Five million Aussie drivers left with bill for damages they didn’t cause

Posted: 25 August 2020 2:42 pm

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Almost a third of drivers have had their car damaged by another vehicle but the culprit fled the scene.

Millions of Aussie drivers have reported being left with an unfair repair bill after another vehicle hit their car but didn't stick around to exchange details.

A Finder survey of 1,007 people found that 28% had suffered mystery damage to their cars. That figure rose to 31% when only car-owners were asked.

The research also revealed that baby boomers are most likely to suffer damage to their vehicles (34%), while drivers in regional areas are also at a higher risk (32%).

South Australian residents should also be particularly careful, as 37% of drivers in the state reported that their car had previously been hit by someone else who didn't own up - the highest percentage of any region in the country.

Unfortunately, many of the drivers will have no help in covering the unexpected cost. According to Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker, a nationally representative survey of more than 15,000 respondents, almost 1 in 4 (24%) Australians don't have comprehensive car insurance.

Comprehensive car insurance is the only type of cover which will pay out if you sustain mysterious damage to your car - and it might not be as expensive as you think.

Cost research from the 2019 Finder Awards found that one budget car insurer averaged $682 a year for a comprehensive policy, while a different company hit a huge average of $3,325 a year.

That means you could save a huge $2,643 a year, just by comparing car insurance online.

Get a quote for comprehensive car insurance

Car insurance quotes have to be tailored to your vehicle, driving history, and risk factors. Click 'Get Quote' to see how much it might cost to fully protect your car.

Name Product Roadside Assistance Accidental Damage Storm Choice of Repairer Agreed or Market Value
Bingle Comprehensive
Finder's summary: Bingle consistently comes up as one of the cheaper insurers out there. It only covers the basics, so you don't get to choose your own repairer, you're not covered for personal items in the car and you won't get a hire car if your car is stolen. But this keeps its premiums low.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a low-cost option that covers them for the basics.
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Awarded the 2019 Finder Award for the Best Value Car Insurance, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost. Budget Direct’s claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Coles Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Coles have two-tiers of comprehensive car insurance to choose from. You'll earn double flybuys points at Coles supermarkets and you can get $10 off your Coles grocery bill every time you redeem 2,000 Flybuys points. If you're over 30, you can get roadside assistance free for a year.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
Virgin Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Finalists for the 2019 Finder Awards for Best Value Car Insurance, Virgin Comprehensive provides a good level of cover for a decent price. Earn up to 10,000 Velocity Points when you purchase a new eligible comprehensive car insurance policy by 1 March 2021 and get 15% off on your first year’s premium when you buy online. T&Cs Apply.
Poncho Comprehensive
Finder's summary: Poncho works like a monthly subscription – you pay monthly and can cancel and leave at any time. You can also list multiple cars and drivers under one policy, making it ideal for families and groups living together under one household.

Who it might be good for: People who want their car insurance month to month.
Qantas Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You'll be able to pick and choose how comprehensive you want your cover to be thanks to optional extras like roadside assistance, choice of your own repairer and the option of agreed or market value. Plus, you'll earn Qantas Points when you join and get access to the Qantas Wellness App.

Who it might be good for: People who love collecting frequent flyer points.
Youi Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Youi Comprehensive Car Insurance is one of the few providers to include roadside assistance in its policy. You'll also get access to YouiRewards which gives you discounts on furniture, parking and more. Youi also has a live chat feature on its site to talk through any questions.

Who it might be good for: People over 25 who want comprehensive cover with a focus on customer service
Stella Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Stella’s a female-focused insurer. It'll cover you if your car is damaged as a result of domestic violence. It offers higher cover for baby gear than most, with up to $2,000 cover for prams, strollers and child seats. You get a free Bauer magazine subscription when you sign up and a portion of your premiums go to supporting female-led businesses.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a female-centred car insurance policy (it will cover men too).

Compare up to 4 providers

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