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Looking for car insurance but don't know where to start?
Our comprehensive guide will help you make an informed decision.
What is car insurance?
Simply put, car insurance helps you out when you get into sticky situations. An insurance provider will give you coverage in the event of a car accident, theft, or other related incidents. In return, you give them a periodic fee. You can get these types of car insurance in Australia:
Comprehensive car insurance is that best mate that helps you out when you're in trouble. 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.
Best for: Those who want peace of mind, knowing that they have the highest cover available.
This gives you that little bit extra cover against life's uncertainties. As the name suggests, this cover type ensures you are protected 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.
Best for: Those who need a bit more cover without the pricetag.
The most basic policy. This 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.
Best for: First-time drivers, cheaper cars, and those on a budget.
Commonly known as greenslip insurance, CTP is mandatory for every registered driver in Australia, and is included in your car rego in many states. It offers protection to the driver who is at fault for a motor vehicle accident which led to another person being injured. If you need cover for things like damage to your car, theft, or even a breakdown on the side of the road, you’ll need to look at some of the more comprehensive cover options mentioned on this page.
Best for: Everyone - it's mandatory!
What other types of car insurance can I get?
What will I actually be covered for?
|Damage to other people's property|
|Storm or flood|
|Emergency accommodation, transport and repairs|
|Replacement of keys|
|Contents inside the car|
|New car replacement|
What if I want extra cover?
- Roadside assistance. Roadside assistance is a little like that guardian angel that comes and saves you when you've broken down or have a flat tyre in the middle of the night. It helps you with a wide variety of issues, including breakdowns, locking yourself out of the car, towing, battery jump-starts, and fuel delivery. You can take this out for a little bit extra on top of your existing policy. In some instances, roadside assist is included in your comprehensive cover.
- Personal effects. This gives you cover for your personal belongings at the time of an accident. Imagine that your shiny new laptop gets damaged when you have a collision. This type of cover will ensure that you're not out of pocket. Be wary of the terms and conditions surrounding this cover. You often won't be covered if your car is broken into and things are stolen.
- Hire car after an accident. After an accident, your car could be out of action for weeks. If you rely on your car everyday, this could be problematic. Taking out accident hire car cover ensures that you don't have to deal with the unpredictability that comes with not having a car.
- Windscreen cover. Repairing a windscreen can cost you hundreds of dollars. When you consider the damage that a just small pebble can do, it makes windscreen cover even more ideal. For a few extra pennies, your insurer can cover the costs of this.
3 Simple Ways To Save On Car Insurance
7 hacks to cut your premiums
- Take advantage of discounts. Look around to see if you can get a loyalty discount or a deal for new customers. Some insurance providers will also provide you with a discount of up to 15% for taking out your policy online.
- Pay a higher excess. An excess is the 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 cost of your overall premium.
- Restrict certain drivers. Most policies will give you a cheaper premium if you restrict certain drivers from taking your wheels for a spin. Consider restricting drivers like under 25s, seniors, learners, or P-Platers.
- Know how your vehicle make and model will affect your premiums. If you haven't purchased a car yet, compare insurance prices for a variety of car models. You might be surprised about how much the car you drive can affect how much car insurance costs you.
- Bundle your policies together. If you've already got home insurance, consider sticking with the same provider for your auto insurance. When you group multiple policies together 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 get a fine. But if 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.
- 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 - this can sometimes compromise your cover. Don't be afraid to switch providers in order to get the best deal.
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How to claim if you have an accident
Slow down. Take a breath. If you've been involved in an accident, you might decide 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 that 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-claims 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.
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Drivers not slowing down enough at level crossings. Read more…*Disclaimer: The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products finder.com.au 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', 'Top', 'Cheap' including variations, 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.
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