Car insurance exclusions to be aware of before you hit the road

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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, updated on June 6th, 2023       

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The festive season may have you spending more time on the road visiting your favourite holiday destination to spend time with your friends and family. It is also a time where most accidents tend to happen, which is why you need to check your car insurance before hitting the road. Moreso, when it comes to exclusions. Here are seven times when your car insurance won’t be paid out.

Age restrictions on drivers

When you take out a car insurance policy it is important to read the exclusions that come with it. This will differ from insurer to insurer, but there are some common exclusions such as an age restriction on drivers. What this means is that there is a minimum age limit, which is usually 25 years or 30 years and above, who will be covered. If you happen to give your car to a family member or a friend that happens to be below these age groups and they are involved in an accident or theft your claim won’t be paid out.

Drinking and driving

The festive season is known as the silly season, and somewhere during the holiday people are bound to drink. According to ASIC, Australians spend $14.9 billion on alcohol. However, getting behind the wheel after having a few is a definite way to have your policy not pay you out. You could also face some serious jail time. Therefore, always have a designated driver who is not under the influence to take you home.

Overloading your vehicle

Trying to squeeze everything or everyone into your car so that you can make one trip can put you and your vehicle at risk. It also an exclusion that is part of many car insurance policies that you need to be aware of. Carrying more passengers or items can also put your car under significant strain which can affect your car’s fuel economy and driving ability such as being able to brake without wearing your brake pads. If you are planning to tow anything make sure to check that it is to the car’s specifications.

Your car has parts that are not road worthy

That one faulty light that you have been avoiding, or those tyres you’ve been meaning to replace the need to be done before you even hit the road. This also means taking your car for regular servicing. Taking your car that is not roadworthy onto the road can be dangerous and increases your risk of being involved in an accident.

Reckless behaviour

It can be tempting to rev up your engine and make a dash for it when there are no cops or cars around. You may even feel tempted to take on a dare from friends because ‘hey it’s the silly season’. But this is also a quick way to kiss any protection from your policy goodbye.

Not paying your dues

You may have your premiums waved depending on your insurer but ditching your responsibility to pay your premiums will cancel out protection from your policy since it will be cancelled out. Before you hit the road, check that all is in order in terms of payments.

Modifications that are not approved

Whether you have been saving up for a few modifications that will increase your car's performance or appearance, check with your insurer to see if these are ok. Some insurers will increase your premiums to adequately cover your car, but some may not cover you at all depending on the modification.