Each Australian state has different rules about owning, driving and insuring motor vehicles. This can be a bit confusing if you are travelling interstate or if you are visiting from overseas. Confusion is no excuse for breaking the law or not complying with essential insurances, however. Failing to do so can have very serious consequences. Here’s what you need to know about green slips if you drive or own a vehicle in NSW.
What you need to know about green slips
By law, all motor vehicles registered in NSW must have a green slip insurance policy. (A trailer is covered under the green slip policy for the vehicle it is being hauled by).
A green slip provides insurance coverage for people killed or injured in a motor vehicle accident, such pedestrians, cyclists, passengers, motorcyclists, and drivers of other cars. If you are at fault and are injured the green slip does not provide you with anywhere near the level of cover as innocent parties. In fact, it is fair to say you, as an at-fault driver, are NOT covered for very much at all.
A green slip is to protect others against you.
Many people are not aware that they are not protected if they are at fault in an accident. A different type of insurance is needed to cover the driver, in that circumstance.
Many people are also not aware that any damage they may do to property, such as your car, another person’s car, home, shop, and so forth, are not covered by the green slip. The green slip does not provide protection against theft either.
The term “green slip” is colloquial and the formal name for this type of insurance is “compulsory third party insurance” or CTP insurance. It is referred to as a “green slip” because the piece of paper it comes on is… yep, green.
At the time of registering or renewing the registration for a motor vehicle, all owners must provide evidence of a paid and current green slip policy. The Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) will not register a vehicle without this. If your green slip policy expires before your rego falls due you are in breach of the law and the consequences can be severe, particularly if you are involved in an accident.
What do you get for your green slip payment?
When you pay for your green slip what you are actually doing is buying into two insurance schemes regulated by Government. One is the Third-Party Insurance Scheme, which is regulated by the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999. The other is the Lifetime Care and Support Scheme. It is regulated by the Motor Accidents (Lifetime Care and Support) Act 2006. These two funds serve to support people who are injured on the roads with medical care, through rehabilitation, and in the form of compensation, if appropriate. They also provide assistance for the families of people who are killed in motor vehicle accidents.
Don’t rely on the green slip: take out adequate additional insurance
In addition to a green slip, most drivers opt to take out at least basic insurance to insure themselves in the event of an at-fault accident, and against property damage. This can prevent extreme financial hardship that can result from injury to the at-fault driver and other people’s property.
If you can afford it, the safest way to go is to choose a comprehensive insurance policy, to cover all possible eventualities, including fire, theft, personal injury and at-fault accidents.
Joanne Lemke is a final year creative writing student at UOW, who is looking to break into the corporate copywriting space once she graduates and hopefully go on to eventually some day write a book around her other passions, namely cooking and travel.