New Zealand is one of the very few first-world countries that do not have compulsory 3rd party insurance, and it’s reported that close to a quarter of NZ driver’s have been hit by an uninsured driver. The rate’s even higher in Auckland at almost a third of car insurance repairs & claims caused by uninsured drivers!
Comprehensive motor insurance is very inexpensive in NZ by international standards and can be further reduced by accepting a higher excess – a smart move for any careful driver. And 3rd party cover is extremely cheap at only around $100. So there is absolutely no reason responsible private motorists and business fleets should have to tolerate the mayhem caused by uninsured drivers. They are predominantly old low value cars, but is also disproportionately the choice of Generation Y drivers – we say choice, because there is no excuse to opt out of the cheap protection provided by 3rd party cover. Uninsured drivers no doubt site the financial burden of any insurance, but REALLY, this is a question of personal responsibility and there is no excuse. It’s incredibly difficult, time-consuming and frustrating trying to retrieve accident repair costs from an uninsured driver, but the uninsured are suddenly aggrieved and demanding of generous compensation at the merest paint scratch to their (often) un-WOFed, un-registered 20yr old rolling health & safety hazard.
There is a view that cheaper car insurance can be obtained by bundling all house-hold policies for a better rate, but ultimately you only get what you pay for. At Crash Management we often see disputes between policy holders, assessors, and insurance companies when it comes time for car insurance repairs, especially around the issue of second-hand parts on late model cars. In our experience the specialist motor vehicle insurers ultimately deliver far better value and happier customers. Protecta Insurance is an excellent example of a specialist motor insurer, along with Nissan Insurance who promise new replacement parts.
There is a decades old argument in NZ is in favor of compulsory 3rd party insurance, and this could easily be facilitated via the annual car registration fee to ensure everyone complies fairly. It would take more policing though and some tough penalties to get unregistered cars off our road – and we’re all in favor of that. The benefits are clear – to all innocent drivers and more broadly to the wider economy. So what’s the hold up?