L2P – Insurance And The Lowdown Of The Legals

 In News

The Inside word on Insurance and the Lowdown of the Legals.

Congratulations! If you’re reading this, you’re probably close to getting your licence or buying a car. Having a licence and being on the road are tickets to certain kinds of freedom, but they also come with some responsibilities and it’s good to know how to be prepared for the legal expectations that may be coming your way.

Getting on the road
• When driving on your P Plates you must have zero drugs or alcohol in your system. Alcohol can affect you for 24 hours after your last drink. Other drugs can influence your driving for up to 72 hours and be detected in you for a month.
• Keep at or below the posted speed limit at all times.
• Don’t exceed the number of passengers your licence permits.
• If the police are behind you with lights flashing, pull over and park at the first safe opportunity.
• Make sure you are careful not to drive fatigued – particularly late at night and long driving sessions.

Infringement and Penalty Notices
• Whoever was driving the car at the time is legally responsible for fines and demerit points – but until it is proved who the driver was, the owner is assumed responsible.
• If you weren’t the driver, nominate who was. It’s a crime to nominate someone else as the driver if it was you.
• Infringement notices should be filled out/paid immediately – you have 28 days to complete any actions.
• If you don’t believe you are actually guilty of the offence, seek legal advice immediately about challenging it.
• If you don’t pay them in the time the notice states, you can incur large extra fees.
• If in doubt, or if unable to pay, seek help from a legal service as soon as possible.

If you are ever involved in an accident:
• Stop and make sure everyone is ok. Call emergence services on 000 if anyone is injured.
• Don’t admit liability/fault – let the police and insurance companies decide this.
• Exchange contact details & car registration with other drivers (ask to see their licence).
• Take some photos of all cars, if you can.
• Write down the time, location and details of the accident.
• Contact your insurance company

Car Insurance

You always aim to drive safe and incident free, but sometimes, things just happen. It may be your fault, it may be someone else’s. If you have an accident, then depending on the policy the insurance company may pay for any damage. You pay a certain amount per month or year to the insurance company. If you have insurance it may also help out if your car is stolen.

If you are not covered by insurance, have an accident and it is your fault, then you personally may have to pay. It doesn’t matter if your car is cheap, you may also have to pay for the other car. We’ve heard the story of a P-plater in a $600 car that didn’t seem worth insuring who hit a BMW and ended up owing $80 000.

There are two main types of insurance you can purchase. ‘Full Comprehensive’ and ‘Third Party’.

Full Comprehensive Insurance

• Covers an agreed or market value for your car if it is in accident
• Will cover damages to other people’s cars and property.
• Will cover all or some of the value of your car if stolen.

Third Party Insurance

• If you are at fault in an accident all costs for every other vehicle and damage will be covered.
• Will cover all or some of the value of your car if stolen.

It’s important to remember that even with insurance, they may refuse to cover you if you are breaking the law, or not following the terms of the insurance policy.

We strongly recommend that as a minimum, you have Third Party Insurance.

For up to date information on insurance see this website:
https://www.everyday-law.org.au/car-insurance-claims-and-repairs

During Coronavirus restrictions and lockdowns
During times of Level 3 COVID-19 restrictions, make sure that any travel that you are doing is close to home, and for one of the 4 reasons for leaving home.

1. For employment or study; if you can’t do these things from home.
2. To give or receive care.
3. To exercise.
4. To shop for essential items.

Getting caught out on one of these can result in extra legal or financial outcomes you don’t want to be dealing with.

If you are having any legal or insurance issues, get help as soon as possible. Contact West Justice https://www.westjustice.org.au/legal-help or call 9749 7720

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