Compulsory car insurance supported

ROB STOCK
Last updated 12:05 13/12/2012
Car crash.
Fairfax NZ
INSURANCE IMPACT: A new survey has found that 93 per cent of insured drivers want third party insurance compulsory.

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Over 90 per cent of insured drivers think everyone who owns a car should be forced to follow suit, a survey by research agency Canstar Blue has found.

New Zealand is relatively unusual in not making it compulsory for car owners to have at least third party insurance to protect others against losses they cause.

That means all the insured drivers have to pay to insure against the risk of being crashed into by an uninsured driver.

AA Insurance estimated for the Sunday Star-Times in October that the cost of that equated to around $3.50 to $5 in every $100 of premium paid by insured drivers.

Canstar Blue's survey shows how strong support is for compulsory insurance. However it is not really known exactly how many car owners do not have it, with estimates ranging from around nine per cent nationally to as high as 20 per cent in some areas of the country.

Canstar New Zealand National Manager, Derek Bonnar, said: ''With this level of support, perhaps now is the time for the Government to re-consider compulsory third party insurance.''

Reasons for the country not making vehicle insurance compulsory include a lack of support from insurers, but the inequity is greater than simply forcing insured drivers to pay for extra insurance.

The Fire Service is partly paid for with levies raised on car insurance, so uninsured drivers aren't paying their fair share there either.

''Having been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, just like 18 per cent of those in the survey, I can say that it is more than an inconvenience, it's a damn nuisance,'' Bonnar said.

''While there was strong support for this initiative overall, younger New Zealanders were slightly less enthusiastic,'' he added.

The survey indicated that men were more likely to be involved in a car accident than women, in line with international trends.

''Just over half of our female respondents had been involved in an accident, compared to 60 per cent of men, reflecting international trends that women are better, safer and less risky drivers. These factors are also reflected in insurance premiums, which tend to be higher for men.''

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