Am I covered for that? 10 questions about car insurance answered

I’m selling my car; can I transfer my insurance to a new owner? 

My street flooded, and my car has been water damaged; can I claim that on my insurance? 

“We’ve compiled the answers to a number of common questions people have about their QBE personal car insurance* because knowing what you are and aren’t covered for is crucial to making the right purchase for you,” says QBE Head of Motor Claims, Norm Casamento. 

1. Will car insurance cover repairs?

Yes, if you have a comprehensive insurance policy or a third party fire and theft insurance policy and we’ve authorised the repairs. 

“When your car needs to be fixed after an accident you want a repairer you can trust, this is why we have an Accredited Smash Repairer network across Australia,” says Casamento. 

“We’ve hand-picked nationwide repairers because they have exceptional knowledge, skills and equipment which means you can trust in their service and safe repairs. They’ll take care of you and your car, so you have the best claims experience possible,” he adds. 

It’s important to note that repairs for damage to your car due to normal wear and tear or from mechanical or electrical breakdown are not covered. 

2. Will car insurance cover a blown engine?

Unfortunately, car insurance will not cover a worn out engine. 

“A blown engine falls under damage from normal wear and tear or from mechanical or electrical breakdown caused by ageing or ordinary use of the car,” Casamento says. 

3. Will car insurance cover vandalism?

“If you have comprehensive car insurance, we’ll usually cover vandalism, for example if someone keys your car,” Casamento says. 

“However, if you have third party, fire and theft insurance, we’ll only cover damage related to theft or fire. So if a person attempts theft and damages your car in this process, for example, if your window is smashed, then we can cover these damages,” he adds. 


4. Will car insurance cover a cracked windshield?

Yes, if you have comprehensive cover, says Casamento. 

“If you have a comprehensive car insurance policy, you’ll likely be covered for full replacement or repairs if your windscreen is damaged in an accident or if it’s accidentally damaged. If we’re able to repair the glass,” we’ll also usually waive the vehicle excess,” he adds. 

If you make a claim for a broken windshield, it won’t affect your no claim bonus. 

“We reward our customers who have a good claims history and experience with a no claims bonus scheme. The bonus is a discount we apply to our base premium that increases by 10% every year you don’t make an at-fault claim until your reach our highest rating which is 60% after five years of being claim free,” Casamento explains. 

There are three types of at-fault claims which affect your no claim bonus. 

  • At fault, where you, another drive of your vehicle or its passengers, were fully or partly at fault
  • Not recoverable, where someone else was at fault, but you weren’t able to provide us with their name, address and registration details 
  • Claims for damage where the cause was weather, fire, theft or attempted theft, or malicious damage.

5. Will car insurance cover water damage?

Yes, if your car is inundated by water, you’re covered under comprehensive car insurance, according to Casamento. 

6. Will car insurance cover a broken window?

Yes, with comprehensive cover.

“The same rules apply for a broken window as for a cracked windshield. Any claim for a broken window or windshield will not affect your no claim bonus,” Casamento explains. 


7. Will car insurance cover paint damage?

“Paint damage falls under damage from normal wear and tear or from mechanical or electrical breakdown caused by ageing or ordinary use of the car, for example, if it’s been left out in the sun for a number of years and the paint begins to peel,” Casamento says.

“But if paint damage has occurred from vandalism or malicious damage, such as if someone has graffitied or scratched your vehicle, comprehensive car insurance will likely cover this.”

8. Will car insurance cover mice damage?

Yes, we’ll likely cover mice damage under comprehensive car insurance. 

9. Will car insurance cover a stolen car?

Yes, you’ll be covered if your car is stolen if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy or a third party fire and theft insurance policy. 

“We’ll also reimburse you the cost of hiring a similar car until your stolen vehicle is found, until your claim for theft is paid or the benefit limit is reached. For example, for QBE’s comprehensive car and third party fire and theft car insurance, the benefit limits include hire car costs up to 14 days or $1000,” Casamento says. 

It’s important to note there are exclusions that are associated with theft. 

10. Can car insurance be transferred to a new owner? 

Unfortunately, it cannot. 

“Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance goes with the registration of the car and as such, transfers to the new owner. However, any other car insurance including comprehensive or third party, fire and theft insurance is a binding contract with one person,” Casamento says.


*This is the QBE Direct Motor Vehicle product disclosure statement & policy wording (QM6513-1118). 

The advice on this website is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You must decide whether or not it is appropriate, in light of your own circumstances, to act on this advice. You should ensure you obtain and consider the policy wording or Product Disclosure Statement for the policy before you make any decision to buy it.

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