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CTP What Now? Car Insurance in Australia

A Strange Thing Happened On my travels…

Taken a job in Australia, and as I was driving myself and (my quite hungover) workmate to the office, I nearly collided with another car. Aside from eliciting a torrent of mumbled curses from my recovering friend, I had received no injuries. My car was undamaged, and the other person was fine as well.

But, I thought, what if I hadn’t been?

So, friend still grumbling, I drive into work and began to research Australian car insurance. After all, I nearly had an accident. I knew absolutely nothing about insurance at all, let alone anything about the nuances of Australian car insurance.

My search proved to be quite rewarding.

Brief Overview:

Aside from my own brief flirtation with road accidents, I had very little idea about the amount of risk there is when it comes to driving on Australian roads. In July 2015 alone, there were 91 road related deaths across Australia. That doesn’t take into account the injuries or damaged property or vehicles.

This is sobering stuff.

Even if you are not killed in a road accident, the costs of repairing a vehicle or a body can be prohibitive. That is why insurance exists – so the costs of repairs can be met by someone outside of yourself.

I tried to do a bit of research and find the top car insurance providers by looking on the websites of Compare the Market and iSelect. However, that proved to be quite confusing for someone who had no idea about the different types of policies, so I began to research the different types of car insurance policies in Australia.

In Australia, as it turns out, there are four kinds of car insurance.

The CTP

The most basic form of car insurance is Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurance policies. These policies are, as is implied in their name, compulsory for all Australian vehicles, meaning that almost every driver on the road that you meet will have at least this level of insurance.

As the most basic level of car insurance in Australia, the CTP only covers one thing: the medical expenses of people outside of yourself in an accident. This means that if you are in an accident, and the other person is injured, your insurance covers their medical expenses, but not your own. Also, you are still liable for any other expenses, such as the damage to the vehicles or other property.

It should be noted that CTP policies, often known casually as “green slips”, have different regulations and means of acquiring them across the different states. Make sure when you’re looking for car insurance you know your state’s rules regarding CTP.

Other Types:

Aside from CTP insurance policies, there are three other types of Australian car insurance that I discovered:

  1. Third Party Property Cover: The “next step” in the ladder, this type of insurance covers the damage to someone else’s car or property, but not your own. This can be useful if your car is actually a panzer, but otherwise can still leave you exposed.
  2. Third Party with Fire and Theft Cover: Same as above, but with the addition of cover in the case of your car bursting into flames or being stolen. Always good to avoid spontaneous combustion, or if you live in a dubious area.
  3. Comprehensive Cover: The highest form of car insurance in Australia, Comprehensive Cover ensures that your car and property is covered as well as other people’s property and/or car. Some plans can also include maintenance checks.

Sometimes there will be a car insurance policy that defies categorisation. These are, however, an exception more than a rule, and most of the car insurance policies you will come across in your life will fit into one of these four categories.

Conclusion:

After any experience where you are reminded of the fragility of mortality (or at least the fragility of your friend’s mood after a night of drinking), it can be good to examine ways to get peace of mind. Getting a car insurance quote is one way of ensuring that you are financially covered by insurance in case of an emergency. After all, there’s nothing worse than being in an accident and discovering that you are liable for the cost of everything.

So definitely check out which Australian car insurance policies would work best for you.

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