Whether you're looking to switch insurers or find cover for a new car, we make it easy for you to compare and find the right car insurance policy for you. Unlike other comparison sites, we're not owned by any banks or insurance companies. This means you get an unbiased comparison every time. Best of all, it doesn't cost a thing.
We ran over 1000+ quotes, putting 38 insurers under the microscope for 36 different drivers for the 2019 Finder Awards and found a huge difference in how much you could pay for car insurance. The lowest average cost we found was $684 a year. The highest? $3,015. That's a difference of over $2,000 a year. This just shows the importance of comparing your car insurance. Read on to learn more of our secrets and to compare car insurance cover.
Compare car insurance side-by-side and get quotes
We took a look at some other comprehensive insurance policies. Here's how they compare:
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 Australia there are 4 levels of insurance. Compuslory Third Party (CTP) insurance is mandatory, and only covers injuries to other people and legal liability. If you want to cover your car or damage you might cause to other people's car, you'll need to look at extra insurance.
Your options are third party property damage, 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 (surprise!). 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.
What types of car insurance can I get?
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.
How much would you rather pay for your car insurance?
New Car Replacement
Emergency travel & repairs
We collected real quotes from 12 well known Australian car insurance brands and found that the difference in the cost of car insurance can differ by up to $41 a month, or $414 a year! Insurer A is a budget car insurer, whilst Insurer B is a household car insurance name.
Whilst Insurer A is far cheaper than Insurer B, Insurer B actually offers far more cover, giving you benefits like hire car, new car replacement and emergency travel & repairs included in the cost of the policy. Insurer A does give you the option for these features, but you'll have to pay more to get them.
These prices are just indicative of how you can't just go off the cost of car insurance - you should also take into account what you're paying for. It's a good idea to not be tied to any insurer, and instead make your decision on cost and the kind of features available, depending on what's most important to you.
Our quotes were based off a female Sydneysider born in 1980, driving a 2015 Toyota Corolla.
How to compare car insurance
1. Review your policy yearly. The longer you stay with your insurer, the more they will reward you, right? Wrong. Some Aussie's are paying more each year, just for being loyal to their insurers. A good way to combat this is to review your policy every renewal period. If you can find a better policy somewhere else, don't hesitate to take your business there. Don't just check the cost of your policy, but also see whether you still need the same level of cover that you have now. Priorities change!
2. Don't get tied to a brand. Don't just fall for a brand because you've seen their ads on tv. These policies might even be more expensive to offset their advertising costs! Instead, look for policies that suit you and your unique circumstances. Short on cash? It might be better for you to go for a budget insurer. Driving a brand new car? Then it's probably best to go for one of the high-end brands.
3. Compare, compare, compare. You're probably tired of hearing this, we know, but this is probably the most important tip to getting the best car insurance deal for you. Don't rely on one website to give you your answer (even us!). Set aside 30 minutes, fill in a bunch of quotes, compare car insurance, and make your decision off that.
4. Use autofill. Autofill is a quick and easy way to get lots of quotes for the least effort. It allows you to fill out commonly entered information in your quote form, so you're not stuck entering your details over and over again. It can be found on most browsers and makes the job of comparing so much easier.
5. Read the PDS. We know it's daunting, but this one is crucial. Make sure you understand what you're covered for. If you've been seeing the same mechanic for 20 years only to find that a policy doesn't let you choose your own repairer, chances are it won't work out.
How Finder compares car insurance
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:
Choice of repairer
Agreed or market value
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.
In car insurance, customer service means a lot more than just a smile as you fill out the paperwork. It means being able to depend on your insurer in the event of a claim, and knowing that the next time you speak to them, you might be having a very bad day. It can help to stay focused on the more important factors, including:
Response times: How can you contact the insurer, no matter where or when? This includes how long it takes the customer service team to pick up the phone when you call, how quickly you can expect a response to online or email enquiries and how long it usually takes the insurer to assess and pay claims. It can be a good idea to avoid insurers that aren't available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week all year around.
Claims options: If you needed to make a claim right now, what would you do? If you have a preference for online claims or want to be able to use an app, it can be a good idea to look for insurers that offer these options. If you think you'll do it over the phone or in person, consider what exactly is involved.
Communication: Does the insurer stay in touch throughout the claims process? This can be an important difference when you're making a claim, as you don't want to be chasing them down for updates. Let them keep you in the loop instead.
Policy flexibility: How can you adjust your policy? Flexibility encompasses not only the options available to you, but also the ease with which you can take advantage of them and the responsiveness of your insurer.
Partnered service quality: What's the quality of the insurer's service partners? Free roadside assistance might not be much use if it's not available in your area, while towing, vehicle storage, glass and windscreen replacement and other repairs will all typically involve the use of partnered service providers. It can be a good idea to compare the quality of these, and look for relevant reviews.
The ideal car insurance policy for you 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 overinsured and spending more than you need to. If you have too little, you'll be underinsured and not effectively 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 find your next policy.
Car insurance buying guide
Here's a quick walk through of 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 property, and third party fire and theft car insurance policies all offer different types of protection. You should know what type of insurance you're looking for before comparing policies.
Work out your preferred excess.Consider how much you are willing and able to 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 be making a claim if something happens. You will often have the option to choose your own excess, but you should try to stick to the amount that you've decided works for you.
Consider the options. There are a range of options 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 also want to check a policy's new for old replacement terms.
Once you've decided what you need, you can start comparing suitable options.
Compare prices and discounts. Get quotes from different insurers to compare prices. As you do, make sure you're looking at equivalent quotes, with a similar excess in all cases, and whether your quote has automatically added the various available car insurance discounts. Sometimes a quote that initially seems higher will actually be cheaper after adding a discount. Multiple excesses will often apply, so you also want to look at these in detail and make sure you understand all the potential excesses which may apply in the event of a claim.
Compare the cover. You'll naturally want to make sure you're comparing 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'll want to look at the benefits and cover in detail but don't want to overlook some of the less clear differences, such as the exact claims process, what evidence you'll need to provide. The PDS is a contract that explains exactly what you're getting with your car insurance, so it can pay to examine it in detail. If any learner drivers will be getting behind the wheel, or if multiple people will be driving your car, it's also worth looking at any conditions that may apply here.
After that, you might be ready to start buying.
Nominate or restrict drivers. If no one under 25 will ever be driving your car, it can be worth restricting drivers on your policy to get lower premiums. If you know exactly who's going to be driving your car, you may also 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 opt into 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.
Applying for car insurance involves first getting a quote, and then the application process itself.
Getting a quote
The quote process will differ depending on the insurance brand, though most will follow similar steps to those listed below:
Specify what policy you want and when you want it to start: comprehensive; third party property damage, fire and theft or third party property damage.
Input your vehicle type, including non-standard modifications and accessories, if the vehicle is for business or personal use, and if you want to insure it for an agreed or market value.
Enter your personal details and the details of any drivers.
Choose any policy extras and decide if you want to increase your excess to reduce your premiums.
Once you're happy with how much you'll be spending each year or month, you'll have to go through an application which go through the same steps above but in further detail.
When this is completed, you'll make your payment, and the policy will start on the date specified.
Information you must disclose when applying
While it may be tempting to avoid disclosing some details about your vehicle or driving history from your insurance brand, in doing so you only risk your claim being rejected in the event you actually have an accident. Insurance companies go to great lengths to verify the information you have provided in the event of a claim.
Driving convictions. While many motoring convictions can be removed from your licence before you can be considered rehabilitated, from a legal standpoint, you still have to inform the insurance company of any convictions you haven't been rehabilitated for.
Other criminal convictions - If you have any other criminal convictions, you must let the insurer know as they can determine the level of premium you have to pay or the terms you are offered. If you don't let them know, you can find yourself with a policy that is not valid.
Vehicle incidents - Most insurance companies will require you to reveal your entire vehicular incident history, which not only refers to claims you have lodged yourself or have been lodged against you but also those pertaining to any other person driving on your policy. Such incidents could be accidents, joy riding, vandalism, damage to the windscreen, fire or theft.
Alterations - Most insurance companies will require that you reveal any alterations you may have made to your car. Even if these alterations do not affect the performance of the vehicle, they could make it more valuable or increase the chances of it getting stolen. Things like installing specialty exhausts or tinting windows, which otherwise do not affect the performance of the vehicle, are considered alterations you must inform your insurer of. While this might seem strange, the fact is that insurance companies have found that people who make alterations to their vehicles tend to statistically have a higher likelihood of being involved in a claim.
If any of the requirements of what must be disclosed to your insurer is unclear, it's always worth giving them a call to verify the details to ensure you are adequately covered. Keep these details with the rest of your insurance documentation in the event you have to provide proof in the future that you did as you were required.
The excess is the charge you are required to pay on every claim you lodge. So, for example, if the rear and front of your car have been damaged in two separate situations, you are required to make two claims, which means you will need to pay an excess for each claim you lodged. The total amount you have to pay depends on the conditions under which you made the claim.
If the insurance company agrees that you or your vehicle were not to blame for the accident and you are able to offer the contact information of the other driver or the registration number of the other vehicle, some companies will waive the excess.
Generally, there are five types of excess you might be required to pay, depending on the circumstances:
Voluntary excess, which is ans additional excess you can nominate to pay to make your premiums cheaper
Age excess for those under the age of 25
Inexperienced driver excess for those who have held a licence for a short number of years
Undeclared young driver excess, which applies when someone under 25 drives the car but isn't listed on the policy
The amount covered represents the maximum sum an insurance company will pay for the damage or loss of your vehicle, minus any applicable deductions, unless otherwise stated in the policy. This amount includes the entire value of the vehicle, including alterations and accessories and also includes GST.
Yes. Car insurance in Australia includes GST. This is included in the cost of premiums.
This means that the GST paid on car insurance may also be claimed as a business expense, and may also entitle one to GST credits, or input tax credit.
You have the option of paying your premiums either every month or on an annual basis. In some cases paying monthly will raise the total amount you pay each year.
If the insurance company is willing to renew your policy, in most cases you'll receive notice a minimum of 14 days before the expiration date of your policy. The notice generally includes how much you have to pay as well as when you have to pay by. If you pay your premiums every month, you won't have to do anything as the company will simply continue to draw payment for your account on the same date every month. However, if you pay your premium as an annual lump sum, you should talk to your insurance company to see how you can make the payment.
If your renewal doesn't contain the correct information, you have to get in touch with your insurer. You have to make sure that all your information is updated and accurate and if you don't take action to inform your insurer about any changes to your circumstances that you are fully aware are 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 simply act as if the policy had never existed.
In most cases, a car insurance policy can be cancelled by calling the insurance company or by sending in a written cancellation. Generally, if you cancel your policy outside the cooling off period, you will receive a refund consisting of any portion of your premium that has not yet expired after the cancellation fee has been deducted. There might also be other non-refundable government charges which will also be deducted if the refund exceeds $5.
Generally, your insurance company will be able to help with getting your vehicle repaired. Depending on the insurer, you will be sent to one of their assessment centres or recommended repairers, or the repairer of your own choice. In either case, an assessment will be performed and repairs will be organised. Ensure you check your policy to see if you can choose your own repairer.
You should contact your insurance company immediately if you receive any letters making demands from any other person involved in the 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 that the insurer will be handling the claim. At no point should you admit that you were to blame for the damage or accident and you should certainly not make any promises regarding covering their expenses.
Write down as much information as possible on the other party, including their name, place of residence, telephone number and vehicle information. Then get in touch with the insurance company to let them know what has occurred so they can help you with the process.
According to the GST Act, you are obligated to let your insurance company know what your insurance premium ITC entitlement was. More information is available from the ATO.
Generally speaking, according to an insurance policy, the insurer is liable to cover the net cost of your claim. Thus, when they work out how much they have to pay you, they deduct any ITCs you might be entitled to because they reduce the net expense.
The best option is to contact your accountant or the ATO to learn more about the ITC and how it impacts your claim.
No. Some insurance companies will not provide coverage for vehicles such as:
Classic and vintage cars
Commuter buses that can carry more than 12 passengers
Vehicles that are damaged
Vehicles that were formerly ambulances or taxis<
Privately imported vehicles
Corsa Special Vehicles
Vans built for special purposes like fire rescue vans
Vehicles that can carry over 2 tonnes
If you aren't sure whether your vehicle is eligible, it's best to contact the insurance company directly and see what they say. There are also some limitations in terms of what the vehicle will be used for. Many insurance companies will not provide coverage if the vehicle in question is used:
As a courtesy car
For the transportation of inflammable liquids, explosives, chemicals, dangerous goods
In time trials
In a racing competition or rally
For taxi services
For hire services
As a demo vehicle
Again, not all of these will apply to all insurers so your best option is to contact the insurance company direct and see what they say regarding your particular vehicle and its usage.
As long as you give enough notice, most standard car insurance policies will let you cancel at any time. Keep in mind that a cancellation fee will generally apply, unless you're switching to another policy with the same brand, or you're within the cooling off period.
RACQ will refund your remaining premiums if you cancel your policy prematurely. If the refunded premiums are less than $100, a fee of $10 will be deducted.If the refunded premiums are more than $100, a cancellation fee of 10% of the refunded amount will apply, up to a maximum of $80.
While this varies from insurer to insurer, generally a learner driver will be covered by a car insurance policy as long as there is an instructing passenger in the front seat who is a fully licensed regular driver. In most 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 Australia and have a valid licence. Of course, they must abide by the terms and conditions of the policy as well.
If you drive while pregnant, it won't affect your policy unless you've been advised to refrain from driving or that your pregnancy could negatively affect your capacity to drive. To ensure you are fully able to drive, it is a good idea to consult your doctor.
Some insurance companies take things a step further than simply handling your claim. Some insurers offer a valet service whereby they take care of all the details and, if your car can be driven safely, they will even deliver it to where it needs to go. Generally, such perks are only available for comprehensive policies.
Some insurance companies offer certain benefits for children if you're an existing customer. If your child wants to insure their vehicle with the same insurance company, they might receive a rating for every year they've been driving while licensed and haven't made a claim. Check with your insurance company as some offer additional perks such as free one-day skilled drivers courses, which are meant to help them with their driving skills and offer discounts after completing the course.
To change any information pertaining to the registration of your car or the regular driver, you have to contact the insurance company. You will need to give them the number of your policy and/or the registration number of your vehicle, as well as your mailing address, which must coincide with the address on our policy, and your birth date when submitting your request.
Some details you will have to provide them with when changing the details of a regular driver include:
The frequency with which the person will now be driving the car
What they will be using the car for
Their name, gender and date of birth
How long they have held their licence for
Accident and claims history for the past 3 years. If there are such events, you must supply details of the accident, whether or not they were to blame and when it occurred.
Whether or not the driver has lost their licence or had it suspended or cancelled. If yes, you will need to provide details.
Some insurance companies will provide their customers with a hire car for a limited period of time if their vehicle has been stolen. There is also the possibility of pre-purchasing a 'discount hire car benefit' or 'comprehensive hire car benefit', which will ensure 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 trade under a car insurance policy, meaning that you will have to seek the services of a specialist insurer.
In terms of trailers, some companies will offer a limited degree of coverage for accidental damage caused to your trailer while it was connected to your vehicle.
Most car insurance policies only provide coverage while your vehicle is being driven in Australia. If you're overseas, the policy doesn't cover the vehicle or the personal liability of the driver.
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 first registration.
Some insurance policies will 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.
When deciding if market value is right for you, you need to consider if the reduced amount will be 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 - 15 years older), replacement cost may not be as great a concern so it would make sense to save the premium.
Alexandra Koster is Finder's Publisher for car, home and pet insurance. Her hobbies include reading product disclosure statements and deciphering complicated insurance lingo to help people save on their insurance so that they can spend their money on better things – like dogs. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Cultural Studies from the University of Sydney.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
Important information about this website
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We compare from a wide set of major banks, insurers and product issuers.
finder.com.au has access to track details from the product issuers listed on our sites. Although we provide information on the products offered by a wide range of issuers, we don't cover every available product. You should consider whether the products featured on our site are appropriate for your needs and seek independent advice if you have any questions.
Products marked as 'Promoted' or "Advertisement" are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options and find the best option for you.
The identification of a group of products, as 'Top' or 'Best' is a reflection of user preferences based on current website data. On a regular basis, analytics drive the creation of a list of popular products. Where these products are grouped, they appear in no particular order.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment.
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labelling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
Providing or obtaining an estimated insurance quote through us does not guarantee you can get the insurance. Acceptance by insurance companies is based on things like occupation, health and lifestyle. By providing you with the ability to apply for a credit card or loan we are not guaranteeing that your application will be approved. Your application for credit products is subject to the Provider's terms and conditions as well as their application and lending criteria.