Car Accident No Insurance

Find out more about what you’ll need to do if you don’t have insurance and get in a car accident, whether you’re at fault or not, with Savvy.

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, updated on February 15th, 2024       

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Car Insurance Banner - Man squats and holds his hand to his mouth after a car accident with no insurance.

Car accidents can be stressful and overwhelming, but the situation can become even more complicated if you find yourself involved in an incident without car insurance. Accidents happen unexpectedly, and being uninsured can leave you vulnerable to financial liabilities and legal consequences. Understanding the implications of driving without insurance is crucial to protect yourself and others on the road.

At Savvy, we understand the importance of being informed about what happens if you have an accident without car insurance. You can learn more about what happens and what to do if you find yourself in an accident without appropriate cover, whether you’re at fault or not, in our comprehensive guide.

What happens if I get in a car accident with no insurance in Australia?

If you get into an accident without car insurance in Australia, you’ll be personally liable for any damage caused during the accident if you’re deemed to be at fault. In this case, you would be legally compelled to have to pay for repairs and other associated expenses for any other vehicles involved (in addition to your own) out of pocket.

These costs could be significant, as they may involve not only the repair of the other driver’s vehicle but also other costs such as towing fees from the scene of the accident and covering the cost of a rental car while their vehicle is being repaired.

However, if you’re in an accident and don’t have insurance, it’s worth determining with the other driver who is at fault. If you settle on the fact that both parties are partially at fault, you may be able to come to an agreement with the other driver to each cover your own costs or pay for half of each other’s costs (if liability is 50/50).

Having adequate car insurance coverage in this situation would mean that you’d only be required to pay an excess to cover all the damage to the other vehicle (provided the accident qualifies for coverage with your insurer).

What do I do after an accident if I’m not at fault but have no car insurance?

If you're involved in a car accident in Australia where you aren’t at fault but don't have car insurance, there are several steps you should take:

  • Exchange information: gather the necessary details from the other party involved in the accident, including their name, contact information and vehicle registration number. Also, collect information from any witnesses present at the scene.
  • Document the accident: take photos of the accident scene, the vehicles involved and any visible damage. This documentation will be crucial when filing a claim or proving the other party's liability.
  • Report the accident: contact police and report the accident. They’ll create an official report documenting the incident, which can be helpful for insurance purposes.
  • Seek legal advice: it may be worth consulting with a legal professional who specialises in motor vehicle accidents. They can provide guidance on your rights and legal options, especially when dealing with an uninsured situation.
  • Pursue compensation: if the accident was caused by the other party's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for vehicle repairs, medical expenses and other damages. You can pursue a claim directly with the at-fault driver's insurance company or seek legal assistance to help navigate the process.

It's important to note that while not having car insurance can complicate the situation, you still have rights and options to pursue compensation for damages if you aren’t at fault. Seeking legal advice can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the process.

If I have car insurance, can I be covered if I’m not at fault in an accident with a driver who has no insurance?

Provided the accident qualifies for coverage, you can be covered by your comprehensive car insurance policy if another driver is deemed to be at fault for an accident but doesn’t have insurance. In this situation, you typically wouldn’t be required to pay an excess if you’re able to make a claim and provide your insurer with the other driver’s details, as they’ll pursue the at-fault party for payment.

If you have a third party insurance policy, such as third party property damage (TPPD) or third party fire and theft (TPFT), your insurance won’t cover damage to your vehicle in an accident. However, if the other driver is at fault, they’re still liable to pay for the repair or replacement of your vehicle. You’ll need to negotiate with them yourself and, if they refuse to pay, may be required to seek legal advice as to whether to pursue the matter in court.

Is it legal for me to drive without car insurance?

No – it isn’t legal to drive without any car insurance in Australia. All registered vehicles in Australia are required by law to have compulsory third party (CTP) insurance, also known as a Green Slip in New South Wales, which can cover personal injury claims arising from accidents.

It isn’t a legal requirement, but is highly recommended by industry experts, to also have comprehensive or third party car insurance, which can cover damages to your vehicle and potential liability for damages to other vehicles or property (depending on the type of policy you take out).

Having appropriate insurance coverage on the road can bring you much greater peace of mind that you can be covered in the event of an accident, regardless of whether you’re at fault or not.

Common questions about car accidents with no insurance

What happens if I don’t have insurance and write off a car in an accident?

If you don't have insurance and the other driver’s car is written off in an accident, you’ll be personally responsible for the costs of repairing or replacing their vehicle, which is often a significant financial burden. With a car insurance policy in place, you may only be required to pay an excess to cover a write-off (depending on the circumstances of the accident).

Can I receive free legal advice after a car accident without insurance?

If you're involved in a car accident without insurance, there are some legal aid services which offer free advice in Australia. Consulting with a lawyer experienced in motor vehicle accidents can help you navigate the legal complexities and provide guidance on how to protect your interests.

If I buy a policy after a not-at-fault accident, will my car insurance premiums be impacted?

Any accident may affect the cost of your premiums in the future, whether you’re at fault or not, as insurance providers consider your driving history and claims record when determining premiums. Because of this, it's important to disclose any prior accidents or claims when applying for a new policy, as non-disclosure could lead to policy cancellation or denied claims in the future.

How is fault determined in the event of a car accident?

Fault determination in a car accident is based on various factors, including witness statements, police reports, photographs and evidence from the scene. Some of the reasons why someone may be deemed to be at fault include the following:

  • Not following road laws
  • Driving while affected by drugs or alcohol
  • Not ensuring their vehicle was maintained to an adequate standard
  • Admitting to being at fault for the accident
What happens if both drivers in an accident don’t have car insurance?

If both drivers involved in an accident don't have car insurance, you’ll have to agree on who’s liable for the accident and how much they’re required to pay. Neither party will be able to be represented by an insurance company, so if fault or compensation is unable to be agreed upon, the matter may be escalated to court by you or the other driver.

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