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When Should I Start My Car Insurance?

In this article you’ll find answers to some of your car insurance questions, allowing you to start assessing policies with confidence.
when to start car insurance?

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Buying a new car is incredibly exciting. However, the paperwork needed to get you on the road can dampen the experience. Car insurance can make up one set of paperwork, and can be unnecessarily confusing and complicated.

When should you get your car insured?

We recommend getting your car insurance sorted as soon as possible, preferably before driving your car. You can never predict when an accident will happen, and getting into one without insurance could be very costly. Making sure your car is insured from day one is the best way to minimise risk, and enjoy your car with peace of mind.

How car insurance works in Australia

All car owners in Australia must have CTP insurance1. Victorians know CTP insurance as the TAC charge, while those in NSW refer to it as a green slip.

Additional car insurance is recommended but not compulsory. You can choose from a variety of providers and types of insurance, so it’s worth doing your research before purchasing a policy. A licensed car dealer may offer you insurance as part of their offer, but purchasing insurance this way can be more expensive2. By comparing policies ahead of time, with iSelect you can be prepared to decide whether their offer is on par with others in the market.

There are four types of car insurance available in Australia1. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of insurance, and discover which may be right for you.

Different types of car insurance

types of car insurance Australia

What is CTP Insurance?

The only compulsory car insurance in Australia is CTP insurance1. You normally pay for this as part of your car registration, but you should always double-check this. In NSW, you need to organise it separately before registering your car.

In some states, you have a choice of insurer. In other states, CTP is a government-managed scheme with only one insurer. It’s a good idea to learn the specific rules and regulations of CTP insurance within your own state or territory, as fines can apply if you are found without appropriate cover.

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CTP insurance covers you for injury to others and death when you’re at fault. It does not:

• Cover injuries you sustained if you are fully at fault
• Fully cover injury to people whose own actions contributed to their injuries (e.g., not wearing a seat belt)
• Cover damage to vehicles.

It’s also important to be aware that cameras can detect when cars are unregistered and don’t have compulsory insurance3. Driving unregistered and uninsured can lead to heavy fines and, in the case of an accident, heavy compensation costs for injury to others.

What is Third Party Insurance?

Third party insurance covers you for damage to other people’s property. It doesn’t cover damage to your own car.

When deciding whether third party insurance is worth buying, consider whether you can afford the average cost of $3,000 for vehicle repairs1. This could be significantly higher if you happen to damage an expensive sports car.

It’s a good idea to take out third party insurance as a minimum to prevent finding yourself personally liable for large costs.

Third Party Fire and Theft

Third party fire and theft covers everything third party insurance covers, with additional cover for damage to your own car when caused by fire or theft.

What is Comprehensive Insurance?

Comprehensive insurance gives you the most protection, and is worth considering when your car is essential to your daily life. It covers everything that third party fire and theft covers, and it’s the only car insurance that provides cover for your own car in the event of an accident1.

If you can’t live without your car, comprehensive car insurance is the only insurance that gives you peace of mind in the unexpected case of an accident.

Which car insurance do I need?

It can be difficult to decide on an insurance option, especially when there are so many policies to choose from. The best place to start is by considering your individual circumstances and deciding what’s important to you.

If you can’t afford repairs to another person’s car, then you should consider taking out third party property insurance as a minimum. If your own car is essential to your livelihood, and covering repair costs after an accident is beyond your budget, then comprehensive insurance may be the right option.

A suitable insurance policy will cover you in the worst case, and doesn’t leave you stranded or overwhelmed with debt in the event of an accident. With so many providers out there, we can help you find a policy that fits your budget and needs from our range of providers.

When does the policy start?

Usually, insurance policies purchased online or over the phone begin immediately. However, you can choose to pre-purchase your insurance policy and have it start on any day you like.

Most insurance providers offer a few payment options to give you flexibility and help make your insurance more affordable. Options vary but often include:

• A cheaper rate if the annual amount is immediately paid in full
• A slightly higher rate to allow you to pay month to month

You usually have the option to start the policy immediately, regardless of which payment option you choose.

Comparing car insurance policies

Use our comparison service to compare policy prices as well as features and benefits from our range of providers. That way, you can find a value-for-money policy that meets your individual needs.

It’s quick and easy to compare policies. Simply follow these simple steps:

Click here to start your comparison
• Enter your postcode and suburb, plus your car registration
• If you don’t know your registration, simply enter your car’s make, model and year
• Complete our simple form by entering details about you, your car and your lifestyle

In just a few minutes, you’ll have access to a detailed comparison of matching insurance policies.

If you have any questions, our experienced car insurance team are happy to chat anytime, between 8 am and 8 pm AET. Simply call 13 19 20 or visit iSelect today.

Sources:
1. https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/insurance/car-insurance
2. https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/insurance/car-insurance/add-on-insurance
3. https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/driving-and-transport/vehicles-and-registration/vehicle-registration/traffic-camera-detection

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