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Cars are powerful machines that can cause substantial damage. Even though we may regularly have our cars serviced and drive safely, unfortunately accidents occur. Before you can register your car with Roads and Maritime Services, you must prove that you have purchased a Green Slip - otherwise known as Compulsory Third Party (CTP) personal injury insurance.

Green slip 

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) regulates the insurers who provide you with green slip insurance. It also funds a large number of injury prevention programs, and rehabilitation programs for people injured in car accidents.

You purchase a green slip from insurers directly, not from SIRA. However, SIRA can provide you with advice on where to find the cheapest green slip. If you are purchasing a new car, the car dealer will generally have arranged a green slip for you.

There are many insurers competing for your business, so it’s wise to shop around before purchasing your green slip.

You might be able to save money by visiting SIRA’s web site, and using the green slip calculator. Based on the information you provide, the calculator will tell you which insurer will sell you a green slip for the cheapest price.  If you don’t have access to the internet, you can call SIRA’s green slip help line on 1300 137 600.

If you cause an accident, your green slip insurance covers medical costs for:

  • your passengers
  • other road users, such as drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, motor cyclists and pillion passengers
  • injuries caused through the use of a trailer.

Your green slip insurance does not cover:

  • you for your personal injuries if you cause the accident
  • damage to property or other vehicles.

Remember that your green slip will only cover your vehicle if it is registered. If you allow your registration to lapse, you are personally liable for any injuries you cause in a motor vehicle accident.

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Motor vehicle ‘choice of repairer’ policies 

When choosing an insurance company after buying a car, it is important to check the terms and conditions around their ‘choice of repairer’ policy.

This policy will explain what you must do when you want to engage a repairer. Some policies will restrict the choice of repairer to certain businesses within the insurer’s network, while others will allow you to choose any repairer you like.

An insurer may suggest certain businesses as their ‘preferred’ suppliers, but you have no obligation to pick one of these, unless it is a specific condition in their choice of repairer policy.

The insurance industry is regulated by the Commonwealth. If you suffer detriment because of the actions of your insurer, you can lodge a dispute with the Financial Ombudsman Service.

For a list of reported consumer issues with motor vehicle and motorcycle sales and repairs, visit the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) guide.

NSW Fair Trading provides a free dispute resolution service to motor vehicle owners, licensed motor dealers or licensed motor vehicle repairers with dealer guarantee or repair disputes. For further information on the dispute resolution process, go to the motor vehicle warranty and repair disputes webpage.

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Other insurance 

There are two other types of insurance available for your vehicle:

  • Third-party property, which covers you for the damage your car might cause to someone else’s vehicle or property.
  • Comprehensive, which provides third party property cover and also covers your car for accidental damage, theft and fire.

Always shop around for the best deal from insurance providers. Think twice about special offers and deals such as those offering insurance with a loan. You may not need the insurance and it will add to your costs.

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