Car Insurance FAQs
If you are looking for more information on any of our insurance products, or if you have a question that isn't answered by the FAQs on this website, please don't hesitate to contact us and one of our friendly team will answer your query.
Q. What Are My Obligations To Ensure Cover Under Protecta's Car Insurance Policy?
A. Your car insurance policy forms a legal contract, and as with all legal contracts, there are some obligations that you must adhere to in order for the cover provided by your policy to remain in force. These include:
- Maintain your car in a roadworthy condition. Make sure that it is always up to WOF standards, even in between WOF tests. This is not just to ensure cover by your policy, but also very important for your own safety.
- Keep your car secure. You must take all reasonable steps to ensure that your car is kept secure when it isn’t in use. For example, always lock your car whenever you leave it.
- Keep us informed of any changes in your circumstances. For example, please notify us if you change address, lose your licence, or if you modify your vehicle. Under New Zealand law, all insurance policy holders have a duty of disclosure to inform their insurer of anything that (as a prudent insurer) they should be made aware of. If you are unsure whether a change in circumstances is relevant to your insurance, please call or email us and we’ll be happy to advise you.
Please note that the above list is intended to be a helpful guideline. If you have any questions or would like more information please don’t hesitate to contact us and one of our friendly team will be able to answer your query.
Q. How Is The Value Of My Car Determined If I Make A Claim?
A. If your car is involved in a total loss claim (for example, if it is stolen or if it is written off in an accident), then there are two main factors used to determine the value. The first is the Sum Insured, which is the value that you specified when you took out your car insurance policy. This represents the upper limit of what we would pay out for the claim. The other factor taken into account is the market value of your car immediately before the loss occurred. This is called the Pre-Accident Valuation (or “PAV”), and this is determined by valuations from a minimum of two different independent valuers that specialise in your type of car. Each valuer would give a PAV value based on their opinion of what you would be able to sell your car for immediately prior to the theft or damage occurring. We will then average the values from all the PAVs, and this is used as the basis of the pay out, within the upper limit set by your chosen Sum Insured.
Please note that there may be additional amounts deducted from your pay out. For example, your excess may be deducted if the claim is deemed to be an “At-Fault” accident where your actions contributed to the cause of the crash. Also, if you have been paying for your insurance premium by instalments, then the remaining instalments for that year’s premium will also be deducted from your pay out.
Q. How Do I Determine The Correct Value For The Sum Insured On My Car Insurance Policy?
A. The value of your car that you specify for your Sum Insured represents the upper limit of what we will pay out in a claim, so it is important to make sure you set it accurately. It will also have an impact on how much your insurance premiums will be. Assuming all other factors are equal, the more valuable the car, then the more expensive it is to insure, so it pays to make sure the figure you specify does represent the cars current market value. Please note that you can adjust the value you use for your Sum Insured at any time by calling us. We will also send you a reminder when your car insurance policy comes up for renewal, and this is a good time to review the value you have listed.
The best people to determine the market value of your car are the sales team at the dealership that you purchased your car from. If you don’t have a local dealership that specialises in your model of car, then you can look to online sites to determine the value. Note that you need to check the price that cars like yours are selling for though, which can be quite different to what the seller is asking for.
Q. Why Does Insurance Cost More For Certain Types Of Car?
A. The type of car that you drive is one of the factors that we use to calculate your car insurance premium. This is based around two main criteria: the likelihood of that type of car to be involved in a claim, and the cost of repairing damage to the car. We look at the history of claims on each model of car (right down to the sub-model), and from this we can determine the risk involved for that model.
Please note that the model of car is only one of the factors we look at, so a good driver in a high risk car may still be eligible for a lower premium than a poor driver in a low risk car.
Q. What Does It Mean If I’m Asked To Confirm I Need An Immobiliser When Getting A Car Insurance Quote?
A. For some car models where the theft risk is quite high, we may require your car to have an immobiliser. The immobiliser must be at least a 3-Star model, which equates to NZ 4601 standards. If you are unsure as to whether your car's immobiliser meets this requirement, check with the dealer you purchased it from, or check with your mechanic.
Please note that where we require that your car has an immobiliser, we’ll advise you during the quote process (prior to you purchasing your car insurance), and we’ll also note this requirement on your policy certificate. You’ll need to ensure that an immobiliser is fitted to your car within 7 days of purchasing your policy, or your car will not be covered for theft, and if the car is stolen within this 7 day period then a higher excess will apply if an immobiliser has not been fitted.
Q. What Is The Procedure For Handling Car Insurance Claims?
A. When we receive your claim, there are a few steps to work through, but rest assured one of our experienced claim handlers will guide you through the process. First off, we will ask you to follow the instructions on our car insurance claims page which is the start of the claim process. As a Full Cover Protecta Policy Holder, you then have the opportunity to use our Accident Management service, which is set up to take all the hassle and stress out of organising the repairs to your car. You aren’t required to use our Accident Management service and you are more than welcome to choose your own repairer instead. You can learn more about our Accident Management service by reading our Accident Management FAQs.
At this point, an independent assessor (a freelance expert who specialises in assessing required repairs) will be assigned to your claim. During this process, multiple steps may be required as dictated by the circumstances of your claim. These may be such things as a Police Offence Report, a Traffic Crash Report, Ministry of Justice report, witness accounts, or liability disputes with third parties.
Where the cost of the repairs means that your car is likely to be written off, then we’ll organise a minimum of two approved independent valuers to supply a Pre-Accident Valuation, which will help us to determine the true value of your car. Once there is an agreement from all parties involved on the amount that the pay-out will be, we’ll send you a Discharge Form, which forms the settlement of your claim. When you confirm your acceptance of the discharge, we’ll pay out the settlement figure and the wreck of the car then becomes our property.
Q. What Are My Options For Paying For My Car Insurance Premium?
A. Protecta offers you a number of ways to pay your car insurance premium. If you wish to pay your full annual premium upfront, you can pay by direct credit, credit card, or DPS Account2Account. If you prefer, we can split your annual premium into instalments, which you can pay via direct debit or credit card.
Direct debit is one of the safest and most convenient ways of paying your bills. Payments are made automatically, so bills are never forgotten. Your money is protected in the unlikely event that there is an error in the payment of a direct debit, for instance if a payment is collected on the incorrect date, or the wrong amount is collected.
If you do choose to pay by instalment, please note that Protecta is one of the few car insurance providers in New Zealand that don’t penalise you for this. Your instalment amount will simply be the annual price divided by the number of instalments you wish to make – there are no additional charges or penalties added to your premium for these options. We also don’t charge any more for people paying by credit card, it’s our belief there should be one price for your car insurance no matter how you choose to pay.
If you wish to pay via credit card or Account2Account, you can purchase your insurance online from this website. If you prefer to pay by another method, or if you wish to change how you pay for your existing policy with us, then please contact us and we can arrange it for you.
For more information about the payment methods available on this website, please see our Privacy Notice.
Q. What Do I Do If I’m Involved In A Crash In My Car?
A. Having a crash in your car is never a pleasant experience and it can be a confusing time with a lot going on. It can be hard to remember what to do at the time, but one of the most important things you can do is to remain calm. Take deep breaths, and try to remember the following steps:
- Safety first - secure the scene. Make sure everyone is safe, the health and well-being of the people involved needs to always come first – see if anyone needs medical assistance and if so, call 111 immediately. If it's safe to do so, post a helper to warn oncoming traffic of the accident until you are able to clear the road. Turn off your vehicle's ignition (as a fire precaution) and turn on your hazard lights. If an ambulance has been called, make sure room is cleared for the ambulance to get as close to the scene as possible, and have your helper guide it in when it arrives.
- Do not admit liability. Don’t try to apportion blame at the side of the road, just make notes about the crash, and if possible sketch a quick diagram or take some photos of the crash scene. It’s up to the insurance companies to work out who was at fault, and rest assured that as your car insurance provider, we’ll act in your best interests (as they are also our best interests).
- Obtain the other vehicles details. Note the make, model and registration number of the other vehicle, and also get the drivers name, phone number, address, and drivers licence number. Try to note exactly where the accident happened, and which direction each vehicle was travelling.
- See if there were any witnesses. If there were, also get their name, phone number and address.
- Secure your vehicle. Take all reasonable steps to secure your car and prevent any further damage or loss. Our full cover car insurance policy does include recovery expenses, so if you require towing let us know and we can organise for a tow truck to take your car to a repairer. Only drive your car if the damage is minor and you are sure it is safe to do so.
- Contact Protecta. Call or email us to advise us of the accident, and we’ll also help you with what to do next.
Please note that the above list is just a guide, each accident scene is different. If there are any injuries, you must report the accident to the Police, and it’s important to obtain medical assistance if you suspect anyone may have been hurt. In general, the more information you can provide to us on the details of the accident, the faster we can have your claim settled, so try to make notes on everything while it is still fresh in your mind.
Q. I Own A Trailer – Does My Car Insurance Cover It?
A. Yes – if you have full cover car insurance with Protecta, your insurance policy automatically covers your trailer. Please note however that this benefit is for standard trailers up to $1,000, and doesn’t cover boat trailers, caravan or camper trailers, or horse floats. There is a $100 excess on this benefit. Please refer to your policy wording for the full details, or contact us if you have any queries.
Q. Does My Car Insurance Include Windscreen Cover?
A. Please check your Certificate of Insurance to see if your policy includes this benefit. When included, this benefit covers all windows in your car, including the sunroof if your car has one. Please note that there is no excess if the broken windscreen or window glass is the only damage to your car, and it won’t affect your No Claims Bonus.
To make a claim under this benefit, just call us on 0800 776 832 and one of our experienced claims handlers will step you through the process.
Q. Is My Car Insured While Being Transported?
A. Yes - Protecta’s full cover car insurance includes Transport Cover, which means we’ll cover you for any damage while your car is being transported anywhere within New Zealand territorial waters. Under New Zealand law, carriers are only liable for $1,500 worth of damage, but Protecta’s car insurance automatically protects you beyond that limit.
This is an automatic benefit, you don’t need to advise us ahead of time or select any special options. If you have purchased a car from out of town and are having it shipped to you, take out your car insurance with Protecta before getting it shipped and you can relax knowing that your vehicle is covered.
For more information on this benefit, please see Insurance for cars and motorcycles being transported, or refer to your policy wording.