Whether you’re looking to change insurers or find cover for that brand new ride of yours, we make it easy for you to find the best cover for your car.
We get it! Comparing car insurance quotes is time consuming and a pretty tedious thing to do. We know you’d rather be doing something fun. That’s why we’re here to help you find the right type of policy for you.
Unlike some other sites, we’re not owned by a bank or insurance company, which means you receive an unbiased comparison every time. And it doesn’t cost a thing.
What's in this guide?
- Compare car insurance NZ
- Types of car insurance
- Do you need car insurance in New Zealand?
- How do I compare different car insurance policies?
- How Finder helps you choose
- Seven hacks to cut your premiums
- Looking to insure something with more or fewer wheels?
- Looking to switch insurers?
- Still not sure? Your questions about car insurance answered
Compare car insurance NZ
Types of car insurance
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.
Third Party Fire & Theft
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.
What do comprehensive, third party fire and theft, and third party only cover?
|Damage to other people’s property|
|Hitting a car|
|Hitting a pole|
|Hit and runs|
|Hitting an animal|
|Storm or flood|
|Emergency accommodation, transport and repairs|
|Replacement of keys|
|Contents of the vehicle|
|New car replacement|
Do you need car insurance in New Zealand?
Unlike in other countries, car insurance is not compulsory 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.
How do I compare different car insurance policies?
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.
Car insurance buying guide
Here’s a quick walk through how to find the right car insurance. The three steps are deciding, comparing and buying.
- Decide on your cover type. What type of cover do I need? Comprehensive, third party, and third party fire and theft car insurance policies all offer different types of protection. You should know what kind of insurance you’re looking for before comparing policies.
- Consider special cover types. If you want less than 12 months of insurance cover, you may want to look at short-term car insurance. If the general market value of your vehicle isn’t an accurate reflection of its worth, eg it’s modified, then you will probably want to narrow your search to agreed value car insurance providers.
- Work out your preferred excess. Consider how much you are willing and can 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 claim if something happens. You often have the option to choose your own excess, but try to stick to the amount that you decide works for you.
- Consider the options. There is a range of choices available. Some of the useful bonuses to think about are roadside assistance; lock and key replacements and excess-free windscreen and glass replacements. If you have a new car, you might want to check a policy’s new for old replacement terms.
Once you decide what you need, you can start comparing suitable options.
- Compare prices and discounts. Get quotes from different insurers and compare prices. As you do, make sure you look at equivalent quotes, with a similar excess in all cases and whether your quote has automatically added the various car insurance discounts. Sometimes an estimate that initially seems higher is actually cheaper after adding a discount. Multiple excesses often apply, so you need to look at these in detail and make sure you understand those that may apply in the event of a claim.
- Compare the cover. You naturally want to make sure you compare the same type of car insurance in all cases, as well as considering the extras and other benefits, like roadside assistance or lock and key replacement.
- Compare the fine print. The product disclosure statement (car insurance PDS) has the fine print of your car insurance policy. You want to look at the benefits and cover in detail, but don’t want to overlook some of the less obvious differences, such as the exact claims process; what evidence you need to provide. The PDS is a contract that explains what you get with your car insurance, so it pays to examine it in detail. If any learner drivers will get behind the wheel, or if multiple people will drive your car, it’s also worth looking at the conditions that may apply.
After this, you might be ready to start buying.
- Nominate or restrict drivers. If no one under 25 will ever drive your car, it can be worth restricting drivers on your policy to receive lower premiums. If you know precisely who will be driving your car, you may be able to nominate specific drivers.
- Opt-in or out of extras. Are you able to opt out of unwanted extras to save money, or choose desirable ones?
- Remember that you can switch later. There’s a cool-off period after taking out a policy where you can cancel for a refund (provided you haven’t made any claims), and will also be able to switch policies later. A car insurance “lazy tax” might apply if you get complacent, so it can pay to get more car insurance quotes regularly, before renewal time.
How Finder helps you choose
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 we 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. We choose to compare car insurance features as we believe that the value of your policy is more important than the cost. Features we look at include:
- Roadside assist
- Accidental damage
- Storm cover
- Choice of repairer
- Agreed or market value
- And more
Car insurance quotes
While Finder doesn’t have the facilities in place right now to provide car insurance quotes, we can help you narrow down your search by showing you which insurers offer the features that are important to you. And unlike many other comparators who only provide quotes or compare policies from insurers they have a relationship with, Finder provides an unbiased comparison of insurers both inside and outside of our panel.
What other guides does Finder have on car insurance?
- Insurance for high-risk drivers
- Insurance with breakdown cover
- What to do after a car accident
- What to do after a car accident if you’re not at fault
- What to do if your car has been written off
- What to do if you’ve had a dispute with your insurer
- What to do if you’ve been convicted of drink driving
- Find the best car insurance discounts
Seven hacks to cut your premiums
- Take advantage of discounts. When you compare car insurance, look around to see if you can get a loyalty discount or a deal for new customers. Some insurance providers will also supply a discount of up to 15% for taking out your policy online.
- Pay a higher excess. The excess is an amount you pay when you want to make a claim. If you increase this amount, your insurance company perceives you as less likely to make a claim. This helps bring down the overall cost of your premium.
- Restrict certain drivers. Most policies give you a cheaper premium if you restrict specific drivers from taking your wheels for a spin. Consider restricting drivers like under 25s, seniors, learners, or restricted licenses.
- Understand how your vehicle make and model affects your premium. If you haven’t purchased a car yet, compare insurance prices for a variety of car models. You might be surprised how much the car you drive can have an effect on how much car insurance costs.
- Bundle your policies together. If you already have home insurance, consider sticking with the same provider for your auto insurance. When you group multiple policies, you can benefit from a multi-policy discount which can take a significant chunk out of your car insurance premium.
- Keep a clean driving record. Obviously no one goes out of their way to receive a fine. However, your driving record and the history of the claims you lodge are used to determine how much of a risk you pose to the insurance company. The higher the level of risk, the more you 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 receive a better deal on your premium.
- Compare, compare, compare. It pays to do your research. Get multiple quotes from different insurers to compare prices. Don’t be fooled by policies that are ridiculously cheap, as this can sometimes compromise your cover. Don’t be afraid to switch providers to get the a new deal.
Looking to insure something with more or fewer wheels?
Looking to switch insurers?
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:
- Your policy comes up for renewal
- You change cars
- You move into another home
- The number of drivers using your car changes
- You’ve just celebrated a birthday, (especially your 25th birthday)
- Your driving record has changed
Why changing insurers isn’t that hard
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.
Step 1: Find a new car insurance policy
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.
Step 2: Take out the new policy before you cancel the old one
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.
Step 3: Cancel your old policy.
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.
Step 4: Profit!
Enjoy the benefits that come with comparing car insurance switching to a better policy. Go buy yourself something fantastic!
Still not sure? Your questions about car insurance answered
Finding the right cover
Purchasing, renewing or cancelling your policy
What you will/won’t be covered for
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