Vehicle Insurance (also known as, GAP Insurance, Car Insurance, or Motor Insurance) is insurance purchased for cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other road vehicles. Its primary use is to provide Financial Protection against Physical Damage and/or Bodily Injury resulting from Traffic Collisions and against Liability that could also arise there from. The specific terms of vehicle insurance vary with legal regulations in each region. To a lesser degree vehicle insurance may additionally offer financial protection against theft of the vehicle and possibly damage to the vehicle, sustained from things other than Traffic Collisions.
Widespread use of the automobile began after the First World War in the cities. Cars were relatively fast and dangerous by that stage, yet there was still no compulsory form of Car Insurance anywhere in the world. This meant that injured victims would seldom get any compensation in an accident, and drivers often faced considerable costs for damage to their car and property.
A compulsory Car Insurance scheme was first introduced in the United Kingdom with the Road Traffic Act 1930. This ensured that all vehicle owners and drivers had to be Insured for their Liability for Injury or death to third parties whilst their vehicle was being used on a public road. Germany enacted similar legislation in 1939.
In many jurisdictions it is compulsory to have Vehicle Insurance before using or keeping a motor vehicle on public roads. Most jurisdictions relate insurance to both the car and the driver, however the degree of each varies greatly.
Several jurisdictions have experimented with a “pay-as-you-drive” insurance plan which is paid through a gasoline tax (petrol tax). This would address issues of uninsured motorists and also charge based on the miles (kilometers) driven, which could theoretically increase the efficiency of the insurance, through streamlined collection.
In AustraliaCompulsory Third Party Personal Injury Insurance (CTP) is a state-based scheme that covers only personal injury liability. Comprehensive and Third Party Property Insurance is sold separately to cover property damage additionally, and can include fire, theft, collision, and other property damage. Third Party Property Insurance covers damage to third-party property and vehicles, but not the insured vehicle. Third Party Property Insurance with Fire and Theft additionally covers the insured vehicle against fire and theft. Comprehensive Insurance covers damage to third-party and the insured property and vehicle.
Compulsory Third Party Personal Injury (CTP) Insurance is linked to the registration of a vehicle. It is transferred when a vehicle already registered is sold. It covers the vehicle owner and any person who drives the vehicle against claims for liability in respect of the death or injury to people caused by the fault of the owner or driver, but not for damage. It covers the cost of all reasonable medical treatment for injuries received in the accident, loss of wages, cost of care services, and in some cases compensation for pain and suffering.
In New South Wales and the Northern Territory CTP Insurance is compulsory; each vehicle must be insured when registered. A ‘Greenslip,’ another name by which CTP Insurance is commonly known due to the colour of the form, must be obtained through one of the five licenced insurers in New South Wales. Suncorp and Allianz both hold two licences to issue CTP Greenslips – Suncorp under the GIO and AAMI licences and Allianz under the Allianz and CIC/Allianz licences. The remaining three licences to issue CTP Greenslips are held by QBE, Zurich and Insurance Australia Limited (NRMA). APIA and Shannons and InsureMyRide Insurance also supply CTP insurance licenced by GIO. In addition to the Greenslip, an additional car insurance can be purchased through Insurers in Australia. This will cover claims that the standard CTP insurance cannot provide. This is known as a comprehensive car insurance.
A similar scheme applies in the Australian Capital Territory through AAMI, GIO and NRMA (IAL).
In Victoria, Third Party Personal insurance from the Transport Accident Commission is similarly included, through a levy, in the vehicle registration fee. A similar scheme exists in Tasmania through the Motor Accidents Insurance Board.
In Queensland, CTP is a mandatory part of registration for a vehicle. There is choice of insurer but price is government controlled in a tight band.
In South Australia, Third Party Personal Insurance from the Motor Accident Commission is included in the licence registration fee for people over 17. A similar scheme applies in Western Australia.
Several Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec) provide a public auto insurance system while in the rest of the country insurance is provided privately. Basic Auto Insurance is mandatory throughout Canada with each province’s government determining which benefits are included as minimum required Auto Insurance Coverage and which benefits are options available for those seeking additional coverage. Accident Benefits Coverage is mandatory everywhere except for Newfoundland and Labrador. All provinces in Canada have some form of no-fault insurance available to accident victims. The difference from province to province is the extent to which tort or no-fault is emphasized. International drivers entering Canada are permitted to drive any vehicle their licence allows for the 3-month period for which they are allowed to use their international licence. International laws provide visitors to the country with an International Insurance Bond (IIB) until this 3-month period is over in which the international driver must provide themselves with Canadian Insurance. The IIB is reinstated every time the international driver enters the country. Damage to the driver’s own vehicle is optional – one notable exception to this is in Saskatchewan, where SGI provides collision coverage (less than a $1000 deductible, such as a collision damage waiver) as part of its basic insurance policy. In Saskatchewan, residents have the option to have their auto insurance through a tort system but less than 0.5% of the population have taken this option.
Since 1939, it has been compulsory to have third party personal insurance before keeping a motor vehicle in all federal states of Germany. In addition, every vehicle owner is free to take out a comprehensive insurance policy. All types of car insurances are provided by several private insurers. The amount of insurance contribution is determined by several criteria, like the region, the type of car or the personal way of driving.
The minimum coverage defined by German law for Car Liability Insurance / Third Party Personal Insurance is: 7.5 million euro for bodily injury (damage to people), 1 million euro for property damage and 50,000 euro for financial/fortune loss which is in no direct or indirect coherence with Bodily Injury or Property Damage. Insurance Companies usually offer all-in/combined single limit insurances of 50 Million Euro or 100 Million Euro (about 141 Million Dollar) for Bodily Injury, property damage and other financial/fortune loss (usually with a Bodily Injury Coverage limitation of 8 to 15 million euro for EACH bodily injured person).
Third-Party Vehicle Insurance is mandatory for all vehicles in Hungary. No exemption is possible by money deposit. The premium covers all damage up to HUF 500M (about EUR1.8M) per accident without deductible. The coverage is extended to HUF 1,250M (about EUR4.5M) in case of personal injuries. Vehicle insurance policies from all EU-countries and some non-EU countries are valid in Hungary based on bilateral or multilateral agreements. Visitors with Vehicle Insurance not covered by such agreements are required to buy a monthly, renewable policy at the border.
Third-Party Vehicle Insurance is a mandatory requirement in Indonesia and each individual Car and Motorcycle must be Insured or the vehicle will not be considered legal. Therefore, a motorist cannot drive the vehicle until it is insured. Third Party vehicle insurance is included through a levy in the vehicle registration fee which is paid to government institution that known as “Samsat”. Third-Party Vehicle Insurance is regulated under Act No. 34 Year 1964 Re: Road Traffic Accident Fund and merely covers Bodily injury, and managed by a SOE named PT. Jasa Raharja (Persero).
Auto Insurance in India deals with the insurance covers for the loss or damage caused to the automobile or its parts due to natural and man-made calamities. It provides accident cover for individual owners of the vehicle while driving and also for passengers and third party legal liability. There are certain general Insurance Companies who also offer Online Insurance service for the Vehicle.
Auto Insurance in India is a compulsory requirement for all new vehicles used whether for commercial or personal use. The insurance companies have tie-ups with leading automobile manufacturers. They offer their customers instant auto quotes. Auto premium is determined by a number of factors and the amount of premium increases with the rise in the price of the vehicle. The claims of the Auto Insurance in India can be accidental, theft claims or third party claims. Certain documents are required for claiming Auto Insurance in India, like duly signed claim form, RC copy of the vehicle, Driving license copy, FIR copy, Original estimate and policy copy.
There are different types of Auto Insurance in India :
Private Car Insurance – In the Auto Insurance in India, Private Car Insurance is the fastest growing sector as it is compulsory for all the new cars. The amount of premium depends on the make and value of the car, state where the car is registered and the year of manufacture.
Two Wheeler Insurance – The Two Wheeler Insurance under the Auto Insurance in India covers accidental insurance for the drivers of the vehicle. The amount of premium depends on the current showroom price multiplied by the depreciation rate fixed by the Tariff Advisory Committee at the time of the beginning of policy period.
Commercial Vehicle Insurance – Commercial Vehicle Insurance under the Auto Insurance in India provides cover for all the vehicles which are not used for personal purposes, like the Trucks and HMVs. The amount of premium depends on the showroom price of the vehicle at the commencement of the insurance period, make of the vehicle and the place of registration of the vehicle. The auto insurance generally includes:
Loss or Damage by Accident, fire, lightning, self ignition, external explosion, burglary, housebreaking or theft, malicious act.
Liability for Third Party Injury/Death, Third Party Property and Liability to paid driver
On payment of appropriate additional premium, loss/damage to electrical/electronic accessories
The Auto Insurance does not include:
Consequential loss, depreciation, mechanical and electrical breakdown, failure or breakage
When vehicle is used outside the geographical area
War or nuclear perils and drunken driving.
The Road Traffic Act, 1933 requires all drivers of mechanically propelled vehicles in public places to have at least Third-Party Insurance, or to have obtained exemption – generally by depositing a (large) sum of money with the High Court as a guarantee against claims. In 1933 this figure was set at £15,000. The Road Traffic Act, 1961 (which is currently in force) repealed the 1933 act but replaced these sections with functionally identical sections.
From 1968, those making deposits require the consent of the Minister for Transport to do so, with the sum specified by the Minister.
Those not exempted from obtaining insurance must obtain a certificate of insurance from their insurance provider, and display a portion of this (an insurance disc) on their vehicles windscreen (if fitted). The certificate in full must be presented to a police station within ten days if requested by an officer. Proof of having insurance or an exemption must also be provided to pay for the motor tax.
Those injured or suffering property damage/loss due to uninsured drivers can claim against the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland’s uninsured drivers fund, as can those injured (but not those suffering damage or loss) from hit and run offences.
The law 990/1969 requires that each motor vehicle or trailer standing or moving in a public road to have a third party insurance (called RCA, Responsabilità civile per gli autoveicoli). Historically, a part of the certificate of insurance must be displayed on the windscreen of the vehicle. This latter disposition was revoked in 2015, when a national database of insured vehicles was built by the Insurance Company Association (ANIA, Associazione Nazionale Imprese Assicuratrici) and the National Trasportation Authority (Motorizzazione Civile) to verify (by private citizens and public authorities) if a vehicle is insured. There is no exemption policy to this law disposition.
Police forces have the power to seize vehicles that do not have the necessary insurance in place, until the owner of the vehicle pays the fine and sign a new Insurance Policy. Driving without the necessary insurance for that vehicle is an offence that will be prosecuted by the police and will receive penalty ranging from 841 to 3,287 euro. Same provision is applied when the vehicle is standing on public road.
The minimal Insurance Policies Covers Only Third Parties (included the Insured person and third parties carried with the vehicle, but not the driver, if the two do not coincide). Also the third parties, fire and theft are common Insurance Policies, while the all inclusive policies (kasko policy) which include also damages of the vehicle causing the accident or the injuries. It is also common to include a renounce clause of the insurance company to compensate the damages against the insured person in some cases (usually in case of DUI or other infringement of the law by the driver).
The victims of accident caused by non-insured vehicles could be compensated by the Road’s Victim Warranty Fund (Fondo garanzia vittime della strada), which is covered by a fixed amount (2.5%, as 2015) of each RCA Insurance Premium.
Within New Zealand, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) provides nationwide no-fault personal injury insurance. Injuries involving motor vehicles operating on public roads are covered by the Motor Vehicle Account, for which premiums are collected through levies on petrol and through vehicle licensing fees.
In Norway, the vehicle owner must provide the minimum of Liability Insurance for his Vehicle(s) – of any kind. Otherwise, the vehicle is illegal to use. If a person drives a vehicle belonging to someone else, and has an Accident, the Insurance will cover for damage done.
Romanian law mandates R?spundere Auto Civil?, a motor-vehicle liability insurance for all vehicle owners to cover damages to Third Parties.
South Africa allocates a percentage of the money from gasoline into the Road Accident Fund, which goes towards compensating Third Parties in Accidents.
United Arab Emirates
When buying car insurance in the United Arab Emirates, traffic department require a 13-month insurance certificate each time you register or renew a vehicle registration.
In 1930, the UK government introduced a law that required every person who used a vehicle on the road to have at least third-party Personal Injury Insurance. Today, UK law is defined by the Road Traffic Act 1988, which was last modified in 1991. The Act requires that Motorists either be Insured, have a security, or have made a specified deposit (£500,000 in 1991) with the Accountant General of the Supreme Court, against their Liability for Injuries to others (including passengers) and for damage to other persons’ property, resulting from use of a Vehicle on a public road or in other public places.
It is an offense to use a car, or allow others to use it, without the Insurance that satisfies the act whilst on the public highway (or public place Section 143(1)(a) RTA 1988 as amended 1991); however, no such legislation applies on private land. Police have the power to seize vehicles that do not have the necessary insurance in place. A driver caught driving without the necessary Insurance for that Vehicle will be prosecuted by the police and will receive either a fixed penalty or magistrate courts penalty. If convicted the driver will receive an IN10 endorsement on their licence.
Road Traffic Act Only Insurance differs from Third Party Only Insurance (detailed below) and is not often sold. It provides the very minimum cover to satisfy the requirements of the Act. For example, Road Traffic Act Only Insurance has a limit of £1,000,000 for damage to third party property – Third Party only Insurance typically has a greater limit for third party property damage. As a result of costly claims, insurance companies can now no longer place a limit on the amount that they are liable for in the event of a claim by 3rd parties against a legitimate policy. This can be explained in part by the Great Heck Rail Crash that cost the insurers over £22 million in compensation for the fatalities and damage to property caused by the actions of the Insured Driver of a Motor Vehicle that caused the disaster.
The minimum level of Insurance cover commonly available, and which satisfies the requirement of the Act, is called third party only Insurance. The level of cover provided by Third party only Insurance is basic, but does exceed the requirements of the act. This insurance covers any liability to third parties, but does not cover any other risks.
More commonly purchased is third party, fire and theft. This covers all third party liabilities and also covers the vehicle owner against the destruction of the vehicle by fire (whether malicious or due to a vehicle fault) and theft of the vehicle itself. It may or may not cover vandalism. This kind of Insurance and the two preceding types do not cover damage to the vehicle caused by the driver or other hazards.
Comprehensive Insurance covers all of the above and damage to the vehicle caused by the driver themselves, as well as vandalism and other risks. This is usually the most expensive type of Insurance. For valuable cars, many insurers only offer Comprehensive Insurance.
Vehicles that are exempt from the requirement to be covered under the Act include those owned by certain councils and local authorities, national park authorities, education authorities, police authorities, fire authorities, health service bodies and security services.
The insurance certificate or cover note issued by the Insurance Company Constitutes Legal Evidence that the vehicle specified on the document is insured. The law says that an authorised person, such as a police officer, may require a driver to produce an insurance certificate for inspection. If the driver cannot show the document immediately on request, and proof of insurance cannot be found by other means such as the Police National Computer, drivers are no longer issued a HORT/1. This was an order with seven days, from midnight of the date of issue, to take a valid insurance certificate (and usually other driving documents as well) to a police station of the driver’s choice. Failure to produce an insurance certificate is an offence. The HORT/1 was commonly known – even by the issuing authorities when dealing with the public – as a “Producer”.
Insurance is more expensive in Northern Ireland than in other parts of the UK. In 2010 the cost of Car Insurance rose by an average of 33%.
Prior to 1 October 2014, all motorists in the UK were required to prominently display a vehicle excise licence (tax disc) on their vehicle when it was kept or driven on public roads. This helped to ensure that most people had adequate Insurance on their Vehicles because insurance cover was required to purchase a disc, although the insurance must merely have been valid at the time of purchase and not necessarily for the life of the tax disc. Post 1 October 2014 it is no longer a requirement to display a vehicle excise licence (tax disc) on a vehicle.
The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) compensates the victims of Road Accidents caused by uninsured and untraced motorists. It also operates a number of Motor Insurance Databases, which contain details of every insured vehicle in the country and acts as a means to share information between Insurance Companies.
On 1 March 2011 the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled that gender could no longer be used by insurers to set Car Insurance Premiums. The new ruling will come into action from December 2012.
In June 2011 a new law known as Continuous Insurance Enforcement came into force in the UK meaning that a vehicle must have a valid insurance policy if it has a tax disc, whether or not it is kept on public roads and whether or not it is driven. If the car is to be “laid up” for whatever reason, the tax disc must be surrendered and a SORN declaration completed to say that it is off the public roads.
Investigation into Repair Costs & Fraudulent Claims
In September 2012 it was announced that the Competition Commission had launched an investigation into the UK system for Credit Repairs and Credit Hire of an alternative vehicle by a 3rd party following a non-fault accident. It was announced that Insurers of Vehicles that had caused a valid claim were unable to control the costs that were applied to the claim by means of repairs, storage, vehicle hire, referral fees and Personal Injury Claims. Many accident management companies will take over the running of a non fault claim and arrange everything for the 3rd party. The subsequent cost of some items submitted for consideration has been a cause for concern over recent years and this has caused an increase in the premium costs. Also, the recent craze of “Cash for Crash” has substantially raised the cost of policies. This is where two parties arrange a Collision between their Vehicles and one driver making excessive claims for damage and non existent injuries to themselves and the passengers that they had arranged to be “In the Vehicle” at the time of the collision. Another recent development has seen crashes being caused delibarately by a driver “slamming” on their brakes so that the driver behind impacts them, this is usually carried out at roundabout junctions, when the following driver is looking to the right for oncoming traffic and does not notice that the vehicle in front has suddenly stopped for no reason.
The regulations for Vehicle Insurance differ with each of the 50 US states and other territories, with each U.S. state having its own mandatory minimum coverage requirements (see separate main article). Each of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia requires drivers to have insurance coverage for both bodily injury and property damage, but the minimum amount of coverage required by law varies by state. For example, minimum Bodily Injury Liability coverage requirements range from $20,000 in Florida to $100,000 in Alaska and Maine, while minimum property Damage Liability requirements range from $5,000 (four states) to $25,000 (16 states).
Vehicle Insurance can cover some or all of the following items:
The Insured Party (medical payments)
Property damage caused by the insured
The Insured Vehicle (Physical Damage)
Third parties (car and people, property damage and bodily injury)
Third party, fire and theft
In some jurisdictions Coverage for Injuries to persons riding in the Insured Vehicle is available without regard to fault in the Auto Accident (No Fault Auto Insurance)
The cost to rent a vehicle if yours is damaged.
The cost to tow your vehicle to a repair facility.
Accidents involving uninsured motorists.
Different policies specify the circumstances under which each item is covered. For example, a vehicle can be insured against theft, fire damage, or accident damage independently.