Many of us have wondered at some point whether driving without insurance for our wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) or disability converted vehicle is a risk or not. Yes, we don’t want to be in a car accident with no insurance, but what’s the worst that could happen?
With inflation running at its highest rate in more than 20 years, we’re all looking for ways to cut back on our expenses. Many of us drive infrequently and when we do it’s only short trips. In fact, as many as 1 in 4 Australians have said if they were strapped for cash they’d rather drive without insurance than use public transport. For many of us, public transport isn’t even an option.
But what would actually happen if we were in a car accident with no insurance? Let’s break it down.
CTP is just that – compulsory
First off, it’s illegal to drive in Australia without compulsory third party insurance (CTP). This counts for WAVs, too. This type of insurance provides financial protection if you cause bodily harm to someone while driving. If you crash into a vehicle or hit a pedestrian, your insurance will cover compensation claims for the injured party’s medical bills.
Being forced to take out insurance might not sit well with you. But ask yourself – would you want someone who injured YOU to have CTP? Knowing that your medical bills will be covered is very important, even if we don’t think about it much (if at all). No wonder driving without CTP can get you a hefty fine of up to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Luckily, you can’t register a car in Australia without taking out CTP. Driving without insurance of this kind is not only illegal, but it means you’ll be held personally responsible for any financial claims that arise as a result of injury to other people.
I’m not driving without insurance – so what more would I need?
So, it’s more than likely you’re driving with CTP already in place. You have peace of mind knowing that you won’t be liable for anyone’s medical bills. So why would you need anything more? You’re not driving without insurance, so what’s the problem?
CTP covers bills for bodily injury, yes. However it won’t cover any damage done to your or other people’s vehicles or property. There are two more types of third party insurance that you can take out on top of your CTP insurance:
- Third party property insurance provides protection for damage your car causes to other people’s property or vehicles.
- Third party fire and theft car insurance offers everything that third party property insurance does, as well as protection for your own car against fire or theft.
These additional products offer an added layer of financial protection in case of an accident. Read up here on what to do if you have a car accident. Also find out whether disability car insurance covers towing.
But wait, there’s more – much broader! – insurance to consider. Insurance that actually covers YOUR vehicle’s damage in an accident as well…
Driving without comprehensive insurance
The next level, the top level, of insurance is called comprehensive insurance. Comprehensive car insurance isn’t a legal requirement in Australia (like anything other than CTP), but you should seriously consider it. Why? Because not only does it provide cover for damage you accidentally cause to other parties’ vehicle and property, but also damage to your own property – most importantly, your vehicle included.
This is especially important given how much thought, effort and money you’ve invested into getting the right WAV or converted car for your needs. We should also note that with Blue Badge Insurance your wheelchair and/or other assistive technology in the vehicle at the time is covered up to a certain amount too.
Your vehicle is an integral part of your independence and, if you happen to crash it, it could take thousands of dollar to repair or replace. Comprehensive insurance means your insurance company would cover that and you may only need to pay an agreed upon excess amount.
Read here about making a car insurance claim after an accident.
Avoid the predicament of a car accident and no insurance
Convinced yet of the need for car insurance? If so, how do you find a provider that will offer fair coverage for your WAV or converted vehicle? Finding insurance if your car has been converted for a driver or passenger with a disability can be tricky. General insurers don’t understand disability and will consider WAV owners high-risk, leading to larger premiums. Read more about this here in our article about reasons for considering a disability insurance specialist.
Blue Badge Insurance is Australia’s first independence and disability insurance specialist. We understand disability because we specialise in it, so we can help properly protect the freedom you deserve. At Blue Badge, we know that people with wheelchair accessible vehicles are generally safer drivers who represent a lower risk. This means we can offer you lower prices combined with top cover.
Check out our comprehensive car insurance and make sure you’re covered financially. It’s about the peace of mind knowing that you’ll be back on your wheels quickly in case of an accident.