Failure to maintain vehicle and tyres can cost owners accident payouts.
With the current costs involved in buying vehicles in the first place, as well as those accrued when they have to be repaired or replaced, vehicle insurance may seem like a must have. But to ensure its there with a payout, and a suitably-sized one at that, to meet the costs in the event of fire, theft, or a collision on the road, it has to be the right insurance, and the car owner has to keep the car and it’s tyres well looked after and maintained. According to Australian tyre recycler Chris Lett, it may be easy for vehicle owners to overlook worn tyres or delay replacing them for a while, but they won’t be overlooked by insurers if a claim is made, and that could cost the vehicle owner a great deal.
To make sure they’re signing up for the right insurance policy, Lett says vehicle owners should be careful to read the small print in the policy documents carefully for exclusions, and following the agreement, owners should be sure to keep the car well maintained, and it’s insurer up to date in terms of its condition, or any repairs or changes that were made that were not connected to a claim. Otherwise, payouts may be withheld.
Tyres and changes can squash the payout. Lett says warn tyres are a big disqualifier. Not only are they dangerous but it will guarantee an unsuccessful claim, which is one of the reasons why it is so important to regularly check them and ensure they meet the legal tyre safety standards.
He said the insurers who refuse payout when tyres are badly worn, justify this by citing how these tyres can raise the risk of collision by lengthening braking distance, damaging other vital parts, and loosening the vehicle’s grip on the road which can make it more likely to crash, slide or roll, particularly in wet weather, all of which are a valid argument.
When it comes to changes made to cars, Lett says: “Most owners don’t realise that modifications to the vehicle such as a repaint job, can also cause a claim to be rejected, as the vehicle is not the same vehicle that the insurer originally agreed to cover.” Lett advises checking with the insurer before making any changes to the vehicle.
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Sometimes vehicle owners don’t have a choice. To make sure the insurance taken out is the right one, vehicle owners do have a number of possible choices. But not when it comes to Comprehensive Third Party (or Green Slip insurance). All Australian car owners are required to have this, no matter which state they live in. CTP protects the driver from financial liability by covering the third parties involved if there’s an accident which results in injury.
This includes passengers in the insured vehicle as well as other drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians (and any passengers they have), and all those travelling on public transport. Depending on the assessment of the claim, CTP may cover a number of costs such as general damages (pain and suffering), rehabilitation, care costs, loss of income, medical treatment, funeral costs, and even financial support for the surviving spouse, partner or dependents in the event of a fatal crash.
However, as CTP does not cover vehicle and property damage, which can run into thousands, come into their thousands, Chris Lett of Branigans Tyres in Queensland, suggests motorists investigate having additional insurance to ensure peace of mind in such a situation.
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“The best option is the one that fits the vehicle owner’s needs the best,” explains Lett. Comprehensive car insurance, which offers the most protection, covers any vehicle damage caused by collision, malicious actions, theft, or weather, but it is also the most costly in terms of premiums, and therefore might not be warranted if the vehicle is old.
This leaves Third Party Property Only, which, as its name suggests, covers only damage to the other vehicle or property, but not the policy owner’s. Fire and Theft Only policies cover the policy owner’s vehicle for fire damage and theft, but there is no cover included for damage caused in a collision.
For further information, visit or call Chris and his team for Second Hand Tyres Gold Coast |Branigans Budget Tyres at the Service Centres at either Burleigh Heads (07) 5535 2660 or Southport (07) 5591 8633.
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