$1000 ex­cesses unfair


There are few more sober­ing ex­pe­ri­ences than a tour of the dam­aged ‘‘End of Life’’ car yard of Turn­ers Auc­tions.

It’s a place where crashed, stolen and abused ve­hi­cles go be­fore they are dis­man­tled and re­cy­cled.

It’s a big oper­a­tion, with around 21,000 ve­hi­cles pass­ing through the South Auck­land yard each year.

Each a once-loved ve­hi­cle, they are now in con­di­tions rang­ing from once-loved cars that show the ef­fects of a solid shunt col­li­sion to com­plete burnt-out shells, and man­gled heaps.

Schools some­times bring teenagers on trips to the yard, in­tend­ing them to learn a lit­tle about what hap­pens to cars when they are slammed into trees, or other ve­hi­cles.

Some of the twisted piles of metal that get trail­ered into the yard tell sto­ries of peo­ple caught in life-al­ter­ing col­li­sions, if not life-end­ing ones.

The man who runs the yard for Turn­ers is Shane Prince, and his work has made him an ad­vo­cate for car in­surance, as he tells the young teens on his tours.

He’d make it com­pul­sory, if he could. The de­ci­sion not to force ev­ery car owner to have in­surance was a con­tro­ver­sial one. A Min­istry of Trans­port study found there re­ally weren’t that many unin­sured driv­ers, and that coun­tries where car in­surance was com­pul­sory (like the UK) had higher lev­els of unin­sured driv­ers.

Many con­tinue to think the coun­try made the wrong de­ci­sion. A sur­vey by Canstar in March sug­gested nearly 90 per cent of peo­ple think it should be, pre­sum­ably in­clud­ing ev­ery­one who pays for in­surance.

They aren’t talk­ing about full com­pre­hen­sive in­surance, just less costly third party, fire and theft.

Which is just as well be­cause young­sters are ex­pected to pay a for­tune for car in­surance be­cause gen­er­ally speak­ing, they are more likely to crash.

But one way young­sters are re­ally treated un­fairly is in the ex­cesses they are forced to take. They are around $1000, though one pol­icy had an ex­cess of $2500 if a pol­i­cy­holder let an un­der

On any given day there are around 650 dam­aged cars in Turn­ers’ ‘End of life’ ve­hi­cle yard.

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