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The majority of people would agree that having some level of
car insurance is a must. While we all take care to avoid an accident they
frequently occur, and even the slightest tap on another car in the supermarket
car park can run into thousands of dollars in repairs.
All motorists in Australia are required by law to carry Compulsory Third
Party (CTP) insurance. In Tasmania this insurance is provided as part of
your vehicle registration fee (called MAIB Premium). This insurance only covers injuries
sustained to others and yourself in case of an accident, it does not cover any
damage to property or other vehicles, this is why it is so important to, at a
minimum, ensure that your vehicle is registered at any time when taken on public
Which insurance policy is right for you?
which level of insurance cover depends on your circumstances, what
you can afford and what type of vehicle you want to insure. Below
there is a list of the different levels of cover available.
|Third party property insurance, the
first step above CTP, covers only damage to other vehicles or
property, but does not cover damage to your own vehicle or loss due
to theft. This is a good option if you have a cheaper car that you
wouldn't be too concerned about having repaired in the event of an
Party Fire and Theft
| If you have an older
vehicle, you may still wish to protect it against theft. The Motor Vehicle Theft
Reduction Council's Car Safe program (www.carsafe.com.au)
indicates that surprisingly, the majority of stolen cars are older ones. Third
party fire and theft doesn't cover damage to your car, but it does cover loss
due to theft or fire, and it also covers damages caused to other vehicles or
Comprehensive Car Insurance
Most insurers offer Comprehensive cover, which is the greatest amount of
cover you can buy. Although it varies between carriers, in general,
Comprehensive cover will pay for damage done to your own vehicle as well as
damage done to other peoples' vehicles or property. This is the best choice if
you have a more expensive vehicle and is also a requirement of most
lenders if you have finance on the vehicle.
Some other options that different insurers offer include
- No Claims Bonus (premium discount) - For every year a driver
is insured without making an insurance claim a discount is applied to
their premium, up to a certain point which can lower insurance
premiums by up to 70%. Some insurance companies are now offering a no
claims bonus for life when you have a consecutive number of years
claim free. This means the company will protect your no claims bonus
for life (but if you continue to claim after attaining no claims bonus
they may increase your premium eventually).
- Vehicle Excess - Vehicle excess is the amount you pay in the
event of an accident which is generally somewhere around the $500
mark, but may be higher if you are under 25 or have a bad driving
record. Some insurers allow you to elect to pay a higher excess in
return for a reduced annual premium.
- Courtesy Car - If you do have an accident and your vehicle is
off the road for repairs or written off, some insurance companies will
provide you with a courtesy car to drive while yours is being fixed or
replaced. Generally this would only apply if you are fully
comprehensively insured and may incur an additional cost to your base
premuim. Alternately, the garage that is doing the repair work on your
vehicle may be able to loan you a courtesy car while yours is being
- Agreed Value - You and the Insurer agree on the pay out value
of your car in the event of it being written off.
- Your choice of repairer - Some insurance companies allow you
to decide where your car will be repaired, instead of the standard
best price of three quotes.
- Free Windscreen - Some insurers will cover the replacement of
a broken windscreen (once a year), without an additional charge.
- Discount on additional vehicles - if you insure more than one
vehicle with the same insurer, quite often the second vehicle will be
insured at a reduced premium.
- Keep the wreck - if your car is written off some insurers
will allow you to keep the wreck if you want to.
- Combined insurance - Get a discount on your car insurance
when you combine it with your home and/or contents insurance from the
- Defensive driving course discount - This discount applies
when you have done an approved driving skills course
There are plenty more incentives offered by different car insurance
companies, with so many different insurance companies to choose from it
may seem simplest to just pick a name out of the phone book, ring, get a
quote and pay it. But it does pay to shop around. By selecting an insurer
that deals with people with your circumstances and preferences you are
likely to save yourself a lot of money in insurance premiums.