There are lots of ways to make sure you are getting the right cover for your car at the best price.
We’ll show you all the ways you can save on your car cover, from buying online, paying for your cover annually, bundling policies together, and many more.
About our promoted products: Our ‘promoted’ products are presented as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular feature. Promoted products are not a recommendation, an indication a product is the best in its category, nor represent all products in the market. It is important to compare your options and find the right product for you.
Car insurance is an agreement between you (the driver) and an insurer, in which you pay them a car insurance premium in exchange for them covering you in case something goes wrong. In New Zealand there are 3 levels of insurance.
Your options are third party, which covers damage you cause to other people’s vehicles. Third party fire and theft polices cover you for that, plus any damage from fire and theft. Comprehensive car insurance policies cover you if you’re in an accident with someone else and need your vehicle repaired or replaced. It’s the only type of policy that will cover you for pretty much any event, like storms, vandalism, and car crashes.
If you want top cover, this is the option for you.
It covers theft, vandalism, storms, flood, hail, fire, key replacement, emergency accommodation, hire cars, accidental damage (to name a few) – plus everything that’s covered by cheaper policies.
This gives you that little bit extra cover against life’s uncertainties. This protects you if your car is stolen, as well as covering you for fire damage.
You’re also covered if your car causes damage to someone else’s property. But this type of policy won’t really cover you if you’re in an accident with another vehicle.
The most basic policy. This provides coverage for any damages you may cause to someone else’s vehicle or property.
This means that if you smash into a Mercedes, you won’t be paying the repair costs from your own pocket. However, it won’t cover your own repair costs.
In our latest comprehensive car insurance quote comparison, we collected quotes from 11 car insurance providersv from 6 locations across New Zealand and 2 different driver and car profiles. All quotes were for comprehensive car insurance policies.
In our most recent quote snapshots, we found the cheapest car insurance companies were AMI, AMP and State for our cheaper 2005 Mazda Axela. Cove was often the cheapest for our more expensive 2019 Toyota Highlander Wagon, with Kiwibank and Protecta not too far behind.
However, it’s worth pointing out that quoted prices could vary significantly from the most to least expensive. In our selection, prices could differ by more than $1,000 for the same car, location and driver profile, showing that picking the right insurer can result in huge savings every year.
|Insurer||Auckland (Ellerslie)||Auckland (Takapuna)||Hamilton||Christchurch||Wellington||Dunedin|
All quoted prices are for one year of cover, paid annually where possible. All in set 1 were gathered between 20 and 27 October 2020.
Our quotes were based on the following details:
|Insurer||Auckland (Ellerslie)||Auckland (Takapuna)||Hamilton||Christchurch||Wellington||Dunedin|
All quoted prices are for one year of cover, paid annually where possible. All in set 1 were gathered between 29 October and 4 November 2020.
Our quotes were based on the following details:
Not necessarily. Our quotes represent a snapshot of the market and are only an indication of how cheap or expensive an insurer may be. They also show the importance of comparing car insurance prices since there can be substantial differences between providers.
Car insurance companies take lots of details into account when pricing their insurance, and they don’t all look at these details in the same way or give them the same importance.
For example, Tower and Trade Me want to know if your car is normally parked on the street, or somewhere else such as in a driveway or garage. You may get a lower price if your car is somewhere a little more secure. Many other providers will only look at your address.
Several insurers also offer a multi-policy discount that can be as much as 20%. If you already have home or contents cover with one of these insurers it’s definitely worth seeing how much you could save.
In summary, take the time to compare quotes as it really will help you find the best (and cheapest) cover for your car.
The ideal car insurance policy is one with an affordable price tag and the right amount of cover for your needs. If you have too much protection, you’ll be over-insured and spend more than you need. If you have too little, you’ll be under-insured and not efficiently protected.
The trick is to find the right balance of cost and cover for your needs. Try running through this car insurance, buying checklist to discover your next policy.
Here’s a quick walk through how to find the right car insurance. The three steps are deciding, comparing and buying.
Once you decide what you need, you can start looking for suitable options.
After this, you might be ready to start buying.
Unlike in other countries, car insurance is not a legal requirement when you own a vehicle in New Zealand. Injuries are covered by ACC, but if you cause an accident you are likely to be left with a hefty bill to repair the vehicles and property involved.
At a minimum, third party insurance covers your legal liability if you damage someone else’s property, but third party insurance won’t be much use if you find that your vehicle has been stolen or broken into.
In 2019, 24,416 vehicles across the country were reported as being stolen or vandalised, with the top 5 hotspots being Lower Hutt, Palmerston North, Wellington, Napier and Auckland.
Find out more about car theft in your area in our NZ Car Theft Statistics 2020 report.
Your car could be stolen at any time, anywhere, so you should consider an insurance policy that includes theft of your vehicle. Third party, fire & theft provides cover for stolen vehicles and fire damage, but you’ll still be left with a repair bill if you are in a road accident.
Another point to consider is that many lenders require you to have comprehensive insurance when you take out finance for a vehicle purchase and have them listed as a named party on the policy. This is to ensure that you don’t get even more in the red should something happen to your car and you need to pay for repairs or a replacement.
There are many reasons why you might want to leave your current insurer. Your circumstances might have changed; you might be paying a bucket load, or maybe you’re just fed up with their customer service. We get it! If you’re unhappy, there’s no reason why you can’t switch to another company.
There are a few times where you should actively consider changing policy. If your circumstances have changed, chances are, your premiums may alter too. Consider finding a new insurer when:
So, you figure out you’re excessively charged for your car insurance. You’re probably thinking about switching, and if you’re not, maybe you should.
There’s a common misconception that changing car insurance is a huge hassle. In reality, it isn’t as hard as you think.
Here’s how to do it.
Before you abandon ship, it’s a good idea to have another one you can climb aboard. Compare car insurance policies side-by-side. Be sure to consider not just price but what features you need in a policy and how much cover you want, especially if you’re looking at a comprehensive policy.
When do you want to switch? Some people prefer to do it so they can benefit from discounts from their new company, while others like to change at the end of the payment period.
If you’re switching companies mid-policy, take note of the cancellation fee. This fee is usually in your policy documentation, so check it out to see how much you need to pay.
Ensure you have a thorough read of your new Product Disclosure Statement (it’s just some light reading). Before you cancel your old policy, make sure you accept the new policy and have the letter of confirmation from the insurer. This prevents you being without cover while you change over.
Inform your old insurer in writing that you are cancelling your policy. Ensure you receive written confirmation that the policy is cancelled.
Aim for your new policy to take effect on the same day your old policy is cancelled.
Enjoy the benefits that come with looking around for the right and car insurance switching to a better policy. Go buy yourself something fantastic!
Don’t like flicking through fine print? Got better things to do than check if a car insurer offers roadside assist? We’re here to help you Find Better.
At Finder, our experts do all the heavy lifting for you. We spend countless hours looking through policy documents so you don’t have to and highlight the important policy features in a table so you can compare policies side-by-side. Features we look at include:
We want what’s best for you.We don’t work with every brand, but we still provide reviews for almost every brand on the market.
You can trust us.We may receive a small fee if you click one of our partner brands, but we’ve got strict editorial guidelines.
We know what we’re talking about. Our financial experts are constantly researching car insurers so you have up-to-date information.
We won’t hassle you. Unlike other sites, we won’t take your details and we don’t call or email you.
In car insurance, customer service means much more than a smile as they fill out the paperwork. It means being able to depend on your insurer in the event of a claim, and knowing the next time you speak to them, you might be having a terrible day.
It can help to focus on the essential factors, including:
Applying for car insurance involves first getting a quote, then the application process itself.
The quote process differs depending on the insurance brand, though most follow similar steps to the ones listed below:
Once you’re happy with how much you’ll spend each year or month, you have to go through the application process, which will go through the same steps as above but in further detail.
When this is complete, you make your payment, and the policy will start on the date specified.
While it may be tempting to avoid revealing details about your vehicle or driving history from your insurance brand, in doing so you only risk them rejecting a claim in the event you actually have an accident.
Insurance companies go to great lengths to verify the information you provide in the event of a claim.
If any of the requirements that must be disclosed to your insurer seem unclear, it’s always worth giving them a call to verify the details and ensure you are adequately covered. Keep these details with the rest of your insurance documentation, in the event you have to provide future proof that you did as you were required.
An excess is the charge you are required to pay on every claim you lodge. For example, if the rear and front of your car are damaged in two separate situations, you are required to make two claims, which means you need to pay an excess for each claim you lodge.
The total amount you have to pay depends on the conditions under which you make a claim.
If the insurance company agrees you or your vehicle were not to blame for the accident, and you can provide the contact information of the other driver or the registration number of the other car, some companies will waive the excess.
Typically, there are five types of excess you may have to to pay, depending on the circumstances:
It’s important to take note of these when you’re looking for the best car insurance for you.
Yes. Car insurance in New Zealand includes GST and is incorporated in the cost of premiums.
This means the GST paid on car insurance may be claimed as a business expense, and may also entitle you to GST credits (input tax credit).
For a vehicle that is used both for private and personal use, the GST paid on car insurance is divided according to the ratio of personal to business use. Learn more about insuring a car for business use here, or insuring vehicles for commercial use only here.
If your renewal doesn’t contain the correct information, you should get in touch with your insurer, as you have to make sure all your information is updated and accurate.
If you don’t take action, to inform your insurer about any change to your circumstances that you are fully aware is relevant to your policy, you might end up with a reduced payout on a claim or no payout at all.
Furthermore, your policy might be cancelled and if fraud is suspected, the insurance company may act as if the policy never existed.
You should contact your insurance company immediately, if you receive a letter making demands from another person involved in an event, even if it’s from their insurer or legal representative.
If contact is initiated verbally, then inform the other party who your insurance company is and let them know the insurer will handle the claim.
At no point, should you admit you were to blame for the damage or accident and you should certainly not make promises regarding covering their expenses.
Write down as much information as possible about the other party, including their name; place of residence; telephone number and vehicle information. Then get in touch with your insurance company to let them know what has occurred, so that they can help you with the process.
As long as you give enough notice, most standard car insurance policies will let you cancel at any time. Bear in mind, a cancellation fee may apply, unless you’re switching to another policy with the same brand, or you’re within the cooling-off period.
All insurers have their own process for dealing with complaints and your first step is to give your insurer the opportunity to set things right.
If you feel your insurer has done something wrong and you are unable to resolve it with them directly, you can make a complaint with the Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman (IFSO).
The IFSO Ombudsman Scheme a free and independent service and all complaints made through it are fair and impartial. You can make a complaint through IFSO using their online form, or you can call them on 0800 888 202.
This can differ so it’s important to make sure everyone you need to will be covered..
Usually a learner driver is covered by a car insurance policy as long as there is an instructing passenger in the front seat who is a fully licensed driver. In some cases, you don’t have to pay an additional premium but if the learner driver has an accident, you might have to pay an age or inexperience excess or both.
Most car insurance policies also cover international drivers, as long as they can legally drive in New Zealand and have a valid licence. Of course, they must abide by the terms and conditions of the policy.
If you drive while pregnant, it won’t affect your policy unless you’ve been advised to refrain from driving or your pregnancy could negatively impact your capacity to drive.
To ensure you are fully able to drive, it is a good idea to consult your doctor.
Some insurance companies provide their customers with a hire car for a limited period if their vehicle has been stolen. If this is in an important feature for you, make sure it’s covered in any insurance policy you’re looking at
There may be the possibility of pre-purchasing a “discount hire car benefit” or “comprehensive hire car benefit”, which ensures you have access to a hire car while your vehicle is being repaired from damage caused in an accident.
Most insurance companies will not cover tools of a trade under a car insurance policy, meaning you will have to seek the services of a specialist insurer.
Regarding trailers, some companies offer a limited degree of coverage for accidental damage caused to a trailer if it was connected to your vehicle.
Most car insurance policies only provide coverage while your vehicle is being driven in New Zealand. If you’re overseas, the policy doesn’t cover the vehicle or the personal liability of the driver.
In some cases, the damage to a vehicle is so severe it’s not economical or safe to repair it. If the insurer feels this is the situation, your vehicle is declared a write-off and you will receive the amount covered or the agreed value.
If you have comprehensive insurance, some policies allow for the replacement of your car with a new vehicle and coverage of on-road costs, if your original vehicle was declared a write-off after being stolen or damaged within the first two years of its initial registration.
Some insurance policies provide coverage for your vehicle if you are driving off-road, but you do have to take some precautions to make sure your car is safe.
|Agreed Value||Market Value|
Should I choose the agreed value or market value?
When deciding if the market value is right for you, you need to consider if the reduced amount is 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 to 15 years old), replacement cost may not be much of a concern, so it makes sense to save on the premium.
There are certain restrictions when it comes to the type of coverage a car insurance policy offers. While these vary between insurance companies, some include:
Car insurance is a fundamental way to protect your asset and stay out of debt, so be sure you know what your policy covers, and how it works in the event of an accident.
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