This Road Safety Week, Queenslanders are urged to be safer while out on the roads. Between June 2021 and June 2022, 292 people were killed on Queensland roads.1
While being safe on the road not only reduces fatalities and injuries, but there are also a few different ways that safe drivers can get discounts on their car insurance by being a safe driver.
Being a safer driver can have a positive impact on car insurance
Being safe on the road is something everyone should be doing, but there are some potential insurance benefits for drivers who are safe on the road. Compare the Market’s General Manager of General Insurance, Stephen Zeller, notes there are three ways in which safer drivers can be rewarded.
“Firstly, innovative technology makes it easier for insurance companies to get an accurate picture of just how safe their customers really are on the road. For example, car insurance provider Carpeesh’s Driver Safety App uses an AI and tracking device to rate insured drivers based on braking patterns, speeding, and acceleration behaviour.”
“Safe divers will receive a high rating, and drivers with a high rating will get discounts when they renew their policy based on their driving,” says Zeller, “this is more advanced than classic safe driver discounts, which provide a discount based on the number of years a customer goes without making a claim.”
Another way that car insurance companies reward safe driving is through advanced driver training courses.
“Known as defensive driving programs, some insurers will give you a discount if you complete a recognised course. These courses are a great way to improve your skills and confidence when heading out on the road,” says Zeller.
For example, AAMI rewards drivers under the age of 25 with a discount after completing a defensive driver training program. On the other hand, RACQ provides discounts to members who attend RACQ’s own defensive driving course.
Lastly, drivers can get cheaper car insurance for simply using their car less, as Zeller explains.
“If you’re avoiding going on the road where you can, you face less risk, and insurance providers recognise this. Many insurers offer drive-less pay-less comprehensive cover. If you drive below a certain kilometre limit per year, you can get car insurance that offers comprehensive benefits at a reduced cost compared to standard comprehensive policies.”Compare car insurance with Compare the Market
Breaking road rules can invalidate car insurance
Failing to be safe on the road can get you in trouble with not only the Police but also with your insurance company.
“Driving under the influence not only puts yourself and other road users in danger, but doing so could risk voiding your insurance policy,” Zeller explains.
“Car insurance companies may reject claims where drivers were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or were driving when unlicensed or disqualified,” says Zeller, “not only could these land you with a fine, you could lose that financial safety net insurance provides if these instances lead to an accident where you need to make a claim.
Despite having a population roughly half the size of Brisbane, the Gold Coast had the highest rate of traffic offences on a per capita basis. The top South-east Queensland Local Government Areas (LGAs) based on a rate of road and traffic-related offences per 100,000 population are listed below:
|LGA||Road Offences 2021||Population 2021||Offences per 100,000 population|
Online Crime Map. QLD Police Service. 2022.
Rebased estimated resident population, regional QLD, 2021. QLD Government Statistician’s Office, QLD Treasury, QLD Government. 2022.
Other problem areas included Somerset, Noosa and Ipswich, which had high traffic offences compared to their smaller populations, though the rates of offences were much lower than Brisbane and the Gold Coast.2Compare car insurance with Compare the Market
Victoria takes action to get drivers into safer cars
Young drivers continue to be over-represented in road deaths across QLD. From June 2021 to June 2022, one-in-four road fatalities were aged 17 to 25.1
While there are numerous factors behind such a high fatality rate, one contributing factor is that younger drivers are more likely to be driving older cars, which are more dangerous due to a lack of safety features.
On 15 August 2022, Victoria announced a new $5,000 rebate for younger drivers to help them purchase a newer car with a better safety rating and safety features.3
“It would be great to see Queensland do something similar to Victoria to help younger drivers get into cars with better safety ratings,” said Zeller.
“Some car insurance companies have started refusing to offer cover to new customers who have an old vehicle manufactured before a certain date due to low safety ratings and a lack of vital safety tech.”Compare car insurance with Compare the Market
1 Road Deaths: 12 Month Total. Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, Australian Government. 2022.
2 Rebased estimated resident population, regional QLD, 2021. QLD Government Statistician’s Office, QLD Treasury, QLD Government. 2022.
3 Free Ls and Free Ps Deliver Big Savings for New Drivers. The Premier of Victoria, the Hon Daniel Andrews. Victorian Government. 2022.