Cars are powerful machines that can cause substantial damage and even though we may regularly have our cars serviced and drive safely, unfortunately accidents happen. Before you can register your car with Roads and Maritime Services, you must prove that you have a Green Slip - otherwise known as Compulsory Third Party (CTP) personal injury insurance.
You purchase a green slip from insurers directly. The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) regulates the insurers and 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.
SIRA have a green slip calculator to help you find the right insurer or call their green slip helpline on 1300 137 600. SIRA also fund a large number of injury prevention programs, and rehabilitation programs for people injured in car accidents.
If you cause an accident, your green slip insurance covers medical costs for:
- your passengers
- other road users, such as drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists 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’s registered. If you allow your registration to lapse, you are personally liable for any injuries you cause in a motor vehicle accident.
Motor vehicle ‘choice of repairer’ policies
When choosing an insurance company after buying a car, it’s important to check the terms and conditions around their ‘choice of repairer’ policy. 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.
The insurance industry is regulated by the Commonwealth. If you have problems with your insurer, you can lodge a dispute with the Financial Ombudsman Service, (FOS). Visit the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) guide for a list of reported consumer issues with motor vehicle and motorcycle sales and repairs.
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. Go to the motor vehicle warranty and repair disputes page for more information on the dispute resolution process.
There are two other types of insurance available:
- 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.