When you drive, you’re constantly checking your surroundings. You’re keeping an eye on other motorists around you, and making a mental note of who’s speeding up, slowing down or turning. You rely on other motorists to do the same thing – but accidents still happen.
If someone else makes a mistake and causes an accident – are you also relying on them to have insurance?
All car insurance policies in New Zealand include cover for liability to third parties. That means that if someone else accidentally causes damage to your vehicle and they’re insured, their insurer will usually cover the cost of repairing or replacing your car. But in New Zealand car insurance is not compulsory, and there are drivers on the road who have no insurance at all.
So if you’re hit by another driver, will you be covered? It depends on your level of cover
Say someone else has hit your car. You weren’t at fault – you might even have been parked at the time. But they’ve got no insurance.
The collision could still have a negative impact on your finances and your life, depending on the level of cover you’ve got.
With comprehensive cover, you can make a claim immediately for the damage to your car with your insurer. Even if the other driver has insurance, it’s often easier to go through your own insurance company and let them sort out recovery of the costs from the other party.
Many insurance policies will waive the excess for your car repairs if you weren’t at fault – they’ll be recovering those costs from the other driver. Check your policy to see if that applies for you.
If you only have third party cover (or third party, fire and theft), your policy doesn’t include any cover for your car if it’s in a collision – only for your liability to others. That means if the other driver has no insurance, you won’t be covered even if it’s not your fault.
You might be able to make a deal with the other driver privately, or take them to court – but the most likely scenario is that you’ll need to pay to repair or replace your car out of your own pocket.
If you’re not sure which is right for you, think about what will happen if your car is damaged or written off.
For some customers, comprehensive cover gives them piece of mind, but for others third party policies might be the right solution.
As always, make sure you’ve read your policy carefully so you know what you’re covered for – and keep yourself and others safe on the roads.
Five easy steps if you have a collision
Take care of yourself and others’ safety.
If it’s safe, take photos immediately while the cars are still in position. Send them to your insurer when you make a claim.
If there are independent witnesses, get their details if you can.
Take down the other driver’s details – name, phone number, registration number and insurance provider.
Make sure to provide all the required details when you make your claim.