Matt Greenop on motoring

Matt Greenop is editor of Driven magazine

Matt Greenop: Get insured, or walk


It was nice to see an AA press release pop into the Driven mailbox this week about uninsured drivers.

We've been banging on about this for quite some time, and while the AA PR blurb was focused on uninsured drivers risking a lifetime of debt for smashing up other people's cars in accidents, our thinking is a bit different.

Sure, the violins come out when poor old westie boofhead Bruce barrels into a Bentley and spends the rest of his life paying $15 a week to the owner's insurance company. But when Brucie's VB Commodore has got 18-inch rims and a cooking 350 under the bonnet, it begs questions on whether a small third party insurance policy (which would cost less than his weekly payment for the mags) would be appropriate. Easy answer - yes, it certainly would.

Uninsured idiots cause no end of trouble for the rest of us - and the Government needs to step in with some legislation to solve this unnecessary nightmare.

You do the right thing, insure your car and keep it in roadworthy condition, and out of nowhere comes someone with no insurance protection for either themselves or the other, responsible, road users.

End result - months of sorting it out.

AA Insurance's data for the past 12 months shows that there were a whopping 2600 claims involving uninsured drivers considered to be at fault in prangs with its customers. And that's just one insurer. How much money was at stake? $6.4 million.

This is insane. While the bleeding hearts will bleat that some people simply can't afford the (minimal) cost of third party insurance, my argument would be that this means they can't afford to drive a car on the road, end of story.

Many countries have laws that require this type of insurance to protect other people and property from those who are willing to gamble every time they pull on to a public road. Sure, the insurance companies will benefit, but the bottom line is that everyone can feel safer when they're driving.

This isn't a vendetta against those who "can't afford" to insure their cars. It's about public safety and compulsory third party insurance needs to be legislated for soon.

- NZ Herald

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