Julia Pannett

Car Insurance

11 Apr 2015

Understanding third party property insurance

Do you know what your car insurance policy covers you for in the event of an accident? According to the recent “Understand Car Insurance Research Report (2014)” the chances are you may not. More than half of those surveyed stated that when it comes to car insurance they don’t understand all the details listed on their policy. A lack of knowledge, when it comes to the fine print of your policy, could put you at risk of financial stress in the event of a car accident, theft or total loss situation.

What is Third Party Property Insurance?

The research stated that around one in five individuals holding third party property insurance only wrongly believe that that they are covered for damage caused by an uninsured driver, or accidents they are liable for. If you only have third party property insurance, what are you really covered for?

When it comes to insurance policies, there are a lot of parties – these aren’t the backyard BBQ variety. ‘Third party’ refers to the person or persons, who may be indirectly involved but are not primary to, or directly involved in, the arrangement or insurance contract. Having third party property insurance covers your legal liability for third party property damage (including cars, pedestrians and cyclists) for an accident that you caused. Some third party insurance providers, as an additional extra, will also cover your property for theft and fire.

Why would I need both Compulsory Third Party (CTP) and Third Party Property Insurance?

Unlike Third Party Property insurance, CTP is a legal requirement for all motor vehicles in Australia. In NSW and the ACT this may be referred to as a ‘green slip’. CTP covers any personal injuries or death you cause to another person as a result of an accident. Having both CTP and third party property insurance covers you for any claims for personal injury to another person and property damage caused by you.

Do you need more than third party property insurance?

The report uncovered that 54% of Australians who don’t have comprehensive car insurance consider the cost of insuring against damage and/or loss of a car as too expensive. If you have a second hand car you may think that the premiums for comprehensive insurance are not worth it. Think about it this way: if you are dependent on your car, could you afford to fix it if your vehicle sustained extensive damage or afford a new car if it was written off? No one plans to be involved in an accident but in the event that you are at fault, being comprehensively insured can help to deliver peace of mind to cover damage to your own car, as well as the other driver.

How do I reduce my premiums?

If you know that you can’t live without third party property insurance but are worried about the cost there are things that you can do to reduce your premiums:

  • Be a safe driver: If you have no previous claims or history of reckless or dangerous driving you will be considered less of a risk to insure helping to reduce your premiums.
  • Buy your car insurance online: By purchasing your car insurance online you may be able to receive a discount on your premiums.
  • Choose your excess: The excess is the initial amount of the claim you pay to the insurer. Choosing to pay a higher excess in the event of an accident will help to lower your premiums.

Even if you don’t have comprehensive car insurance, third party property insurance may be worth considering.

Woolworths Car Insurance is issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd AFSL 241436. Any advice provided is general advice only and may not be right for you. Consider the PDS available at woolworthsinsurance.com.au to decide if the product is right for you.