What does car insurance cover?

The things your car insurance covers depends on the type of cover you have; in Australia, there are three broad types of car insurance:

  • Comprehensive car insurance, which covers loss or damage to your car, as well as  your liability for the damage it causes to other people’s property, including their vehicles. Read more
  • Third party property car insurance, which generally only covers your liability for the damage your car causes to other people’s property, including their vehicles. Read more
  • Compulsory third party (CTP) insurance, which covers compensation claims made against you for injuring or killing someone in an accident.

Does car insurance cover repairs to my car?

If you’re a comprehensive car insurance policyholder, we’ll cover the cost of repairing accidental damage to your car due to a collision, severe weather, fire, theft and vandalism.

If you’re a Third Party Fire and Theft policyholder, we’ll cover the cost of repairing damage to your car due to fire or theft only.

Does car insurance cover theft of my car?

If you’re a comprehensive or Third Party Fire and Theft policyholder, we’ll pay you the amount for which your car is covered if it’s stolen and not found.

You’ll need to report the theft to the police before lodging a claim.

Is my car covered for hail and storm damage?

If you’re a comprehensive car insurance policyholder, we’ll cover the cost of repairing damage to your car due to severe weather, including storms, floods, and hail.

Does car insurance cover vandalism?

If you’re a comprehensive car insurance policyholder, we’ll cover the cost of repairing damage to your car due to malicious damage or vandalism.

You’ll need to report the incident to the police before lodging a claim.

Does car insurance cover fire damage?

If you’re a comprehensive or Third Party Fire and Theft policyholder, we’ll cover the cost of repairing fire-damage to your car.

If the fire is suspicious, you’ll need to report it to the police before lodging a claim.

Am I covered for the damage my car causes to other people's vehicles?

If you’re a comprehensive or third party property policyholder, we’ll cover your liability for the damage your car causes to other people’s property, including their cars and homes.

Does car insurance include the cost of towing?

If you’re a comprehensive policyholder, we’ll cover the cost of recovering, towing and storing your car if it’s stolen or unsafe to drive as a result of accidental damage.

If you’re a Third Party Fire and Theft policyholder, we’ll cover the cost of recovering, towing and storing your car if it’s stolen or unsafe to drive due to fire damage (i.e. towing is not covered if your car is damaged because of any other reason). 

Does car insurance cover the cost of a taxi home?

If your comprehensively insured car is damaged and undriveable, we can pay for the driver and passengers to be transported to the address where the car is normally kept at night. 

(If transport is unavailable, we can pay for the cost of their temporary accommodation.)

We can pay up to $100 per day, up to a total of $300 (standard comprehensive) or $850 (Gold Comprehensive).

Does car insurance cover the cost of emergency accommodation?

If your comprehensively insured car is damaged and undriveable, we can pay for emergency accommodation for the driver and passengers.

This is assuming there is no alternative transport available (e.g. a taxi). 

We can pay up to $100 per day, up to a total of $300 (standard comprehensive) or $850 (Gold Comprehensive).

Does car insurance cover windscreen replacement?

If you’re a comprehensive car insurance policyholder, we’ll cover the cost of replacing your car’s damaged window glass, including its windscreen.

Note that your window glass excess is the same as your Basic Excess; for an additional premium, you can reduce your window glass excess to just $40.

You can do this when you get a quote and buy a policy or – if you’ve already bought one – by calling us on 1300 306 560 or logging into your online account and editing your policy at renewal time.

Does car insurance cover business use?

Yes — we’ll cover a car you use for your business or occupation, as long as:

  • you select ‘business use’ when you buy your policy; and
  • the car is not used for any of the following:
    • carrying passengers for payment, including taxis and/or ridesharing (e.g. Uber)
    • carrying or delivering other people’s goods for payment, whether you’re a contractor, employee or something else (e.g. parcel or food delivery)
    • driving tuition for payment
    • hiring the car to other people.

What’s the difference between ‘Gold’ and ‘standard’ comprehensive car insurance?

Budget Direct offers two levels of comprehensive car insurance: Gold and standard.

They include the same types of benefits, however several of the Gold Comprehensive Car Insurance benefit amounts are more generous (see table below). 

(Whereas the Gold Car Insurance policy can be bought online for a discount, the standard one can be purchased only over the phone.)

  Gold Comprehensive Standard Comprehensive
New car replacement 2 years / 40,000 km 1 year / 20,000 km
Damage to your caravan or trailer in a collision Up to $1,000
(caravan and trailer)
Up to $500 
(trailer only)
Emergency transport and accommodation $100 a day
($850 in total)
$100 a day
($300 in total)
Damage or theft of personal effects in your car Up to $500 
(theft and damage)
Up to $250
(damage only)
Damage or theft of child seat/baby capsule in your car Up to $500 (Covered as part of your personal effects)
  Quote Now Call 1800 700 027

Does car insurance cover contents stolen from or damaged in my car?

If you’re a Gold comprehensive policyholder, we’ll pay you up to $500 if your personal effects are damaged in a collision or stolen from your car.

We’ll also pay you, separately, up to $500 if any child seats/baby capsules are damaged in a collision or stolen from your car.

If you’re a standard comprehensive policyholder, we’ll pay you up to $250 if your personal effects (including child seats/baby capsules) are damaged in a collision.

Read more about comprehensive car insurance

Does my cover include stolen car keys?

If you’re a comprehensive car insurance policyholder, we’ll cover the cost of replacing your car keys or remote locking device if they’re stolen and not recovered, up to $1,000.

You’ll need to report the theft to the police before lodging a claim.

Does car insurance cover loss or damage to a caravan and/or trailer?

If you’re a Gold comprehensive policyholder, we’ll pay you up to $1,000 if your caravan or trailer is damaged in a collision while you are towing it

If you’re a standard comprehensive policyholder, we’ll pay you up to $500 if your trailer (caravans are not covered) is damaged in a collision while you are towing it.

Read more about comprehensive car insurance

Does car insurance include a hire car?

If you’re a comprehensive policyholder and your car is damaged in a no-fault accident, we can supply you with a compact car for up to 14 days. 

If you’re a comprehensive or Third Party Property, Fire and Theft policyholder and your car is stolen, we can supply you with a hire car similar to yours for up to 14 days, up to $1,000.

If you’re a comprehensive policyholder, for an additional premium you can upgrade your cover and get a hire car if your car is damaged in an at-fault accident.

You can add this at-fault hire-car option to your policy when you buy your cover or – if you’ve already bought it – by calling us on 1300 306 560 or logging into your online account and editing your policy.

Does my cover include a new-car replacement?

If you’re a comprehensive car insurance policyholder, we’ll give you a new-car replacement if you purchased your car new or as a demo model and it becomes a total loss:

  • within two years or 40,000km (whichever comes first) of the original registration (Gold Comprehensive Car Insurance)
  • within one year or 20,000km (whichever comes first) of the original registration (standard Comprehensive Car Insurance).

Does car insurance cover mechanical breakdowns?

No – car insurance covers you for loss or damage resulting from unforeseen events like accidents and theft, as opposed to mechanical breakdowns due to wear and tear.

Does car insurance cover engine failure?

Normally, Budget Direct car insurance does not cover your car for mechanical, structural, electrical, electronic, computer or computer program failures, malfunctions or breakdowns.

This is unless the problem was caused directly by one of our insured events, in which case we can cover the cost of repair or replacement.

(If your car’s engine fails within its warranty period due to no fault of your own, you may be able to claim the cost from the manufacturer or car dealer.)

If you have Budget Direct Roadside Assistance, we can arrange to have your car towed if its engine dies.

Does car insurance cover road hazards?

Comprehensive car insurance can cover loss or damage to your car due to unforeseen or unexpected events like accidents and theft.

This includes damage caused by road hazards (e.g. stray animals, rockfalls, potholes) that were outside your control.

Note that any claim Budget Direct cannot recover from another party (e.g. an accident involving an animal) will be deemed an at-fault claim.

This means you’ll be required to pay your Basic Excess, as well as any additional excesses that may apply.

Third party property damage car insurance covers your liability for accidental damage your car causes to other people’s property (e.g. their car and home). It does not cover damage to your car.

Does car insurance cover single-vehicle accidents?

We can cover loss or damage to your comprehensively insured car if it’s in a single-vehicle accident.

Because there are no other parties involved, your claim will be treated as an at-fault claim (you’ll have to pay your Basic Excess and any additional excesses that apply).

Third Party Property Only and Third Party Property, Fire and Theft car insurance cover collision damage to other people’s vehicles — not yours. 

So, if you have either of these types of cover and you’re in a single-vehicle accident, you’ll have to foot the bill to repair or replace your car.

Does car insurance cover hitting an animal?

If you’re a comprehensive car insurance policyholder, we’ll cover the cost of repairing damage to your car due to a collision with a domestic (e.g. a cow) or wild (e.g. a kangaroo) animal.

Am I covered for putting wrong fuel in my car?

No – we do not cover any claims arising from the use of incorrect fuel.

Does my cover include medical bills?

No – in Australia, your emergency medical and hospital bills are claimable from Medicare and/or your private health fund.

If you’re injured in a car accident caused by someone else, you can also make a personal injury claim through the compulsory third party (CTP) insurer of the vehicle of the driver you believe is at fault.

Does car insurance cover loss of earnings?

No — if you use your comprehensively insured car for business, any consequential losses (e.g. loss of income) you incur while it’s being repaired are not covered by us.

If you’re injured in an accident caused by someone else, you can make a compensation claim against the at-fault driver’s compulsory third party insurer.

As well as medical and other expenses, you may be able to claim income-support payments.

For more information, contact your CTP insurer or the CTP regulator or administrator in your state or territory.

Is my car covered for off-road driving?

Yes – as long as you take all reasonable steps to prevent any loss or damage, and your car’s not being used for racing, trials, tests, contests or rallies.

Does car insurance cover vehicles used for ridesharing or ride-hailing services?

While many general insurers in Australia provide cover for cars used for business, some insurers — like Budget Direct — do not cover certain uses.

These disallowed uses include carrying passengers for payment (e.g. ridesharing services like Uber, Lyft, Didi, and Ola).

This is regardless of whether you use your car as a contractor, employee or as part of some other remuneration arrangement.

If you can’t find suitable business-use car insurance, you might have to take out commercial motor vehicle insurance instead.

You may wish to start your search by visiting the Insurance Council of Australia’s Find an Insurer website.

Does Budget Direct offer cover for classic and vintage cars?

It will generally depend on the car’s specifications and who the regular driver is, especially if it’s a high-performance vehicle.

To find out whether we’ll cover your classic or vintage car, please get a quote.

Does car insurance cover me while driving in other countries?

No. If you intend to drive a rental car overseas, it may be wise to get travel insurance instead.

Specifically, you should consider getting a policy that covers any hire-car insurance excess you become liable to pay as a result of the car being damaged or stolen.

This could potentially save you several thousand dollars.

Does car insurance cover damage to my parked car?

Yes – Budget Direct Comprehensive Car Insurance can cover loss or damage to your parked car.

If someone hits your unattended car and leaves their details, we’ll recover the costs from them or their insurer — you won’t have to pay an excess.

If they fail to leave their details, unfortunately it will be deemed an at-fault claim.

This means you’ll be required to pay your Basic Excess, as well as any additional excesses that may apply.

Does car insurance cover a hit-and-run?

Budget Direct Comprehensive Car Insurance can cover the cost to repair or replace your car if it’s damaged by another vehicle that fails to stop.

A hit-and-run can be an at-fault driver who:

  • intentionally leaves an accident scene without exchanging their details; or
  • hits an unattended parked car and fails to leave their details.

Unfortunately, unless you’re able to provide us with the other driver’s full name, residential address and vehicle registration number, it will be treated as an at-fault claim.

This means you’ll have to pay your Basic Excess (as well as any additional excesses that may apply).

If you have Budget Direct Third Party Property, Fire and Theft or Third Party Property Only insurance, you’re not covered for any collision damage to your car.

However, if you’re able to track down the other driver, you may be able to recover the cost of any repairs from them.

If you find the other driver and it turns out they’re uninsured, you can lodge a claim with us — up to your car’s market value or $5,000 (whichever is the lesser).

Does car insurance cover accidents caused by drink driving?

No — Budget Direct car insurance does not cover any loss, damage or liability arising out of an accident caused by a driver whose blood alcohol content was over the legal limit at the time of or immediately after an accident.

The only exception is if:

  • the driver was not named in your Budget Direct car insurance policy; and
  • we agree that you did not know, or could not have reasonably known, the person was driving your car under the influence of alcohol.

However, the driver of the car will not be covered for any loss or liability; and we may try to recover all the claims costs from them.

Is my car insured if I drive it after abdominal surgery, including a caesarean section?

As long as your doctor or specialist has declared you fit to drive following your abdominal surgery, your Budget Direct-insured car will be covered.

There are no universal guidelines for when women may resume driving following surgery, including caesarean section and abdominal hysterectomy.

According to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, after surgery it may take women 2–6 weeks before they’re ready to drive again.

If you have hernia surgery, you can expect to be able to drive again 4–7 days afterwards, subject to a medical clearance from your surgeon.

Is my car insured if I drive it with high blood pressure?

By law you must report any long-term or permanent injury or illness that may affect your ability to drive safely, including high blood pressure (which can cause a stroke).

This must be done at the time the condition occurs, not just when renewing your licence.

After you’ve notified them, the driver licensing authority (DLA) in your state or territory may ask you to undergo an assessment of your fitness to drive.

Depending on the outcome of the assessments, your drivers licence may be maintained, suspended, cancelled, or made conditional.

As long as you have a valid licence and comply with its conditions and any restrictions, your Budget Direct-insured car will be covered.

For more information, read the national medical standards for driver licensing and/or contact the road transport authority in your state or territory.

Is my car insured if I drive it after a heart attack?

By law you must report any long-term or permanent injury or illness that may affect your ability to drive safely.

These include cardiovascular conditions, such as ischaemic heart disease, that can trigger a heart attack.

You must report the condition when it occurs, not just when renewing your licence.

After you’ve notified them, the driver licensing authority (DLA) in your state or territory may ask you to undergo an assessment of your fitness to drive.

Depending on the outcome of the assessments, your drivers licence may be maintained, suspended, cancelled, or made conditional.

As long as you have a valid licence and comply with its conditions and any restrictions, your Budget Direct-insured car will be covered.

For more information:

Is my car insured if I drive it with cancer?

By law you must report any long-term or permanent injury or illness that may affect your ability to drive safely, including cancer.

This must be done at the time the condition occurs, not just when renewing your licence.

After you’ve notified them, the driver licensing authority (DLA) in your state or territory may ask you to undergo an assessment of your fitness to drive.

Depending on the outcome of the assessment, your drivers licence may be maintained, suspended, cancelled, or made conditional.

As long as you have a valid licence and comply with its conditions and any restrictions, your Budget Direct-insured car will be covered.

For more information, contact the road transport authority in your state or territory.

Can I get car insurance if I have diabetes?

By law you must report any long-term or permanent injury or illness that may affect your ability to drive safely, including diabetes.

This must be done at the time the condition occurs, not just when renewing your licence.

After you’ve notified them, the driver licensing authority (DLA) in your state or territory may ask you to undergo an assessment of your fitness to drive.

Depending on the outcome of the assessment, your drivers licence may be maintained, suspended, cancelled, or made conditional.

As long as you have a valid licence and comply with its conditions and any restrictions, your Budget Direct-insured car will be covered.

For more information:

Can I get car insurance if I have multiple sclerosis?

By law you must report any long-term or permanent injury or illness that may affect your ability to drive safely, including multiple sclerosis, or MS.

This must be done at the time the condition occurs, not just when renewing your licence.

After you’ve notified them, the driver licensing authority (DLA) in your state or territory may ask you to undergo an assessment of your fitness to drive.

Depending on the outcome of the assessments, your drivers licence may be maintained, suspended, cancelled, or made conditional (e.g. driving with modifications such as hand and foot controls).

As long as you have a valid licence and comply with its conditions and any restrictions, your Budget Direct-insured car will be covered.

If you’re one of our policyholders, please note that you must get our written permission before making any modifications to your vehicle.

For more information:

Can I get car insurance if I have dementia?

By law you must report any long-term or permanent injury or illness that may affect your ability to drive safely, including dementia.

This must be done at the time the condition occurs, not just when renewing your licence.

After you’ve notified them, the driver licensing authority (DLA) in your state or territory may ask you to undergo an assessment of your fitness to drive.

Depending on the outcome of the assessment, your drivers licence may be maintained, suspended, cancelled, or made conditional.

As long as you have a valid licence and comply with its conditions and any restrictions, your Budget Direct-insured car will be covered.

For more information:

Can I get car insurance if I have a mental illness?

By law you must report any long-term or permanent injury or illness that may affect your ability to drive safely, including psychiatric conditions.

These include schizophrenia, depression, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and substance abuse conditions.    

You must report your condition at the time the condition occurs, not just when renewing your licence.

After you’ve notified them, the driver licensing authority (DLA) in your state or territory may ask you to undergo an assessment of your fitness to drive.

Depending on the outcome of the assessment, your drivers licence may be maintained, suspended, cancelled, or made conditional.

As long as you have a valid licence and comply with its conditions and any restrictions, your Budget Direct-insured car will be covered.

For more information, read the national medical standards for driver licensing and/or contact the road transport authority in your state or territory.   

Can I get car insurance if I have sleep apnoea?

By law you must report any long-term or permanent injury or illness that may affect your ability to drive safely, including sleep disorders.

These disorders include sleep apnoea, insomnia and narcolepsy.

You must report you condition when it occurs, not just when renewing your licence.

After you’ve notified them, the driver licensing authority (DLA) in your state or territory may ask you to undergo an assessment of your fitness to drive.

Depending on the outcome of the assessments, your drivers licence may be maintained, suspended, cancelled, or made conditional

As long as you have a valid licence and comply with its conditions and any restrictions, your Budget Direct-insured car will be covered.

For more information, read the national medical standards for driver licensing and/or contact the road transport authority in your state or territory.   

Do you offer any optional extras?

For an additional premium, you can customise your comprehensive car insurance by adding one or more of these optional benefits to your policy:

  • No-claim discount protection
    Make one claim per year or two claims in a three-year period without affecting your no-claim discount – even if the accident was your fault.
  • Hire car following an accident
    Get a compact hire car not only if your car is stolen (a standard benefit), but also if it’s damaged in an accident – up to 14 days.
  • Reduced window-glass excess
    Reduce your excess for damage to your car’s window glass, including windscreen, to just $40.

Can I get roadside assistance too?

Yes – you can get roadside assistance for just $79.95 a year – with or without a Budget Direct car insurance policy.

Read more about roadside assistance

What is a product disclosure statement?

A product disclosure statement (PDS) is a document containing all the things you need to know about an insurance product.

Budget Direct’s car insurance PDS comprises two separate parts:

Part A contains general information about the product, including:

  • permitted use of the car
  • types of cover
  • what is covered (the ‘benefits’) – and the terms and conditions under which these benefits are provided
  • what is not covered (the ‘exclusions’)
  • how to claim
  • car repairs.

Part B contains specific details about the product, including:

  • benefit-amount limits
  • excess types (Basic and additional excesses)
  • optional benefits
  • administration and cancellation fees.

Read the product disclosure statement

Get a car insurance quote online