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Car Insurance Around the World

Car insurance is a pain for some people, but for others it’s a life saver. It originated in Britain and the US at the end of the 19th century and has gradually evolved. In many places it is compulsory to have car insurance for your vehicle, and other places it is not, with the policies themselves varying greatly from one country to the next. Take a look at car insurance around the world.


In Australia, car insurance policies vary from state to state. For example, in New South Wales and the Northern Territory, you cannot drive unless you have, at the very least, third party insurance. There isn’t a great deal of choice when it comes to choosing insurers, with some being government controlled.


In America, drivers are allowed to get on the road from as early as 14 years old in some states. The laws around driving vary greatly from state to state. Most states require drivers to have third party insurance, but there are some – including Wisconsin and New Hampshire – where drivers can drive uninsured if they wish. New Hampshire drivers have to pay out if the accident is their fault to a sum equal to the amount of damage they have caused. In Virginia, car insurance isn’t mandatory, but those who don’t have it are charged $500 per vehicle. In Louisiana, the average insurance costs add up to $2,699 a year.

 South Africa

In South Africa, it isn’t mandatory to have insurance, and it has been suggested that up to two thirds of vehicles in the country may be uninsured. The government has the Road Accident Fund which is taken from a duty on petrol. This helps compensate third party victims of accidents if the driver is uninsured. There has been pressure on the government to make car insurance mandatory, but it has been made clear that the legislation won’t change for several years.


Car insurance was entirely voluntary in Russia until 2003. Until then, damage was covered by an upfront payment on the scene of the accident, if the owner accepted responsibility. Over 30,000 people were killed on Russian roads in 2008. In the US – where the population is double that of Russia – 40,000 people were killed, highlighting that driving on Russian roads is extremely dangerous. Fights regularly break out over car accidents, and insurance is now compulsory in Russia, but premiums are extremely high.


Since 1933, it is mandatory to have at least third party cover in Ireland, or have obtained exemption. It is notoriously expensive in Northern Ireland, so check out AXA Northern Ireland for cheap car insurance.

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