How to Check Car Insurance

Learn about how to check your CTP insurance and other types of car insurance with Savvy.

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, updated on February 15th, 2024       

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Car Insurance Banner - A young couple sitting in their car checking their car insurance policy on a tablet.

In Australia, car insurance is crucial to ensure you have the necessary protection on the road. Of the types of car insurance available, CTP insurance provides a fundamental level of cover, so it is important to check your car insurance from time to time to ensure it is up to date and valid.

Read Savvy’s informative guide to learn about how to check your car insurance. We cover how CTP insurance works in different states and how to check both CTP and other types of car insurance coverage to ensure you and your vehicle are protected.

What are the different types of car insurance in Australia?

In Australia, there are four types of car insurance cover:

  • Compulsory Third Party (CTP): CTP insurance is mandatory for all vehicles in Australia. It provides coverage for personal injury compensation to anyone who is injured or killed in an accident involving your vehicle.
  • Third party property damage (TPPD): this insurance covers damage caused to other vehicles or property by your vehicle, but does not cover damage to your own vehicle.
  • Third party fire and theft (TPFT): in addition to covering damage to other vehicles or property, this insurance also provides protection against fire and theft of your vehicle.
  • Comprehensive: comprehensive insurance offers the most extensive coverage. It provides protection for damage to your vehicle as well as damage to other vehicles or property caused by you. It typically includes coverage for accidents, theft, fire, vandalism and natural disasters.

While TPPD, TPFT and comprehensive insurance are optional levels of cover, all drivers in Australia must have CTP insurance for their car.

How does CTP insurance work?

CTP insurance is closely tied to your car’s registration. All vehicles driven in Australia must be covered by CTP insurance (known as a Green Slip in New South Wales), but how it works varies from state to state.

In the Northern Territory, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia, you have no choice of provider. In the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia, you can choose who to take out CTP insurance with from a list of providers. With the exception of New South Wales, where you need to purchase Green Slip insurance before registering your vehicle, CTP insurance will be paid at the same time as your car registration fees.

How do I check my CTP insurance?

If you are buying a used car or are unsure when your vehicle registration and CTP insurance are due to expire, you can check the CTP insurance online using your state or territory’s vehicle registration site. The checks are free and will include details of the current registration period and policy expiry date as well as other information such as the make and model of your car. Alternatively, you can check the policy documents or insurance certificate you received when taking out CTP insurance.

How long is my CTP insurance policy valid?

Your CTP insurance will be valid for the duration of your car’s registration. Wherever you are in Australia, you will need to renew your CTP insurance each time your car’s registration is up for renewal. With rare exceptions, it is illegal to drive an uninsured and unregistered car, so it is important you are aware of the expiry date to ensure you are always covered.

You will generally be able to register your vehicle for a set period of between 3 and 12 months, and your CTP insurance term will match this. If you are unsure of the policy term, you can check your insurance documentation or online, or contact your insurer. You should also receive a registration renewal notice either in the post or electronically in the weeks before it expires, which should act as a reminder to renew your registration and CTP insurance cover.

How do I check other types of car insurance policies?

CTP insurance provides a basic level of cover, but many drivers choose to take out additional car insurance to provide greater protection in the case of an incident on the road. This may be TPPD, TPFT or comprehensive cover, depending on your specific requirements.

When you buy car insurance, your provider will send you policy documents detailing the terms of the policy and other details such as the expiry date. You can refer to these documents or contact your insurer directly if you have any queries about your policy.

Frequently asked questions about checking car insurance

What happens if my CTP insurance expires?

If your CTP insurance expires, you will be legally unable to drive your car. It is important to renew your insurance as soon as possible. If you are driving uninsured and are in an accident, you may face significant financial and legal penalties, such as fines, licence suspension or vehicle seizure.

Can I change my CTP insurance provider?

Yes, in states and territories that give you a choice of provider you should be able to switch when renewing your CTP insurance or car registration. In most cases, this should be a relatively straightforward process, but keep in mind that once you have renewed your registration, you must stay with the selected CTP insurer until the end of the corresponding registration period.

What happens to my CTP insurance when I sell my car?

Unlike other types of car insurance, CTP insurance is linked to the car rather than the owner. If you sell your vehicle, the CTP cover will transfer to the new owner.

Note that TPPD, TPFT and comprehensive insurance cannot be transferred to another driver, though you may be able to transfer it to your new car if you are changing vehicles. 

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Savvy’s comparison service includes selected products from a panel of trusted insurers and does not compare all products in the market. Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy. We always recommend readers to consult the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) of different policies before purchasing your car insurance.