Find the Cheapest Car Insurance with our Car Insurance Reviews

cheapest car insurance guideYou have probably heard the saying that you learn something new everyday right? It seems to always prove true to me and I have got an absolute ripper for you today to kick of this cheap car insurance reviews guide.

Did you know that the colour of your car can actually increase the cost of your insurance? It absolutely does with some insurers. For example, when I made an enquiry with Youi, a white car cost as much as $180 LESS to insure each year than a black car!

After doing some reading, it appears that white is an easier colour to fix up whereas coloured vehicles, and metallic paint vehicles cost more to repair. Makes sense when you think about it but it would be nice to have that on the list of information available when I purchased my BLUE car :-).

Choosing car insurance is an inherently difficult task because there are just so many hidden details that most people, myself included, just struggle to keep up with.

It doesn’t help when there are about a hundred different places where you can get insurance from nowadays – tv commercials are littered with insurance ads, so is the radio and I see adverts in the internet all the time – it is obviously big business!

Australian Car Insurance Reviews:

Most Australians would say that comprehensive car insurance is the best type of insurance policy available and that would tend to make sense given the nature of such policies.

What does comprehensive insurance mean?

As the name suggests, comprehensive motor vehicle insurance gives you the best possible cover in the event of an accident. It will typically cover you for everything from damage to you and your car, many belongings that are in your car or even on your car such as a trailer or bike rack.

In addition, there is coverage for damage to anyone else’s property (other cars and fences for example) plus expenses associated with injury to other people. This is the most common form of coverage in Australia.

Is there anything that is excluded or not covered?

Although comprehensive cover is indeed very thorough, it will often not provide cover in the instance that you had bald tyres for example (e.g. you did something really stupid that you knew was wrong and shouldn’t have done).

You will typically not receive benefits for loss of income, and other more commonsense exclusions do not allow you to claim for tyre damage that was not a result of an actual incident (you can’t do a burn-out, blow your tyre and then claim it). General vehicle wear and tear is also not covered.

Of course, each insurer is different and they will reveal all the inclusions and exclusions in their Product Disclosure Document.

Related article: Top 10 Tips To Save On Car Insurance Rates

When would comprehensive insurance cover not be the best option?

If you have a cheaper car, like one under $50o0 for example, it often makes sense to just go for Third Party Property insurance. This will cover expenses for the car you hit, but not your own.

The theory is that you car isn’t worth enough to justify the ongoing monthly expense. Even if you write your car off, the combined price of what you can get for it as scrap metal at a cash for cars company and what you save each month in not paying your monthly premiums would equal more than the value of your car anyway.

Related articles:

Always think outside the square when choosing an insurer and try to think of some expenses that may be incurred if you have an accident. Three great questions to get you thinking are:

  • If I have a crash, can I get a free loan car while mine is being fixed up?
  • What if I crash far away from home and need accommodation for the night, is this covered?
  • If my car gets broken into and not damaged but things get stolen, do I still get cover for stolen items?

Here is a useful resource from Allianz on how to compare car insurance policies.

Additional helpful information to save on car insurance online

Some policies allow you to nominate your excess. By increasing the excess, you can decrease the monthly premiums. Not all Australian insurers offer this however.

Some policies will cover you for groceries that spoil as a result of an accident. Coles Insurance for example offers up to $200 for replacement groceries! Coles also offers a monthly fuel discount – nice!

Check the fine print with regards to choice of repairers – most insurers will allow you to get quotes, and potentially have your car repaired through, your own repairer. This is not always the case though.

Check if the policy includes cover for hire car charges (think how hard it would be to get to work for example if you were without a car for 3 weeks). Be aware though that the daily cost is generally capped at a certain amount and insurers generally only cover you for a certain period of time. AAMI offer 21 days cover, whilst the more expensive ANZ policy only offers 14 days and a daily cap of $75.

Bonuses and incentives can add up and below is just a selection of interesting add-on policy inclusions:

  • Coles offers their fuel discount (up to $60 per month) points and give you an additional 5% discount if you are part of their Fly Buys program (in addition to their 10% online insurance sign-up saving)
  • AAMI offers a complementary Skilled Drivers Course to drivers under 25 years of age
  • Virgin offers Velocity Rewards points
  • GIO and NRMA both offer discounts for certain fuel-efficient vehicles

These little bonuses can add up!

Fire and theft coverage in many cases increases the premiums, but only offers limited coverage ($5000 is common) – even if your car is written-off as a result – EEK!

Check on rules relating to additional drivers as some policies do not cover you if someone is taking your car for a test drive when considering buying it from you privately.

Policies often also do not cover damage to vehicle sustained in a closed defensive driving course – whaaaaaat?!

Related article: Comprehensive guide to comparing policies

Cheapest & Best Value Policies:

There are dozens of options out there where you can take out insurance. To help you on your way to finding the best Australian comprehensive car insurance policy, I have investigated a number of the most well-known policy providers and below are some information snippets:

Coles Comprehensive Insurance:

  • This is one of the cheaper policies available
  • As covered earlier, comes with nice add-ons such as $200 for groceries replacement and fuel discount each month
  • Limited cover for un-insured drivers who crash into you
  • 21 day cooling off period
  • Choice of repairer, but quotations will need to be provided and Lifetime Repair Guarantee is void if you use your own repairer
  • Policy premium can be reduced by restricting cover to individuals over 25 years of age
  • Up to $500 for stolen items from your car
  • If your car is written off and is under 24 months old, it will be replaced with a brand new car (some policies only offer 12 months)
  • Key replacement (up to $100 is available)
  • Emergency accommodation coverage available if accident happens more than 100kms from your residence (up to $500)
  • Child seat and capsule replacement is included (up to $500)

Link to product disclosure document

Youi:

  • Cooling off period is 20 calendar days (not the longest, but not the least either)
  • Theft coverage is included, but not if your car is advertised as for sale – weird rule that one!
  • Emergency accommodation payment of up to $300 for any accident that occurs in excess of 100 kilometres from your home (many policies offer $500)
  • Baby seat replacement is provided, up to $400. Again, less than many others
  • Possibility for your choice of excess
  • Youi do not offer and “no claims discount”, which they describe and “often conflicting and confusing” philosophies

Link to product disclosure document

AAMI (Comprehensive)

  • New cars aged under 2 years are replaced brand new if written off
  • Lifetime repair guarantee is included on all repairs that are authorized
  • Up to $1000 for replacement keys and re-coding if they are lost
  • Up to $500 cover for replacement child seats and capsules
  • Up to $500 cover for commercial signage on your vehicle (nice one for business owners)
  • Up to $750 cover for a replacement trailer if damaged whilst attached to your vehicle
  • Up to $500 for clothing damaged in an accident
  • Up to $500 benefit is paid if an accident or theft occurs more than 100 kilometers from home and you require accommodation and travel costs
  • AAMI Skilled Drivers Course offered to people under 25 years of age that live in all Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Hobart and Adelaide
  • Discounts available for “bundling” home and car insurance
  • 21 days of free hire car included

Link to product disclosure document

ANZ Insurance

  • If car is not more than 2 years old and has not exceeded 30,000 kilometres, it will be replaced with a brand new car. ANZ also offer full replacement if the car is between two and three years old and not exceeded 50,000 kilometres of travel
  • Stolen keys qualify for a $1000 replacement payment
  • Only 14 days of hire car cover with a daily limit of $75
  • Replacement of damaged or stolen child seats and baby capsules (not all policies cover stolen child items)
  • Ability to choose your own repairer (subject to approval)
  • Up to $1000 to cover loss or damage to a trailer if it was attached to your insured vehicle (many policies either exclude this or cap the benefit at $750)
  • $500 for accommodation and travel expenses for incidents occurring more than 100 kilometres from home
  • Higher excess, nominated driver and low kilometer options available to reduce premiums
  • 21 day cooling off period

Link to product disclosure document

car insurance reviews article

How to get the cheapest car insurance:

car insurance infographic 90 percent

Remember that cheap does not necessarily mean better. You always need to weight up your needs with your budget and the financial ramifications of going with a lower priced policy versus a slightly higher priced policy. As you would expect, paying more usually gives you greater coverage. So when going for the cheapest cover available, you are highly likely to be reducing the amount of benefit that is paid to you if you do have an accident.

Be sure to shop around because you will occasionally find great short-term deals (bonuses if you sign up today type of thing or special discounts). And always ask for a discount! You will be surprised at how willing companies are to offer a small discount in exchange for you committing to a policy.

Like most things nowadays, buying insurance online is generally the cheapest way to go. So do your research, drop into a few places and make some calls, but signup for your policy on the internet because online is the way to save!

Given that premiums reduce based on the number of years without claim, starting a young driver on their own policy early on is a great tactic also as it quickens the time it takes for the driver’s sound history to evolve.

A final tip to save is to pay upfront as many companies offer lump-sum discounts for paying 12 months upfront as opposed to a monthly deduction.

What types of things impact on how much I pay?

History – If you have a good record with no claims, you will often get the lowest price. You may have heard of a no-claim bonus and this is essentially a discount given to you for if you have never made a claim.

Should you claim? If you have a small accident, you are sometimes better off not making a claim to protect your record.

The additional premium that follows after making a claim can be up to a few hundred dollars per year, so if the damage caused to your car or someone else’s car is only a few hundred dollars, I personally would just settle it direct.

Frequency – quite often you can get a discount when you use your vehicle infrequently. It makes sense that you choose a policy that covers you while you are driving, but if your car is sitting at home most of the time then why should you be paying big bucks for that?

Type of car – the more expensive your car is, the more cover you need so if you are looking to get a low-cost policy then you should definitely take this into consideration when actually researching cars. Naturally, a larger SUV is always going to attract additional expense for insurance over cheaper or smaller SUVs. Also, if your car is more powerful and you are a younger driver, this can drive up the price.

Parking – You may get asked where your car is parked overnight or during the day. Obviously, the more secure, the lower the cost of your premiums.

Excess – If you go for a slightly higher excess you can often find that the monthly payment is less. Given that most people do not have accidents that frequently, if you are a safe driver you can save quite a bit through upping the excess and lowering the monthly payments as a result.

List in the female’s name – Given that males are statistically more prone to accidents, list the female spouse as the policy holder with the male partners as a nominated driver and this will probably result in a saving.

Other insurance – You can quite often get a nice discount if you bundle your home and vehicle insurance together. Worthwhile, as it saves you having to pay an extra bill each month too.

Where can I get cheap vehicle insurance?

From my look around the internet and contacting a few companies recently, I actually found Coles to be very cost-effective. Their cover is not as extensive as others, but it is quite affordable. As an example, many policies give you a brand new car if you write it off within two years of buying it, however Coles only offered 12 months as the time-frame.

As I mentioned above, if you are in the market for a new comprehensive car insurance policy, shop around online and make a short-list. From these, contact a handful of companies and ask for their best deal so that you can get the best insurance policy for your needs!

Article written by Damian Roberton