You don’t usually buy a car on whim. There’s the search, dealer vs private, haggling on the price, white or black, fun or practical, manual or auto – so many things to consider. So getting the right insurance for your car, and driver circumstances is important!
There are some basics that you should have at a minimum, and then there are covers with bells and whistles. Here are some of the things you need to know to make an informed choice.
Types of Cover
There are three types of motor insurance in Australia – Comprehensive, Third Party Fire & Theft, and Third Party Property Damage. Thinking about your vehicle and circumstances – i.e. whether there is finance involved, young or even elderly drivers, what sort of driving will you do etc – is important in determining what sort of cover will be best for you.
Comprehensive (or the whole kit and kaboodle)
This provides repair or replacement cover for damage to your vehicle, as well as other vehicles and property (if you back into your neighbours letterbox for example). It is usually accidental damage, and includes theft, fire, legal liability and usually a host of additional benefits that are automatically included (like new vehicle replacement benefits, hire car after theft, or towing costs etc) or optional covers (like excess free windscreen and glass cover, hire car after accident etc) that you can add in for extra premium.
Third Party Property Damage (the basics)
Good old bomb insurance – covers damage to other vehicles and property, but not your own vehicle. Just plain and simple legal liability.
Third Party Fire & Theft (a bit of both)
An option a lot of younger drivers take out that provides the basic legal liability protection of Third Party Property Damage and adds cover for theft of your vehicle and fire. It’s not going to cover damage as a result of an accident with another vehicle or impact by an animal for example, but if the vehicle is stolen from out the front of the pub on Saturday night, at least you’re covered!
This is a mandatory requirement for all registered vehicle owners in Australia. In most States (in fact all except for NSW where it is a separate requirement to vehicle registration and insurance), this is included in your registration costs and is not a separate policy you need to take out. It is not the same as third party insurance, as is often thought, but is there to protect any person you might injure with your vehicle or as a result of a vehicle accident. You still should have a motor insurance policy to provide cover for physical damage to your vehicle, and others property.
Home and Contents Insurance doesn’t have to be complicated, but it pays to know the basics and make sure you understand that not all insurance companies and policies are the same, despite what some might tell you!
“Do I really need special insurance for my rental property, or will the usual home insurance do the job?”
Do you live on a property larger than 5 acres? You may need to consider a few extra aspects to your insurance than you would with a standard home and contents policy.