If you drive infrequently, or you aren't living in Australia full time, you might consider driving without insurance. But are you sure you want to? Here's why you might want to reconsider that decision.
Driving Without Compulsory Third Party Insurance
When driving a car in Australia, you are legally obligated to purchase Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance. CTP insurance covers you if you harm someone in an accident and provides financial protection to the people who might claim against you for injuries resulting from the accident.
If you are found driving a vehicle without CTP insurance in any state or territory of Australia, you could be facing a fine. Plus, if you are involved in an accident, the ramifications for your personal finances can be quite overwhelming. In addition to a fine, you may be personally responsible for the cost of any damage caused by your vehicle, and you may also face a claim for compensation for any injuries or financial losses caused by your negligence.
Personal insurance may not cover you in the event of an accident caused by a lack of driving insurance.
What Happens in a Car Accident Without Insurance?
In the event of a car accident, another party may claim compensation to cover their medical bills, property damage, or lost income. If you do not possess CTP insurance (or if the policyholder didn't pay the premium), the injured party may file a claim with the Motor Accidents Commission. If found to be at fault, you may be held responsible for covering these costs.
If you or your passengers suffer injuries in an accident, whether it's your fault or not, you will likely need to seek medical attention. You will also have to pay for the cost of the medical attention, but your health insurance may pay for some of these expenses. If your health insurance doesn't cover the full amount of your medical costs, you may need to pay the remaining cost out of pocket.
If you are the cause of an accident, you could be held responsible for those costs. In this case, your health insurance provider may not cover the costs, leaving you to pay for medical bills out of pocket. If you injure or kill another person or their property, the injured party may claim compensation out of pocket for their hospital bills, lost wages, and property damage.
Claiming for Compensation from the Motor Accidents Commission
When an injured party files a claim with the Motor Accidents Commission, the amount of compensation a claimant receives depends on a number of factors, including their age, occupation, and the extent of their injuries.
To make matters more complicated, if the Motor Accidents Commission accepts the claim, the injured party will not receive compensation until their medical expenses have been paid. Even when the claim is issued, the amount of compensation isn't necessarily equal to the amount of medical expenses incurred.
Don't think you can save money by not purchasing compulsory third-party insurance in Australia. In case you do decide to drive without insurance, make sure you have the financial means available to cover any costs potentially arising from an accident. If you don't have the means to cover the cost of an accident, it would be safer for you to continue to purchase CTP insurance in Australia.
New Wave Insurance works with several insurance providers to bring you the best possible solutions. We are one of Gold Coast’s premier insurance brokers helping businesses find the right insurance vehicle for them. Contact us today to book a free 15-minute consultation with one of our insurance specialists.