Everything you need to know about getting car insurance
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Unlike many other countries, car insurance isn’t mandatory in New Zealand, and though this can make car ownership cheaper in the short term, the beauty of having insurance is that it’s there when you need it the most, which is often when you least expect it.
Some of us learn this the hard way, often when we’re younger and don’t really think about the benefit of spending that little bit extra each month to cover the cost of insurance.
According to a recent lifestyle survey, two-thirds of New Zealanders have been involved in a car accident in their lifetime. At the AA, we actively encourage members to take out a third party policy at the very least.
Crashing when you’re uninsured can lump you with a large, unwanted expense and can even leave you financially unable to get your car back on the road again.
If you have insurance and are caught up in a crash, your insurance provider can help out with additional costs and do all the running around for you.
Some policies can protect your car if it’s stolen or if you require a windscreen replacement, and some even include extras such as towing, free of charge. You may also get legal liability cover, meaning if you are at fault in an accident your insurer will cover legal costs.
If you’re involved in a crash with an uninsured vehicle, depending on the type of policy you have you may still be covered (although some companies have a reduced claim limit). It’s always worth checking — especially if you have a third party policy — because if the crash was your fault your insurance will only pay out for the damage on the other party.
If the crash was the other driver’s fault, if you only have third party it may be unlikely your insurance can help you and it would be up to you to communicate with the driver who caused the crash, they’d need to admit liability and pass you their insurance details (if they have any).
There are various types of cover for drivers such as third party, third party fire & theft, and comprehensive. No matter which you choose, make sure you’re selecting the insurance policy that’s right for you and your car. Speak to an insurance advisor if you want advice on the best option for you.
If you’re in a car crash and it’s your fault, then you’re responsible for all damage caused.
If you’re uninsured, these costs will come out of your pocket and it could seriously impact you financially, especially if you’re unfortunate enough to have an incident with something high-end.