Looking to purchase car insurance or switch from your current policy? Find out what to look for and start your comparison here.
Our free Car Insurance Finder service lets you compare car insurance policies from a wide range of brands and insurers. Policies may cover modified, vintage, classic vehicles as well as motorcycles, motorhomes, caravans and trailers. Compare a wide range of policies in the table below. If you are looking for a specific type of cover, we compare comprehensive, property damage and third party auto insurance. If you are not quite sure what you are after, keep reading to learn more about the different types of cover or check out the guides located in the left navigation.
The finder.com car insurance comparison for February 2018
Compare the features and benefits of policies currently available on finder.com
What's in this guide?
- What types of car insurance can I purchase?
- Want the cover you actually need? Steps to compare policies
- How is agreed and market value actually different?
- What you won’t be covered for
- 11 steps to save on your car insurance policy
- How to apply for car insurance
- Tips for your application
- Switching to a different insurance company
- Cancel your existing policy
- Still not sure? Some questions you may still have
The main types of car insurance available on the Australian market include:
- Comprehensive car insurance. Ensures you are covered for the expense of replacing or repairing your vehicle, regardless of whether or not you were responsible for the accident. In some cases, it also covers the expense of transportation, emergency repairs as well as the cost of repairing damages caused by another vehicle.
- Third party fire and theft coverage. Ensures you are protected against losing your car as a result of theft or any damages it may incur as a result of it being stolen. It also covers your car from fire damage as well as any personal liability if your car causes damage to someone else’s property.
- Third party property cover. This policy provides coverage for any damages you may cause to someone else’s vehicle or property. However, it won’t cover the expense of repairing damages your vehicle incurs as a result. This policy provides cover for legal expenses, limited damage by drivers who are uninsured, coverage for a replacement vehicle and claims services.
- Compulsory third party insurance (CTP). Commonly known as green slip insurance, CTP is mandatory for every registered driver in Australia. It offers protection to the driver who is at fault for a motor vehicle accident which led to another person being injured, including the driver of the other vehicle, a passenger, a cyclist or a pedestrian.
- Additional options. You can opt for additional coverage besides the standard features available including the replacement of your car with a new vehicle; the ability to protect your ‘No Claim Bonus’, which is a bonus given to you for years in which you haven’t made a claim; and finally other options such as the ability to choose your own repairer.
What is covered in my insurance policy?The table below shows the type of coverage you get with each insurance policy, making it easier for you to determine the cover you need.
|Type of Policy||Damage to your vehicle||Damage to another person’s property||Damage or loss as a result of your car being stolen||Injury or death of another person as the result of a car accident|
|Compulsory third party||No||No||No||Yes|
|Third party property||No||Yes||No||No|
|Third party property, fire and theft||No||Yes||Yes||No|
Want the cover you actually need? Steps to compare policies
The best* car insurance policy for you is one with an affordable price tag and the right amount of cover. If you have too much protection you’re overinsured and spending more than you need to. If you have too little then you’re underinsured, and not effectively protected. The trick is to find the right balance of expense and cover for your needs. You might try running through this checklist to find your next policy.
Before looking at policies
- What type of cover do I need? Comprehensive, third party property, and third party fire and theft car insurance policies all offer different types of protection. You should know what type of insurance you’re looking for before comparing policies.
- Work out your preferred excess. Consider how much you are willing and able to pay as an excess in the event of a claim. Think of this amount as the damage threshold which determines whether or not you’ll be making a claim if something happens. You will often have options to choose your own excess, but should try to stick to the amount that you’ve decided works for you.
- Decide on a sum insured. This is the total value you are covered for. Ideally it will be exactly enough to completely replace your car in the event of a total loss. You should also know whether agreed value or market value is preferable for you.
When looking at policies
Once you know what type of cover you need, compare equivalent policies from different insurers and pay special attention to:
- Limits and the exact damage covered: Non-comprehensive car insurance policies tend to be very similar here, but comprehensive cover can vary widely, as well as include a range of extra benefits. Check exactly what types of damage are covered, and rule out policies that are missing important ones such as hail damage. Work out which extras you’re interested in and which you can do without, and what the applicable limits are.
- Repair or replacement: Look at precisely what the insurer promises to do, whether it’s repairs, replacements or both.
- Look for discounts: You may be eligible for discounts for having car security systems or a secured garage, having a safe driving record and for holding other policies with the same insurer. Check the discounts available with different insurers as you compare policies, and factor it into the price.
|Agreed Value||Market Value|
What’s best for me?
When deciding if market value is right for you, you need to consider if the reduced amount will be enough to replace your lost vehicle…is the money you save on your premium worth the additional cost you will have to pay to purchase a new vehicle. That said, if you drive an older vehicle (say 10 – 15 years older), replacement cost may not be as great a concern so it would make sense to save the premium.
While exclusions may vary between providers, you generally will not be covered for:
- If the damage was caused by mechanical failure, depreciation, rust, wear and tear or changes made to the vehicle
- Loss of income from being unable to drive
- If the damage was incurred due to your vehicle not being safe or participating in a race
- Damage that was caused intentionally
- Any damage incurred if the person driving didn’t have a licence, was drunk or on drugs
- If the person driving was not covered by the policy
Nobody want’s to pay more than they have to for their car insurance. Here are some key steps you can take to save further on your policy:
- Discounts offered – Research loyalty discounts and discounts for taking out more than one insurance policy with your brand.
- Pay as you drive – as mentioned, some insurance policies will be calculated depending on how much you drive, so those who drive less may make use of savings.
- Purchase insurance online – some insurance brand will provide you with a discount for taking out your insurance online.
- Vary your excess – paying a higher excess in the event you have an accident may result in a lower premium.
- Pay your premiums upfront – this can sometimes net you savings depending on your insurer.
- Restrict certain drivers – some policies will get cheaper if younger drivers aren’t included in the policy. This also means they won’t be insured.
- Keep a clean driving record – your driving record and the history of the claims you’ve lodged are used to determine how much of a risk you pose to the insurance company. The higher the risk level, the more you’ll have to pay. Conversely, if you have a good driving record and haven’t lodged many claims or none at all, there’s a good chance you’ll get a better deal on your premiums.
- Know how your vehicle make and model will affect your premiums – the type of car you drive will also impact your insurance premiums. The insurer will determine how much it would cost them to repair your car, including the cost of replacing parts, so the more expensive it is to fix, the more you might pay.
- Find out how where you live may impact what you pay – the area you live in also has an effect on the size of your premiums. If you reside in an area where a lot of accidents, thefts or vandalism occur, you’ll find that your premiums will be more higher. So to save money make sure you garage your car in a secure area, preferably one that’s under cover and away from the street. Also, consider equipping your vehicle with security devices such as an alarm or immobiliser, as some companies will offer you a discount on your policy if you do.
- Compare policies – Shopping around for car insurance is essential. You need to check out the different policies available from different insurance companies and what they offer
- Maintain your car – Maintaining your car is important so make sure to take your vehicle for a check-up and have it serviced on a regular basis. Any deterioration could negatively impact the value of the car and lead to problems when you make a claim. Your car insurance policy will probably not cover you for damage caused by old age and improper maintenance, so make sure to keep your vehicle in good shape.
Applying for car insurance involves first getting a quote, and then the application process itself.
Getting a quote
The quote process will differ depending on the insurance brand though most will follow similar steps to those listed below:
- Specify what policy you want and when you want it to start: comprehensive; third party property damage, fire and theft or third party property damage.
- Input your vehicle type, including non-standard modifications and accessories, if the vehicle is for business or personal use, and if you want to insure it for an agreed or market value.
- Enter your personal details and the details of any drivers.
- Choose any policy extras and decide if you want to increase your excess to reduce your premiums.
Once you’re happy with how much you’ll be spending each year or month, you’ll have to go through an application which go through the same steps above but in further detail. When this is completed, you’ll make your payment, and the policy will start on the date specified.
Information you must disclose when applying
While it may be tempting to avoid disclosing some details about your vehicle or driving history from your insurance brand, in doing so you only risk your claim being rejected in the event you actually have an accident. Insurance companies go to great lengths to verify the information you have provided in the event of a claim.
- Driving convictions – While many motoring convictions can be removed from your licence before you can be considered rehabilitated, from a legal standpoint, you still have to inform the insurance company of any convictions you haven’t been rehabilitated for.
- Other criminal convictions – If you have any other criminal convictions, you must let the insurer know as they can determine the level of premium you have to pay or the terms you are offered. If you don’t let them know, you can find yourself with a policy that is not valid.
- Vehicle incidents – Most insurance companies will require you to reveal your entire vehicular incident history, which not only refers to claims you have lodged yourself or have been lodged against you but also those pertaining to any other person driving on your policy. Such incidents could be accidents, joy riding, vandalism, damage to the windscreen, fire or theft.
- Alterations – Most insurance companies will require that you reveal any alterations you may have made to your car. Even if these alterations do not affect the performance of the vehicle, they could make it more valuable or increase the chances of it getting stolen. Things like installing specialty exhausts or tinting windows, which otherwise do not affect the performance of the vehicle, are considered alterations you must inform your insurer of. While this might seem strange, the fact is that insurance companies have found that people who make alterations to their vehicles tend to statistically have a higher likelihood of being involved in a claim.
If any of the requirements of what must be disclosed to your insurer is unclear, it’s always worth giving them a call to verify the details to ensure you are adequately covered. Keep these details with the rest of your insurance documentation in the event you have to provide proof in the future that you did as you were required.
Why is customer service quality so important?
In car insurance, customer service means a lot more than just a smile as you fill out the paperwork. It means being able to depend on your insurer in the event of a claim, and knowing that the next time you speak to them, you might be having a very bad day. It can help to stay focused on the more important factors, including:
- Response times: How can you contact the insurer, no matter where or when? This includes how long it takes the customer service team to pick up the phone when you call, how quickly you can expect a response to online or email enquiries and how long it usually takes the insurer to assess and pay claims. It can be a good idea to avoid insurers that aren’t available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week all year around.
- Claims options: If you needed to make a claim right now, what would you do? If you have a preference for online claims or want to be able to use an app, it can be a good idea to look for insurers that offer these options. If you think you’ll do it over the phone or in person, consider what exactly is involved.
- Communication: Does the insurer stay in touch throughout the claims process? This can be an important difference when you’re making a claim, as you don’t want to be chasing them down for updates. Let them keep you in the loop instead.
- Policy flexibility: How can you adjust your policy? Flexibility encompasses not only the options available to you, but also the ease with which you can take advantage of them and the responsiveness of your insurer.
- Partnered service quality: What’s the quality of the insurer’s service partners? Free roadside assistance might not be much use if it’s not available in your area, while towing, vehicle storage, glass and windscreen replacement and other repairs will all typically involve the use of partnered service providers. It can be a good idea to compare the quality of these, and look for relevant reviews.
I’ve had an accident, what do I do?
Having an action plan on hand when making a claim
Once you’ve been involved in an accident, you’ll have to make a claim. To increase the likelihood of the process going smoothly, keep the following tips in mind:
- Stay at the scene of the accident but don’t admit you were to blame. You should also take down the names, contact information and registration numbers of the other people involved in the accident. You should also get hold of and record the number of the police report, if it applies.
- Before you make the claim consider all the consequences that might arise as a result. You should also make sure that you’re fully aware of any excess obligations you might have. Also check if your insurance company offers a no claim bonus.
- When deciding to make a claim, you must give the insurance company all the information pertaining to your accident as clearly and as quickly as possible.
- Fill out a formal claim form if necessary. If available, provide as many supporting documents as possible and make sure that the insurance company acknowledges that your claim was received. Next, you’ll have to answer any questions that are relevant for the assessment of your claim and, to ensure everything goes smoothly and you get an answer as quickly as possible, make sure you stay up to date with how your claim is progressing.
Purchasing, renewing or cancelling your policy
What you will/won’t be covered for
* The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products finder.com has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms ‘Best’ and ‘Top’ are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products.