Vehicle insurance (also known as car insurance, motor insurance or auto insurance) is insurance for automobile, trucks, motorcycles, and other road vehicles. Its primary use is to provide financial protection against physical damage or bodily injury resulting from traffic collisions and against legal liability that could also arise from incidents in a vehicle. Vehicle insurance may additionally offer financial protection against Motor vehicle theft of the vehicle, and against damage to the vehicle sustained from events other than traffic collisions, such as keying (vandalism), weather or Natural disaster, and damage sustained by colliding with stationary objects. The specific terms of vehicle insurance vary with legal regulations in each region.
A compulsory car insurance scheme was first introduced in the United Kingdom with the Road Traffic Act 1930. This ensured that all vehicle owners and drivers had to be insured for their liability for injury or death to third parties whilst their vehicle was being used on a public road.
Several jurisdictions have experimented with a "pay-as-you-drive" insurance plan which utilizes either a tracking device in the vehicle or vehicle diagnostics. This would address issues of uninsured motorists by providing additional options and also charge based on the miles (kilometers) driven, which could theoretically increase the efficiency of the insurance, through streamlined collection.Wenzel T. (1995). [http://www.osti.gov/energycitations/product.biblio.jsp?query_id=1&page=0&osti_id=125357 Analysis of national pay-as-you-drive insurance systems and other variable driving charges]. Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA.
CTP insurance is linked to the registration of a vehicle. It is transferred when an already registered vehicle is sold. It covers the vehicle owner and any person who drives the vehicle against claims for liability in respect of the death or injury to people caused by the fault of the vehicle owner or driver, but not for damage. A Compulsory Third Party Insurance is the coverage which covers the third party with the repairing cost of the vehicle, any property damage or medication expenses which are encountered as a result of an accident by the insured. This may include any kind of physical damage, bodily injuries or damage to property and covers the cost of all reasonable medical treatment for injuries received in the accident, loss of wages, cost of care services, and in some cases compensation for pain and suffering. Notably, the motorist or the insured is responsible for his own loss as he is not covered for any loss in such type of insurance.
In New South Wales and the Northern Territory CTP insurance is compulsory; each vehicle must be insured when registered. A 'Greenslip,' another name by which CTP insurance is commonly known due to the colour of the form, must be obtained through one of the five licensed insurers in New South Wales. Suncorp and Allianz both hold two licences to issue CTP Greenslips – Suncorp under the GIO and AAMI licences and Allianz under the Allianz and CIC/Allianz licences. The remaining three licences to issue CTP Greenslips are held by QBE, Zurich and Insurance Australia Limited (NRMA). APIA and Shannons and InsureMyRide insurance also supply CTP insurance licensed by GIO. In addition to the Greenslip, additional car insurance can be purchased through insurers in Australia. This will cover claims that the standard CTP insurance cannot provide. This is known as a comprehensive car insurance.
A similar scheme applies in the Australian Capital Territory through AAMI, GIO and NRMA (IAL).
In Victoria (Australia), Third Party Personal insurance from the Transport Accident Commission is similarly included, through a levy, in the vehicle registration fee. A similar scheme applies in Western Australia, though there is only one CTP insurer, the Insurance Commission of Western Australia (ICWA).
The minimum coverage defined by German law for car liability insurance / third party personal insurance is: 7.5 million euro for bodily injury (damage to people), .5 million euro for property damage and 50,000 euro for financial/fortune loss which is in no direct or indirect coherence with bodily injury or property damage. Insurance companies usually offer all-in/combined single limit insurances of 50 Million Euro or 100 Million Euro (about 141 Million Dollar) for bodily injury, property damage and other financial/fortune loss (usually with a bodily injury coverage limitation of 8 to 15 million euro for each bodily injured person).
According to section 4(1) of the Motor Vehicles Insurance (Third Party Risks) Ordinance (Cap. 272 of the Laws of Hong Kong), all users of a car, include its permitted users, must have insurance or some other security with respect to third-party risks.
Auto insurance in India is a compulsory requirement for all new vehicles used whether for commercial or personal use. The insurance companies have tie-ups with leading automobile manufacturers. They offer their customers instant auto quotes. Auto premium is determined by a number of factors and the amount of premium increases with the rise in the price of the vehicle. The claims of the auto insurance in India can be accidental, theft claims or third party claims. Certain documents are required for claiming auto insurance in India, like duly signed claim form, RC copy of the vehicle, driving license copy, FIR copy, original estimate and policy copy.
There are different types of auto insurance in India:
Private Car Insurance – Private Car Insurance is the fastest growing sector in India as it is compulsory for all the new cars. The amount of premium depends on the make and value of the car, state where the car is registered and the year of manufacture.
Two Wheeler Insurance – The Two Wheeler Insurance in India covers accidental insurance for the drivers of the vehicle. The amount of premium depends on the current showroom price multiplied by the depreciation rate fixed by the Tariff Advisory Committee at the beginning of a policy period.
Commercial Vehicle Insurance – Commercial Vehicle Insurance in India provides cover for all the vehicles which are not used for personal purposes like trucks and HMVs. The amount of premium depends on the showroom price of the vehicle at the commencement of the insurance period, make of the vehicle and the place of registration of the vehicle.
The auto insurance generally includes:
The auto insurance does not include:
From 1968, those making deposits require the consent of the Minister for Transport to do so, with the sum specified by the Minister.
Those not exempted from obtaining insurance must obtain a certificate of insurance from their insurance provider, and display a portion of this (an insurance disc) on their vehicles' windscreen (if fitted). The certificate in full must be presented to a police station within ten days if requested by an officer. Proof of having insurance or an exemption must also be provided to pay for the Motor Tax in the Republic of Ireland.
Those injured or suffering property damage/loss due to uninsured drivers can claim against the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland's uninsured drivers fund, as can those injured (but not those suffering damage or loss) from hit and run offences.
Driving without the necessary insurance for that vehicle is an offence that can be prosecuted by the police and fines range from 841 to 3,287 euros. Police forces also have the power to seize a vehicle that does not have the necessary insurance in place, until the owner of the vehicle pays a fine and signs a new insurance policy. The same provision is applied when the vehicle is standing on a public road.
Minimal insurance policies cover only third parties (including the insured person and third parties carried with the vehicle, but not the driver, if the two do not coincide). Also the third parties, fire and theft are common insurance policies, while the all inclusive policies (''kasko'' policy) which include also damages of the vehicle causing the accident or the injuries. It is also common to include a renounce clause of the insurance company to compensate the damages against the insured person in some cases (usually in case of DUI or other infringement of the law by the driver).
The victims of accidents caused by non-insured vehicles could be compensated by the Road's Victim Warranty Fund (''Fondo garanzia vittime della strada''), which is covered by a fixed amount (2.5%, as 2015) of each RCA insurance premium.
Police forces have the power to seize vehicles that do not have the necessary insurance in place, until the owner of the vehicle pays the fine and signs a new insurance policy. Driving without the necessary insurance for that vehicle is an offence that will be prosecuted by the police and will receive penalty. Same provision is applied when the vehicle is standing on a public road.
The minimal insurance policies cover only third parties (included the insured person and third parties carried with the vehicle, but not the driver, if the two do not coincide). Also the third parties, fire and theft are common insurance policies.
The victims of accidents caused by non-insured vehicles could be compensated by a Warranty Fund, which is covered by a fixed amount of each insurance premium.
Since 2013 it is possible to contract an insurance by days as is possible in countries such as Germany and England. (generally referred to as the RTA 1988 as amended) which was last modified in 1991. The Act requires that motorists either be insured, or have made a specified deposit (GBP500,000 in 1991) and keeps the sum deposited with the Accountant General of the Supreme Court, against liability for injuries to others (including passengers) and for damage to other persons' property, resulting from use of a vehicle on a public road or in other public places.
It is an offence to use a motor vehicle, or allow others to use it without insurance that satisfies the requirements of the Act. This requirement applies while any part of a vehicle (even if a greater part of it is on private land) is on the public highway. No such legislation applies on private land. However, private land to which the public have a reasonable right of access (for example, a supermarket car park during opening hours) is considered to be included within the requirements of the Act.
Police have the power to seize vehicles that do not appear to have necessary insurance in place. A driver caught driving without insurance for the vehicle he/she is in charge of for the purposes of driving, is liable to be prosecuted by the police and, upon conviction, will receive either a fixed penalty or magistrate's courts penalty.
The registration number of the vehicle shown on the insurance policy, along with other relevant information including the effective dates of cover are transmitted electronically to the UK's Motor Insurance Database (MID) which exists to help reduce incidents of uninsured driving in the territory. The Police are able to spot-check vehicles that pass within range of automated number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras, that can search the MID instantly. It should be noted, however, that proof of insurance lies entirely with the issue of a Certificate of Motor Insurance, or cover note, by an Authorised Insurer which, to be valid, must have been previously 'delivered' to the insured person in accordance with the Act, and be printed in black ink on white paper.
The insurance certificate or cover note issued by the insurance company constitutes the only legal evidence that the policy to which the certificate relates satisfies the requirements of the relevant law applicable in Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Island of Guernsey, the Island of Jersey and the Island of Alderney. The Act states that an authorised person, such as a police officer, may require a driver to produce an insurance certificate for inspection. If the driver cannot show the document immediately on request, and evidence of insurance cannot be found by other means such as the MID, then the Police are empowered to seize the vehicle instantly.
The immediate impounding of an apparently uninsured vehicle replaces the former method of dealing with insurance spot-checks where drivers were issued with an HORT/1 (so-called because the order was form number 1 issued by the Home Office Road Traffic dept). This 'ticket' was an order requiring that within seven days, from midnight of the date of issue, the driver concerned was to take a valid insurance certificate (and usually other driving documents as well) to a police station of the driver's choice. Failure to produce an insurance certificate was, and still is, an offence. The HORT/1 was commonly known – even by the issuing authorities when dealing with the public – as a "Producer". As these are seldom issued now and the MID relied upon to indicate the presence of insurance or not, it is incumbent upon the insurance industry to accurately and swiftly update the MID with current policy details and insurers that fail to do so can be penalised by their regulating body.
Vehicles kept in the UK must now be continuously insured unless a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) has been formally submitted. This requirement arose following a change in the law in June 2011 when a regulation known as Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) came into force. The effect of this was that in the UK a vehicle that is not declared SORN, must have a valid insurance policy in force whether or not it is kept on public roads and whether or not it is driven.[http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/OwningAVehicle/Motorinsurance/DG_186696?CID=Continuous_Insurance&PLA=DM&CRE=Furl Stay insured: penalties for vehicles without motor insurance : Directgov – Motoring]. Direct.gov.uk.
Insurer, and Tax disc data, are shared by the relevant authorities including the Police and this forms an integral part of the mechanism of CIE. All UK registered vehicles, including those that are exempt from VED (for example, Historic Vehicles and cars with low or zero emissions) are subject to the VED taxation application process. Part of this is a check on the vehicle's insurance. A physical receipt for the payment of VED was issued by way of a paper disc which, prior to 1 October 2014, meant that all motorists in the UK were required to prominently display the tax disc on their vehicle when it was kept or driven on public roads. This helped to ensure that most people had adequate insurance on their vehicles because insurance cover was required to purchase a disc, although the insurance must merely have been valid at the time of purchase and not necessarily for the life of the tax disc.[http://www.taxdisc.direct.gov.uk/ DVLA Vehicle Licensing Online]. Taxdisc.direct.gov.uk. To address the problems that arise where a vehicle's insurance was subsequently cancelled but the tax disc remained in force and displayed on the vehicle and the vehicle then used without insurance, the CIE regulations are now able to be applied as the Driver & Vehicle Licence Authority (DVLA) and the MID databases are shared in real-time meaning that a taxed but uninsured vehicle is easily detectable by both authorities and Traffic Police. Post 1 October 2014 it is no longer a requirement to display a Tax disc (tax disc) on a vehicle.https://www.gov.uk/government/news/vehicle-tax-changes This has come about because the whole VED process can now be administered electronically and alongside the MID, doing away with the expense, to the UK Government, of issuing paper discs.
If a vehicle is to be "laid up" for whatever reason, a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) must be submitted to the DVLA to declare that the vehicle is off the public roads and will not return to them unless SORN is cancelled by the vehicle's owner. Once a vehicle has been declared 'SORN' then the legal requirement to insure it ceases, although many vehicle owners may desire to maintain cover for loss of or damage to the vehicle while it is off the road. A vehicle that is then to be put back on the road must be subject to a new application for VED and be insured. Part of the VED application requires an electronic check of the MID, in this way the lawful presence of a vehicle on the road for both VED and insurance purposes is reinforced. It follows that the only circumstances in which a vehicle can have no insurance is if it has a valid SORN; was exempted from SORN (as untaxed on or before 31/10/1998 and has had no tax or SORN activity since); is recorded as 'stolen and not recovered' by the Police; is between registered keepers; or is scrapped.
''RTA Insurer'' differs from ''Third Party Only Insurance'' (detailed below) and is not often sold, unless to underpin, for example, a corporate body wishing to self-insure above the requirements of the Act. It provides the very minimum cover to satisfy the requirements of the Act. ''Road Traffic Act Only Insurance'' has a limit of £1,000,000 for damage to third party property, while third party only insurance typically has a greater limit for third party property damage.
Motor insurers in the UK place a limit on the amount that they are liable for in the event of a claim by third parties against a legitimate policy. This can be explained in part by the Great Heck Rail Crash that cost the insurers over £22 million in compensation for the fatalities and damage to property caused by the actions of the insured driver of a motor vehicle that caused the disaster. No limit applies to claims from third parties for death or personal injury, however UK car insurance is now commonly limited to £20m for any claim or series of claims for loss of or damage to third party property caused by or arising out of one incident.
The minimum level of insurance cover generally available, and which satisfies the requirement of the Act, is called ''third party only insurance''. The level of cover provided by ''Third party only insurance'' is basic, but does exceed the requirements of the act. This insurance covers any liability to third parties, but does not cover any other risks.
More commonly purchased is ''third party, fire and theft''. This covers all third party liabilities and also covers the vehicle owner against the destruction of the vehicle by fire (whether malicious or due to a vehicle fault) and theft of the insured vehicle. It may or may not cover vandalism. This kind of insurance and the two preceding types do not cover damage to the vehicle caused by the driver or other hazards.
''Comprehensive Cover'' covers all of the above and damage to the vehicle caused by the driver themselves, as well as vandalism and other risks. This is usually the most expensive type of insurance. Interestingly, it is custom in the UK for insurance customers to refer to their Comprehensive Insurance as "Fully Comprehensive" or popularly, "Fully Comp". This is a tautology as the word 'Comprehensive' means full.
Some classes of vehicle ownership, or use, are "Crown Exempt" from the requirement to be covered under the Act including vehicles owned or operated by certain councils and local authorities, national park authorities, education authorities, police authorities, fire authorities, health service bodies, the security services and vehicles used to or from Shipping Salvage purposes. Although exempt from the requirement to insure this provides no immunity against claims being made against them, so an otherwise Crown Exempt authority may chose to insure conventionally, preferring to incur the known expense of insurance premiums rather than accept the open-ended exposure of effectively, self-insuring under Crown Exemption.
The Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) compensates the victims of road accidents caused by uninsured and untraced motorists. It also operates the MID, which contain details of every insured vehicle in the country and acts as a means to share information between Insurance.
Soon after the introduction of the Road Traffic Act in 1930, unexpected issues arose when motorists needed to drive a vehicle other than their own in genuine emergency circumstances. Volunteering to move a vehicle, for example, where another motorist had been taken ill or been involved in an accident, could lead to the 'assisting' driver being prosecuted for no insurance if the other car's insurance did not cover use by any driver. To alleviate this situation an extension to UK Car Insurances was introduced allowing a Policyholder to personally drive any other motor car not belonging to him/her and not hired to him/her under a hire purchase or leasing agreement. This extension of cover, known as "Driving Other Cars" (where it is granted) usually applies to the Policyholder only. The cover provided is for Third Party Risks only and there is absolutely no cover for loss of or damage to the vehicle being driven. This aspect of UK motor insurance is the only one that purports to cover the driving of a vehicle, not use.
On 1 March 2011, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled that gender could no longer be used by insurers to set car insurance premiums. The new ruling will come into action from December 2012.
The regulations for vehicle insurance differ with each of the U.S. state and other territories, with each U.S. state having its own mandatory minimum coverage requirements (''see separate main article''). Each of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia requires drivers to have insurance coverage for both bodily injury and property damage, but the minimum amount of coverage required by law varies by state. For example, minimum bodily injury liability coverage requirements range from $30,000 in Arizona while minimum property damage liability requirements range from $5,000 to $25,000 in most states.
Different policies specify the circumstances under which each item is covered. For example, a vehicle can be insured against theft, fire damage, or accident damage independently.
If a vehicle is declared a total loss and the vehicle's market value is less than the amount that is still owed to the bank that is financing the vehicle, GAP insurance may cover the difference. Not all auto insurance policies include GAP insurance. GAP insurance is often offered by the finance company at time the vehicle is purchased.
An excess payment, also known as a deductible, is a fixed contribution that must be paid each time a car is repaired with the charges billed to an automotive insurance policy. Normally this payment is made directly to the accident repair "garage" (the term "garage" refers to an establishment where vehicles are serviced and repaired) when the owner collects the car. If one's car is declared to be a "write off" (or "totaled"), then the insurance company will deduct the excess agreed on the policy from the settlement payment it makes to the owner.
If the accident was the other driver's fault, and this fault is accepted by the third party's insurer, then the vehicle owner may be able to reclaim the excess payment from the other person's insurance company.
The excess itself can also be protected by a motor excess insurance policy.
On 1 March 2011, the European Court of Justice decided insurance companies who used gender as a risk factor when calculating insurance premiums were breaching EU equality laws.Cendrowicz, Leo (2 March 2011) [http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,2056409,00.html E.U. Court to Insurers: Stop Making Men Pay More], Time.com. The Court ruled that car-insurance companies were discriminating against men. However, in some places, such as the UK, companies have used the standard practice of discrimination based on profession to still use gender as a factor, albeit indirectly. Professions which are more typically practised by men are deemed as being more risky even if they had not been prior to the Court's ruling while the converse is applied to professions predominant among women.
Critics point out the possibility of cheating the system by Odometer fraud. Although the newer electronic odometers are difficult to roll back, they can still be defeated by disconnecting the odometer wires and reconnecting them later. However, as the Cents Per Mile Now website points out:
As a practical matter, resetting odometers requires equipment plus expertise that makes stealing insurance risky and uneconomical. For example, to steal The program was discontinued in 2000. In following years many policies (including Progressive) have been trialed and successfully introduced worldwide into what are referred to as Telematic Insurance. Such 'telematic' policies typically are based on black-box insurance technology, such devices derive from a stolen vehicle and fleet tracking but are used for insurance purposes. Since 2010 GPS-based and Telematic Insurance systems have become more mainstream in the auto insurance market not just aimed at specialised auto-fleet markets or high value vehicles (with an emphasis on stolen vehicle recovery). Modern GPS-based systems are branded as 'PAYD' Pay As You Drive insurance policies, 'PHYD' Pay How You Drive or since 2012 Smartphone auto insurance policies which utilise smartphones as a GPS sensor, e.g.
.''Smartphone-Based Measurement Systems for Road Vehicle Traffic Monitoring and Usage-Based Insurance'', P. Händel, J. Ohlsson, M. Ohlsson, I. Skog, and E. Nygren, IEEE SYSTEMS JOURNAL, [https://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1109/JSYST.2013.2292721] A detailed survey of the smartphone as measurement probe for insurance telematics is provided in P. Handel, I. Skog, J. Wahlstrom, F. Bonawide, R. Welsh, J. Ohlsson, and M. Ohlsson: Insurance telematics: opportunities and challenges
with the smartphone solution, Intelligent Transportation Systems Magazine, IEEE, vol.6, no.4, pp. 57-70, winter 2014,
The Progressive Corporation launched Snapshot to give drivers a customized insurance rate based on recording how, how much, and when their car is driven.[http://www.progressive.com/snapshot/ "Snapshot, Snapshot Discount: Pay As You Drive (PAYD)"]. Progressive.com. Snapshot is currently available in 46 states plus the District of Columbia. Because insurance is regulated at the state level, Snapshot is currently not available in Alaska, California, Hawaii, and North Carolina. Driving data is transmitted to the company using an on-board telematic device. The device connects to a car's OnBoard Diagnostic (OBD-II) port (all petrol automobiles in the USA built after 1996 have an OBD-II.) and transmits speed, time of day and number of miles the car is driven. Cars that are driven less often, in less-risky ways, and at less-risky times of day, can receive large discounts. Progressive has received patents on its methods and systems of implementing usage-based insurance and has licensed these methods and systems to other companies.
Metromile also uses an OBDII-based system for their mileage-based insurance. They offer a true pay-per-mile insurance where behavior or driving style is not taken into account, and the user only pays a base rate along with a fixed rate per mile.
The use of non-intrusive load monitoring to detect drunk driving and other risky behaviors has been proposed.Davis, Harold (21 May 2009) [http://www.marketsandpatents.com/pdfs/stamford_advocate_sober_teen.pdf 'Black Box' idea travels to cars]. A US patent application combining this technology with a usage based insurance product to create a new type of behavior based auto insurance product is currently open for public comment on peer to patent.[http://www.peertopatent.org/patent/20090063201/activity US patent application 20090063201 "SoberTeen driving insurance"] . Peertopatent.org (20 May 2009). ''See Behavior-based safety''. Behaviour based Insurance focusing upon driving is often called Telematics or Telematics2.0 in some cases monitoring focus upon behavioural analysis such as smooth driving.