How long after a car accident can you claim auto insurance?

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There is no specific claim deadline for property and casualty insurance claims. But there are time limits for CTP insurance claims, which vary by state and territory.




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Compulsory third party insurance (CTP) is usually included in the cost of registering your car (except in New South Wales where it is purchased separately and known as Green Slip insurance). CTP insurance generally covers people who have been injured or killed in a traffic accident. This can include drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycles.




When can you make a property and casualty insurance claim?




There is generally no specific time limit for property and casualty auto insurance claims. But generally, it is recommended to contact your insurer as soon as possible following an accident and file a claim.




You will need to give your insurer information about the accident, including details of the other driver (or drivers) involved, photos and videos, any witnesses and any police reports filed.




When can you make a CTP insurance claim?




The time frame for making a personal injury CTP insurance claim depends on your state or territory. Generally, it takes as little as 28 days to receive the maximum rights.




To make a claim for CTP insurance, you will usually need to file a claim form with the offending vehicle’s CTP insurer. It will be different if your state or territory has only one CTP insurer or operates under a no-fault regime.




Here is an overview of the current deadlines in each state and territory, according to the relevant CTP regulator. If you intend to make a claim, it’s a good idea to check the requirements directly with your CTP regulator. You may also consider consulting a lawyer.




New South Wales – 3 months




You can file a claim up to three months after the accident. If you submit a claim within 28 days of the accident, you may be entitled to retroactive compensation from the date of the accident. If you submit later, some of your rights may not begin until the date the request is made.




In New South Wales, Green Slip insurance is provided by AAMI, Allianz, GIO, NRMA, QBE and Youi. If you don’t know who provides the insurance for the driver at fault, the National Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) says they can find out for you. You can use its CTP Connect tool or call or email CTP support.




Vic – 12 months




You have 12 months to file a claim from the date of your accident or the date an injury resulting from the accident first becomes evident. Some exceptions apply. For example, the Transportation Accident Commission (TAC) says it can review claims made within three years if there are reasonable grounds for the delay.




In Victoria, CTP insurance is provided by the TAC. TAC is a no-fault insurance plan, which means you can make a claim if you are injured in a transport accident, even if it was your fault.




Queensland – 9 months




You usually have nine months after the traffic accident, or the date symptoms first appear if they are not immediately apparent, to make a claim. If you have a lawyer handling your claim, you must file a claim within one month of first consulting with the lawyer.




In Queensland, CTP insurance is provided by Allianz, QBE, RACQ and Suncorp. It is regulated by the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC). You can find the at-fault driver’s CTP insurer online if you have the vehicle registration number and the date of the accident.




If you are unable to identify the vehicle that caused the accident, you may still be able to claim. You can bring your claim against the Nominal Defendant and you have three months to do so.




AS – 6 months




You have six months from the date of the accident to make a claim, or as soon as reasonably possible if the vehicle at fault could not be identified or was not registered at the time of the accident.




In South Australia, CTP insurance is provided by AAMI, Allianz, QBE Insurance and SGIC. It is regulated by the insurance regulator CTP. You can find the offending vehicle’s CTP insurer using EzyReg.




WA – 3 years




You are required to make a claim as soon as possible after an accident. But generally, you can make a motor vehicle accident claim within three years of the date of the accident.




In Western Australia, CTP insurance is provided by the Insurance Commission of Western Australia as part of road accident insurance.




Heap – 12 months




You must complete a “claim for benefits” (Form B) and return it within 12 months of the date of the accident.




In Tasmania, CTP insurance is provided by the Motor Accidents Insurance Board (MAIB). It pays for a range of treatment and support services for eligible people who have been injured, regardless of fault.




NT – 6 months




You must file a claim as soon as possible after the accident and no later than six months after the date of the accident.




In the Northern Territory, CTP insurance is operated by the Motor Accidents Compensation Commission (MACC) and administered by TIO. It’s a no-fault plan, which means you’re covered no matter who caused the accident.




ACT – 13 weeks




You have 13 weeks from the date of the motor vehicle accident to send your completed application file to the insurer of the owner of the vehicle most responsible for the accident. If you apply late, you may not receive all benefits up to the date of the accident. You will also need to provide a clear explanation of why you were unable to apply within 13 weeks.




In ACT, Motor Vehicle Accident Insurance (MAI) is provided by AAMI, Apia, GIO and NRMA. It is regulated by the MAI Commission. If another vehicle was at fault, you can look up the vehicle owner’s MAI insurer on the Access Canberra website or by calling Access Canberra. For NSW registered vehicles, the MAI Commission states that their CTP insurer is treated as the MAI insurer for an ACT motor accident and you can find the insurer on the Service NSW website.





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