territories.

When I buy a new car, do I need insurance?

While you’re not legally obligated to take out additional levels of insurance on top of your CTP, it’s a smart idea to consider extra cover as soon as you make your purchase. These extra levels of cover can dramatically reduce your out-of-pocket damage and repair expenses.

For instance, you can take out Third Party Property Damage insurance, which can cover the cost of damage you cause to another person’s car or property. Third Party Fire and Theft cover provides an extra level of protection if your car is stolen or damaged in a fire.

Comprehensive car insurance offers a top level of protection against a range of scenarios, including damage caused to your vehicle and property, as well as another person’s vehicle and property.

If you need insurance for your new car, compare car cover today.

When do you pay excess for car insurance?

Excess is the amount you agree to pay to your insurer if you’re at fault in an accident. Your excess is payable when you claim on your policy, and your insurer may deduct this excess from your payout amount, or you may have to pay it out upfront.

Let’s say you’re the at-fault driver in an accident and cause $10,000 in damage. If you agreed to pay a $600 excess when making a claim, your insurer will typically foot the remaining $9,400 to cover the repair costs.

As always, check your Certificate of Insurance to be sure of the amount and types of excesses you’ve agreed to pay in the event of a claim. Also, read your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to find out when you may need to pay the excess or if you have any additional excesses that you may need to pay.

Which vehicles qualify for classic car insurance?

If a vehicle is more than 25 years old or has ‘historical value’, it can be considered a classic car. Depending on your car’s make and features, it may be categorised as a veteran, vintageprestige or (for certain US imported vehicles) an American classic car. Aside from ensuring the best protection for your valuable asset, insurance for your classic car is well worth it when you consider the expenses that come with repairing such a vehicle, like sourcing international replacement parts and specialised repairs.

What happens if my car insurance is cancelled?

If you or your insurer cancels your cover, your vehicle is no longer protected by that policy.

Before you consider seeking out new cover, make sure you call up your old insurer and find out why the policy was cancelled in the first place.

If you drive without a suitable level of cover, you could risk out-of-pocket expenses if you damage your car or another person’s car or property. It’s also best if you don’t delay in taking out a suitable level of cover, as your car could be stolen or vandalised when not in use.

Be sure to compare car insurance to find suitable cover before you take to the roads.

How does gap insurance work after a car is totalled?

Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) insurance protects you against financial loss if your car is under finance and written off in the first couple of years of your ownership.

GAP insurance is particularly useful in the first few years of your finance contract, where your car’s insured value typically depreciates faster than what you can pay it back (which will include interest). This means your car will be worth less than what you owe on your loan.

If your car is written off while under finance, you may still need to pay out the remainder of your debt. The amount your insurer compensates you for (i.e. your car’s insured value) may not be enough to cover the amount you still owe on your car (known as a shortfall).

Say you owe $25,000 in finance on your car, but it’s worth (and is insured for) $20,000 at the time it’s written off; GAP insurance can cover the $5,000 in difference between what you still owe your financier and what you received as compensation from your insurer.

How do insurance companies total a car?

Each Australian state and territory has its own laws that outline when a vehicle should be written off. However, in general, insurance companies will total a car if they determine the cost to repair the damage will outweigh your vehicle’s current worth or what it’s insured for. This is known as a repairable write-off.

If your vehicle is considered unsafe to repair, your insurer will list it as a statutory write-off or a non-repairable write-off. These types of vehicles can never be repaired, re-registered or re-insured. These options usually wind up at the scrapyard, stripped of their valuable parts and turned to scrap metal.

How much it costs

Why do my car insurance premiums go up the longer I stay with an insurer?

There are a range of factors that may cause an increase in your car insurance premiums, even if you’ve been with your insurer for a longer period. Some of these increases may result from:

  • A change in personal circumstances (e.g. new address, place of work)
  • Inflation
  • A change in government taxes
  • An increase in natural weather events
  • An increased chance you’ll make a claim.

Your insurer will reassess your likelihood to claim, which may increase the amount you pay monthly or annually. For example, if you’ve been involved in an accident or your area has received an influx in claims due to a natural disaster, you are a greater risk to your insurer. As such, your insurer will adjust your premiums to reflect your likelihood to claim.

While it may be tempting to hide certain information from your insurer, like an accident or speeding fine, you do have a duty to not make a misrepresentation. As such, if you aren’t transparent with your insurer, they may knock back future claims or cancel your cover.

So, what can you do to combat increasing premiums?

It’s crucial you’re aware of other policies on the market that could offer better value for your needs and budget. Our free comparison tool allows you to compare a range of policies side-by-side in only minutes. Here, you can compare the difference in the policies’ features, benefits, limitations and premiums.

Is motorbike insurance cheaper than car insurance?

The cost of motorbike insurance compared to car insurance depends on a range of variables. While some motorbike insurance policies can be expensive (as some insurers believe motorbikes pose a higher risk on the road), every driver and their vehicle is unique.

For instance, the cost of both motorbike and car insurance is based on factors like driver age and vehicle make, model and modifications. Premiums are also calculated against the driver’s experience, claims history and the location the vehicle is parked (among other factors). As such, some motorcycles may attract higher policy premiums than some car models and vice versa.

Just like a car, all vehicles including motorbikes on Australian roads must have Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance to protect your legal liability on the roads.

Does the colour of my car affect my premiums?

Your vehicle’s colour may impact your premiums depending on the type of paint used, such as a flat paint or metallic finish.

For example, if you drive a car with flat paint, you won’t necessarily have higher premiums on your insurance. However, if it’s a metallic paint, you may face increased premiums, as unique colours can be harder to source or repair should it be damaged.

Curious about other factors that could impact your premiums? Check out our guide on how car insurance is calculated.

How can I bring my car insurance premiums down?

There are a few ways you can reduce the cost of your car insurance premiums. Firstly, and depending on your situation, you could restrict young drivers from using your car.  By doing this, insurers may consider the policy to be less risky, and the premium may be reduced as a result.

You can also increase the amount of excess you pay when you make a claim – many insurers will lower your premiums in exchange for this. Just be aware that this increased excess is what you’ll pay if you need to claim, so make sure it’s an affordable amount. As such, it’s important you carefully consider your finances and if the additional excess is really worth it.

Also, if you don’t drive great distances (e.g. less than 15,000 kilometres each year), you may be eligible for a low-kilometre product which could reduce your premiums. If you work from home or commute to work via public transport, it could be worth talking to your insurer to see if you qualify for this type of policy.

Keen to learn more about how you could save on your car insurance? Check out our guide to saving on your car insurance premiums. You can also try our online comparison tool, which displays car insurance policies side-by-side in just minutes.

Do turbo cars cost more to insure?

Yes, depending on the make and model of your vehicle, you may pay more to insure a turbo-version of a car than the same make and model without a fitted turbo charger. This is because they’re high-performance vehicles and are often associated with risky driving behaviour. It’s also more expensive to repair a vehicle with a turbo charger fitted than a factory-standard car.

If you instal a turbo charger in your car after taking out an insurance policy, you would need to let your insurer know of this new modification so that they can adjust your cover accordingly. Not telling them could void your policy altogether next time you make a claim.

How can I make sure I’m not paying too much for my car insurance?

Compare car insurance policies regularly to ensure your cover is competitive and adequately suited to your needs and budget. If your policy is outdated and doesn’t offer the right level of protection, you could be wasting your hard-earned money on premiums.

Keep an eye out for rewards offered for good driving behaviour, as well as discounts offered to those who don’t drive very often or put age restrictions on their policy.

How come my car insurance premiums go up each year, while the value of my car is decreasing?

Car insurance premiums are based on a range of factors, including (but not limited to):

  • Your car’s age, make and model
  • Any aftermarket modifications
  • Your age and driving experience
  • Your driving and claims history
  • Where you park your car
  • How many kilometres you travel annually
  • Any extra drivers listed on your policy.

If you make a claim, move houses or add younger drivers to your policy, for example, you may notice an increase in your premiums. Whenever your circumstances change, your insurer re-evaluates your likelihood of making future claims and adjusts your premiums accordingly.

On top of this, your premiums may increase to keep pace with inflation and to manage changes in government taxes.

So, even if your car is depreciating, your car insurance premiums will still account for your likelihood to claim, changes in the market and the insurer’s financial costs.

To combat increasing premiums, it’s crucial you regularly review your policy to ensure you’re still receiving excellent value for your type of cover. Our free car insurance comparison tool allows you to compare a range of policies from well-known brands in minutes.

What’s the cheapest car insurance for young drivers?

Younger drivers may be subject to more expensive premiums due to less experience on the road, compared to drivers who have held their licence for several years. On top of this, other factors, like the make and model of their car, significantly impact the cost of their premiums. Insurers may also apply a higher age-related excess.

However, this doesn’t mean that younger drivers can’t still find valuable and affordable insurance. In order to find such cover, it’s vital to shop around for different options. This way, you’ll get a better idea of which insurers offer competitive premiums, and you’ll also track down policies that suit your needs.

To get started, compare car insurance with us today. For tips on cheaper premiums, take a look at how young drivers can find affordable car insurance.

Is a three-door car cheaper to insure?

The number of doors on your vehicle doesn’t necessarily have a direct impact on your insurance premiums. There, however, are a number of other factors that do affect the costs, including your car’s make, model and your claims history. Depending on these factors, a three-door car may be cheaper to insure than a five-door – or vice versa.

To find out how much your particular car may cost to insure, compare policies with our online comparison tool. In doing so, you can see the difference in benefits, features and exclusions of each policy, as well as the variance in premiums.

Are hybrid cars more expensive to insure?

Generally, a hybrid car is more expensive to purchase than a non-electrified one of the same or similar make and model. As a result, your car insurance for a hybrid will likely be more expensive because of its higher replacement and repair value. However, your car insurance costs are not just based on whether or not your vehicle is a hybrid. There are a whole range of other factors that influence how much you pay for cover, like your car’s age, make, model and your claims history (to name a few).

It’s also worth pointing out that a hybrid car may have components and mechanical parts uncommon for most repairers to have on hand. These parts then need to be ordered in, which can be costly. Your insurer will factor this in when calculating a policy for your hybrid vehicle.

As such, it’s essential you compare policies to see what rates you may be charged on premiums for your particular type of car, your driving experience and your claims history.

How much does car insurance cost?

Car insurance premiums vary between drivers, their car models, how their car is used (e.g. private or business use) and the type of policy they take out – among other factors. As such, it’s vital you compare car insurance to find out how much these premiums could cost you.

To compare car insurance policies, enter your details onto the website and we’ll use that information to help you find policies that suit your needs and budget. Each of these questions can impact your premiums in some way, including:

  • Your claims history
  • Your address
  • Where your car is parked at night (i.e. garage, carport, or street)
  • Your driving experience (and the driving experience of other listed drivers).

Always disclose as much information to your insurer as possible; if you decide to hide your claims history, for instance, your cover could be cancelled, or future claims could be denied.

If you’re interested, you can find out the average cost of car insurance in Australia to get a better idea for your own situation. Otherwise, find out more about how your car insurance premiums are calculated.

Managing your cover

I can’t afford car insurance. What should I do?

If you can’t afford your current cover, it’s important you firstly shop around and compare car insurance policies to find the value that suits your needs and budget. Our online comparison tool allows you to compare policies side-by-side in just minutes.

You may find a different level of cover may suit your needs as well. While comprehensive car insurance offers the highest level of protection for your car, you may like to downgrade your cover to Third Party Fire and Theft or Third Party Property Damage. You will, however, need to weigh up the risk of spending less on your premiums each month or paying great out-of-pocket costs on the repair or replacement costs of your vehicle and/or someone else’s property.

You can also look at ways to reduce your car insurance premiums.

How do I add another driver to my car insurance?

You must contact your insurer to add another driver to your policy, and keep in mind that adding another driver may result in a change in your premiums. The insurer will need to know the additional driver’s name, age and gender, as well as their driving and claims history.

To help keep your premiums cheap, it may be a good idea to choose a driver age restriction that suits your needs. For example, if you won’t have any drivers under 30 using your car, you could select this option with your insurer. Just be aware that if a driver under this stipulated age limit is driving your vehicle and is involved in an incident, your claim could be rejected by your insurer.

Be sure you and other drivers read your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to understand what is and isn’t covered in your policy.

How do I check who my car is insured with?

If you have any renewal notices or a Certificate of Insurance, you'll be able to find out which provider is insuring your car. However, if you didn’t keep a record of these documents, you could check your bank statements for a once-off yearly payment made or a monthly debit. Other than those ways, there’s no quick way to find out – short of calling various insurance companies to check.

As for your Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer, you can check the registration site of the state or territory in which your car is registered; this will detail your CTP provider.

How do I find out if a car is insured?

Registered vehicles are legally required to have the minimum level of cover Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance, otherwise known as Green Slip insurance in New South Wales. Some states have a self-service look-up function so you can check a vehicle’s registration (and therefore CTP) status.

However, if your car is insured with an extra level of cover, like Third Party Fire and Theft, Third Party Property Damage or comprehensive cover, your insurer will send you a renewal notice in writing annually. It’s important you keep on top of this so that you understand your level of cover, as well as the amount you’ll pay in premiums.

Can you get a refund on car insurance?

Yes, you can receive a pro rata refund when you cancel your car insurance – that is, a partial refund for the amount of premium you haven’t used, but this can depend on whether you have made a claim. However, you may incur cancellation fees, so be sure to check with your insurer for any out-of-pocket expenses.

You may receive a full refund from your insurer if you cancel your policy within the cooling-off period (which can generally range up to 21 days from taking out or renewing a policy).

If you’re looking to change providers, take a look at how to switch car insurance.

How do I cancel my car insurance?

You can cancel your car insurance at any time by contacting your insurer directly. Most insurers will accept your intention to cancel over the phone or online.

Furthermore, you’ll be required to choose the date you want your cover to cease. Be aware, though, that you may face cancellation fees if you cancel your policy after its cooling-off period. To find out the cost of these fees, check your Certificate of Insurance and talk to your insurer. If you’ve paid your premiums in advance, you may also receive a refund for the unused portion of your cover.

Keep in mind that you don’t always need to cancel your cover if you have a change in your circumstances (e.g. you move houses, or you purchase a new car). Depending on your situation and your level of cover, your insurer may simply alter your policy.

If you’re cancelling your car insurance to find a new deal, compare a range of policies from some of Australia’s major providers with our online comparison tool.

How long should I keep car insurance statements?

You can usually dispose of your annual statement once your insurer sends out your new renewal notice, however consider seeking advice from a professional in case you need a record for financial accountants or for tax purposes.

Can I pause my car insurance?

No, you cannot pause your car insurance. You can cancel your cover, but you may be subject to cancellation fees if you do so outside your policy’s cooling-off period. If you are experiencing financial hardship, you can enquire about options with your insurer.

The General Insurance Code of Practice requires insurance providers to assist individuals who are in financial hardship and having difficulty meeting their financial obligations. This will include customers experiencing trouble paying an excess for a claim they have made.

However, if you have a classic car and are restoring it, you may like to take out laid-up insurance – an added cover for your comprehensive policy. This is suited to those who plan to take their prized ride off the streets and work on it in a garage for an extended period of time. Laid-up insurance can cover a car for theft and accidental damage caused by an insured event while laid up in your garage even while the rest of your cover is on hold.

If you’re cancelling your cover as you feel your current policy isn’t offering value for money, try our free comparison tool. In just minutes, you can compare a range of policies from some of Australia’s major providers to find cover that could fit your needs and budget.

Can I transfer car insurance to another car?

Yes, your insurer may transfer your car insurance to a different vehicle if that type of policy suits your new car. When transferring car insurance, you’re required to provide your updated details and any changes in your circumstances (e.g. new address or extra drivers). Be aware, however, that your amended policy may affect your premium.

Contact your insurer to find out if transferring car insurance to another vehicle suits your needs.

How do I transfer car insurance to another car?

If you’d like to transfer your cover to another vehicle, or if the insured vehicle is going to be used differently (e.g. business use), your insurer may be able to amend your policy to reflect the details of your new car and any changes in your circumstances (e.g. insuring additional drivers). Be aware that your premiums may be impacted and, depending on your insurer, you may face an administration fee.

If your current insurer can’t or won’t amend your existing policy, you may need to cancel your current cover, compare policies and take out a new policy to suit your needs. In this instance, your insurer may provide you with a refund for the unused amount of your policy after your cancellation date.

If the changes make the policy unacceptable for the insurer, and the insurer chooses to cancel the policy, they must provide a written notice of cancellation with a cancellation date.

Reviewing your cover

I’m moving home. Do I need to update my car insurance?

Absolutely. If you’re moving homes, you should contact your insurer to update your policy, as there are a range of factors that could impact your cover, including your ability to claim.

Some factors that will affect your policy can include:

  • Where you park your car at night (e.g. street or garage)
  • How far you drive (e.g. if your commute to work has changed)
  • The crime rate in your neighbourhood (e.g. a higher rate can mean you’re more likely to claim)
  • A suburb that is susceptible to natural disasters or traffic accidents (e.g. a floodplain or busy intersection).

As your car insurance premiums are based on the suburb where your vehicle is parked, you may notice a change in how much you pay for your cover. This is why it’s crucial you compare car insurance with your updated details through our online comparison service. With our side-by-side comparisons, you can see what you could be covered for, as well as features, limitations and cost.

Can I switch car insurance mid-policy?

Yes, you can switch providers mid-policy. Be aware that your old insurer may impose cancellation fees.

It’s crucial you don’t take out the first policy you find, as you may not be paying for the most suitable level of cover for your needs and budget. Instead, compare a range of car insurance policies to ensure you’re getting great value and cover.

On top of this, be sure you disclose all necessary information to your insurer, like your claim history, where you park your car, any other regular drivers and any aftermarket car modifications. If you fail to do so, future claims could be knocked back or your insurer may cancel your cover.

Before taking to the road, check if there’s any delay before your cover starts. For instance, your insurer may like to complete a vehicle inspection before they allow you to take out a policy. If you head out on the roads without cover, you could be faced with major out-of-pocket expenses.

To help you make an informed decision, take a look at our handy guide on how to switch car insurance.

Can I cancel my car insurance if I pay monthly?

Yes, you can cancel your car insurance at any time, no matter if you're paying fortnightly, monthly or annually. You may, however, be hit with cancellation fees if you cancel your policy after its cooling-off period. It would be best to check your Certificate of Insurance or Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to see how your insurer handles a cancellation.

How fast can I get car insurance?

Simply enter your details into our online comparison tool, and you can compare and choose from a range of car insurance policies in just minutes.

When comparing policies, you can weigh up the difference in premiums, discounts, features, benefits and exclusions to help ensure you’re choosing the cover that suits your needs and budget.

After you choose your cover, you’ll be redirected to the insurer’s website, which has your prefilled information ready to go. They will ask for further details if needed.

Depending on the policy, the insurer may require a vehicle inspection before they can grant you cover. In other cases, you may be covered immediately after applying.

How do I make sure I’m getting the best deal on my car insurance?

To ensure you’re getting the best deal on your car insurance for your needs and budget, it’s vital you shop around and compare policies. Our car insurance comparison tool allows you to compare a selection of policies side-by-side, so you can clearly see the difference in premiums and cover, as well as any available discounts.

We recommend you review your policy regularly to ensure you’re holding great-value cover, especially if there’s a change in your situation (e.g. you’ve moved houses, you’ve made a claim or you’ve modified your car).

Furthermore, we encourage you to disclose any new information, like car alterations, accidents or a change in how you use your car, to your insurer right away, as withholding such information could affect the success of future claims.

Third Party Cover

What does third party car insurance cover?

Third party car insurance is broken up into three separate categories, with each type of insurance providing different levels of cover:

  • Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance, which is known as Green Slip cover in New South Wales. This is a compulsory level of cover that all registered vehicles must have before taking to the roads in Australia. It covers you against the injury or death of others in an accident caused by the registered vehicle.
  • Third Party Property Damage. You can choose to take out this level of cover in addition to your CTP insurance. If you’re involved in an accident and you’re at fault, Third Party Property Damage covers the cost of repairs to another person’s vehicle or property.
  • Third Party Fire and Theft. This level of cover includes the same benefits as Third Party Property Damage, as well as protection against theft and fire damage to your vehicle.

What does car insurance cover?

Can I tow a caravan on my car insurance?

Caravans can be covered under certain car insurance policies (generally comprehensive policies), and this may cover the damage your caravan causes to another vehicle or someone else’s property while you are towing it. However, you may be able to take out specialist caravan cover from certain insurance providers which can cover things like accidental damage or theft of your caravan.

Is my child covered by my insurance when driving my car?

Contact your insurer to ask about adding your child (with a valid learner’s or provisional driver’s licence) as a nominated driver to your car insurance policy before they take to the road. If they’re driving your car when they’re involved in an accident but aren’t listed on your policy as a regular driver, you could be hit with an unlisted driver excess on top of your basic excess if they are at fault.

Also, check that you don’t have a driver age restriction enforced on your policy. If you’ve declared that no drivers under the age of 25, for example, would drive your car and your child is 18, your claim could be rejected if they are involved in an accident.

Can I drive my parents’ car without my own insurance?

A car insurance policy applies to the vehicle, not the driver. As long as your parents’ car is insured, you can drive it without needing to worry about getting your own insurance. Although, your parents may need to add you as a listed driver on their policy; otherwise, they’ll likely have to pay an excess if you cause an accident behind their wheel.

Your parents might also have a driver age exclusion on their policy, which means nobody under a certain age is covered for driving their vehicle. If you’re under this age restriction and cause an accident, it’s possible your parents’ claim for any damages may be rejected – meaning they or even you will have to pay the costs.

Can I add a learner driver to my car insurance?

Typically, insurers don’t require you to list a learner driver on your car insurance policy until they obtain their provisional or open licence. However, if your learner driver is involved in an accident, you'll possibly attract an additional excess on your claim.

If another provisional or open driver uses your vehicle but you haven’t declared them on your policy, you may be hit with an undeclared or unlisted driver excess in addition to any other excess that applies. Sometimes, your claim may attract two or even more excess types, depending on the circumstances.

If you’re ever unsure, it’s best to contact your insurer to be certain of their requirements.

Does car insurance cover maintenance?

No, car insurance doesn’t cover maintenance costs, such as regular servicing. Your insurer also won’t cover claims for wear and tear, rust, rot or any other signs of neglect, so be sure to keep your vehicle in good shape with regular services. Don't forget to take care of the interiors as well!

Does car insurance cover drunk driving accidents?

If you were under the influence of alcohol or any drugs when you caused an accident, your car insurance won’t cover any damages or losses you cause. If you don’t comply with your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and break the law on the roads, you will not be covered for any claims.

Your claim can also be denied if your judgement is impaired from a prescription medication that impairs your motor or decision-making skills, or if your doctor does not allow you to drive because of medical reasons.

If a drunk driver caused an accident that damages your vehicle or property, your insurance may cover you up to the limits of your policy.

Does my car insurance cover me when I’m driving other people’s cars?

No, your car insurance won’t cover your liability if you drive another person’s vehicle and become involved in an accident where you’re at fault; car insurance is designed to cover the vehicle itself, not the person. So, while you may be covered by the other person’s car insurance, you may have to pay an excess for any claims you cause. If you drive the other person’s vehicle often, you should ask to be listed.

If the vehicle you’re driving is only covered by Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance or Green Slip cover and you’re at-fault in an accident, you may be responsible for paying for the repair or replacement costs associated with the car. You may also be liable for the repair or replacement costs for third party vehicles or property. CTP or Green Slip insurance will only cover death or injuries caused by the vehicle, it will not cover any damages to property.

Does car insurance cover aftermarket parts?

Whether your vehicle’s aftermarket parts or modifications are covered will depend on your policy, so it’s vital you check with your insurer to be clear of any limitations or exclusions. If you have already modified your car in any way, be sure to notify your insurer as soon as possible so you can check whether or not your current policy is suitable for your needs.

It’s possible that if you haven’t declared any aftermarket parts to your insurer, you may not be covered if you make a claim for damage to them. For instance, if you added a custom bumper to your car but didn’t notify your insurer before you were involved in an accident, your insurer may deny your claim to repair the bumper.

You should also inform your insurer of any added or modified parts to the car to ensure your sum insured is on par with the value of your car if the parts increase the resale value of your vehicle. Otherwise, you may only be compensated for the car's value prior to the money you spent on the parts if it were written off because of an accident.

Does car insurance cover vandalism?

Depending on the circumstances and your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), comprehensive car insurance can cover damage caused by vandalism. You’ll likely need to report the incident to the police and provide a police report to your insurer when submitting your claim.

Does my personal car insurance cover rental cars?

If your car is out of action due to an accident, some comprehensive car insurance policies can include a hire car as a benefit for you to use while yours is being repaired or replaced. However, if you are on holiday or a business trip, then no, typically, your car insurance would not cover a rental vehicle.

Car hire companies will typically offer their own insurance when you hire one of their cars, and you will be required to pay an excess if the vehicle is damaged or stolen. This is where it is best to thoroughly check the conditions of the rental prior to renting a vehicle.

Can I make a claim if my car is stolen?

Both Third Party Fire and Theft and comprehensive car insurance cover you when your vehicle is stolen, and may also cover the damages caused by attempted theft.

Depending on your level of cover, if your car is stolen and isn’t recovered, your insurer will usually replace your car (if it’s new or near new) or pay you the amount it’s insured for (minus any excess you owe). Be aware that there could be a waiting clause before any action is taken by your insurer, which gives the police time to recover your car (many vehicles are only stolen for short-term use). If your car is recovered with damage from the theft, your insurer may either pay for its repairs or write it off.

Does insurance cover car fires?

Certain types of car insurance will cover fire damage. Third Party Fire and Theft and comprehensive cover provide compensation in cases where your car is damaged or destroyed by a fire, whether intentionally lit by vandals or because of a bushfire.

As always, check your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for any exclusions that may impact your claim.

Does car insurance cover water damage?

Depending on the circumstances and your policy, comprehensive car insurance will typically cover water damage. However, it’s important you check your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for whether your car is covered for flooding. Some insurers may deem the act of driving through flood waters a reckless decision and, as a result, may not cover you for flood water damage.

If your car sustains flood damage, contact your insurer right away to make a claim; don’t begin repairs yourself, as this could impact your claim.

Does car insurance cover personal injury cover for passengers?

Passengers who are injured in an accident are covered by the at-fault driver’s Compulsory Third Party (CTP) cover (also known as Green Slip cover in New South Wales). CTP insurance may cover your legal liability for the injuries and fatalities you cause to other people in a road accident, including your passengers. Some states will apply it as part of your registration fees, while in others you may need to take it out yourself.

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