AAMI Car Insurance Review
Buying a new car is an exciting experience. You finally have your own mode of transport and will not have to depend on neighbours, family and friends to ferry you around. Being a car owner can be fun, but it also comes with certain responsibilities. One of the responsibilities that you have as a car owner is car insurance. Car insurance is for your own financial protection as well as other drivers and pedestrians on the road.
While there are many types of car insurance available, there are some that are mandatory, as per the Australian laws. If you want to register your car, you definitely need compulsory third party insurance. Each State and Territory in Australia has its own scheme and this insurance is cover injuries that other people sustain. So, do not assume you can use it to repair your car.
Besides the compulsory third party insurance, drivers also need to consider cover for their own vehicle. There are basic and comprehensive options with varying levels of cover to choose from.
What makes this AAMI unique is that it deals directly with customers and this allows AAMI to offer exceptional customer service and high quality insurance products to suit different people.
AAMI has grown to become one of the most popular car insurance brands in Australia.
From the early 1990s, AAMI has been growing consistently in the Australian market and has worked hard to carve a niche for itself in the car insurance industry. Thanks to its unique products, it has been successful in standing apart from its competitors. It was during this time that AAMI introduced the AAMI Customer Charter, which focuses on superlative customer experience and service.
In the 1970s, AAMI employed just 500 people and today it has over 3,100 employees spread across the country. AAMI has a presence in every state and territory in Australia. AAMI has about 4 million customers, who have bought 3.2 million policies.
In 2007, AAMI merged with Suncorp Group, which is listed on the Australian stock exchange and is one of the largest diversified financial services providers in Australia and New Zealand.
AAMI offers its customers a range of insurance products. You will find a policy not only to suit your needs, but also your budget. And, all the insurance products come with outstanding customer service. You will be able to speak to customer support personnel any time of the day or night. Some of the insurance products offered by AAMI include:
- Car insurance
- Compulsory third party (CTP) insurance
- Home insurance
- Life insurance
- Caravan insurance
- Motorcycle insurance
- Business insurance
- Income protection
AAMI offers three types of car insurance. Each of these options come with unique benefits and cover. So understanding what each AAMI car insurance option offers will help you make an informed decision.
Comprehensive Car Insurance:
This insurance is one of the basic car insurance policies from AAMI. It covers the following:
- Theft of your car
- Accidental damage
- Damage to another person’s car and/or property
- Emergency costs
- A new car if your car is under 2 years old and has been written off
AAMI’s Comprehensive Car Insurance is extremely flexible. You can choose your own excess and premiums, thereby ensuring you stick to your monthly budget effortlessly. If you opt for a quote online, you will be able to save $100 on your new car insurance policy. The insurance comes with extremely flexible payment options. You also are entitled to certain benefits, such as AAMI Safe Driver Rewards®.
The Comprehensive Car Insurance policy also comes with certain optional extras that can make your life much less stressful in the event your car breaks down. For instance, you can hire a car for unlimited days without feeling the pinch, you have access to 24/7 roadside assistance and it also covers windscreen and window glass repair and replacement.
Third Party Car Insurance:
The Third Party Car Insurance is a must in Australia. While this insurance can be mandatory, AAMI ensures total cover. With the Third Party Car Insurance, you will be covered for the following:
- Damage to other people’s property and/or car
- Damage that is the result of a collision with an uninsured motorist
- Optional fire and theft cover
This insurance option also comes with flexible online payment and if you are a new customer, you can save money on your policy by getting a quote online.
CTP Green Slip:
Compulsory Third Party car insurance is referred to as Green Slip Insurance in New South Wales. This insurance is mandatory if you want to register the car.
If you opt for this insurance policy, it will protect should passengers in your car or others on the road file a personal injury claim against you. It is prudent to remember that this insurance from AAMI does not cover any damage that your car or other people’s car or property sustains in an accident.
When you buy a new car insurance policy or you renew your existing one, AAMI offers you something known as a cooling off period. This period is for 21 days and you can use your cooling off rights within those days. If you do so, the AAMI refunds the entire amount that you paid for the policy, but it also means that you will not have any cover for your car.
You also have the option of cancelling your car insurance at any time. If you do go ahead with the cancellation, you will be covered until the date of cancellation.
All car insurance options provided by AAMI can be managed online. This means that it is easy for you to handle your car insurance-related affairs at a time when it is convenient for you. You also will notice quite a difference when you make a claim. The insurance policies come with paperless claims, so you do not have to worry about completing lots of documentation when submitting your claim. AAMI will also tow your damaged car if it is involved in an accident and cannot be driven.
When you decide to opt for Comprehensive Car Insurance, you will enjoy two benefits from AAMI. These are AAMI Safe Driver Rewards® and AAMI Skilled Drivers Course.
AAMI Safe Driver Rewards®:
The AAMI Safe Driver Rewards® is a program that offers you benefits and rewards. In case you do not make a claim that adversely affects your Safe Driver status, AAMI will reward you with a credit. This credit can be used for the following year’s premium and will allow you to enjoy up to 15% off.
This is a progressive reward system and keeps increasing with time. You also get discounts on AAMI Roadside Assistance and this discount keep increasing with time.
It is important to understand that the reward offer is not associated with the number of years you have the insurance. Rather, it is associated with your driving abilities. The safer you drive and the fewer claims you make, the more rewards you can reap.
AAMI Skilled Drivers Course:
The AAMI Skilled Drivers Course is primarily meant for young drivers, so that they get a better understanding of road safety. If you are under 25, you can enroll for this course free of charge. It comes as a part of the Comprehensive Car Insurance. If you are over 25, you may wish to enroll your children or grandchildren.
If the person successfully completes the course, it will have an impact on your premiums. You will be able to enjoy a 10% reduction in your premium until the driver reaches the age of 25.
The course is extremely educational and deals with issues young drivers face on the road. It also provides information on the common types of crashes and what steps young drivers can take to avoid them. This is a hands-on training that teaches you how speed can adversely affect your ability to control your car and how you and your beloved car tend to react if there are sudden changes in traffic and road conditions.
Many young drivers are oblivious to how much distance there should be between cars and this is something that the AAMI Skilled Drivers Course teaches you.
Remember, when you enroll for the course, you will learn a lot about driving safely and when you do, you will be able to reduce the claims you make, thereby enjoying the AAMI Safe Driver Rewards®.
There are a number of factors that will impact the premium you pay for cover.
AAMI calculates the premium based on the likelihood of you making a claim and many other factors that are associated with the cost the AAMI incurs in providing cover. These factors together are known as risk indicators and they have an effect even when you are renewing your car insurance policy. What this means is that when you are renewing your insurance, be prepared for the premium to fluctuate from the year before.
AAMI will take into consideration the following in order to work out the premium that you have to pay and this will give you an idea of the cost of the insurance.
- Any discount, if applicable
- Stamp duty
- Any other government charges
- Fire services levy, abbreviated as FSL, could be added to your premium
It is important to note that at this stage, no AAMI Safe Driver Rewards® is applied. Once the aforementioned items are totalled, it is then that the rewards credit is deducted from the amount and you will get the final cost of the insurance.
The premium is mentioned on your certificate of insurance under the heading of Total Amount Payable. In case you decide to pay in instalments, then the instalment amount will be mentioned under the heading of Instalment Amount.
These are the different factors that come into play when AAMI calculates the cost of the premium.
There are certain exclusions when it comes to your AAMI car insurance. It is important that you are aware of these exclusions to avoid any surprises in the event of a claim.
You will not be entitled to file a claim for loss, legal liability or damage if the claim arises due to the following:
- You authorise someone else to drive your vehicle and enter an agreement to accept liability should an accident occur
- The accident occurs because you were driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Your car meets with an accident if it was driven by a person whose judgement was impaired due to alcohol, drugs and/or medication
- The driver of the vehicle had more than the legal blood alcohol limits and/or drugs were found in the driver’s breath, blood, urine or saliva
- You refuse to take a test for drugs and/or alcohol
- Your vehicle contains asbestos or derivatives of asbestos
- Your vehicle was involved or in the middle of rioting or looting
- Your vehicle has been affected by biological, chemical or any other pollutant or contaminant
- Any steps taken by public authority to decontaminate your car due to biological, chemical, viral, germ or poisonous substance
- Your vehicle or the contents therein are legal repossessed or confiscated
- Your car has mould, mildew, rust, corrosion and/or normal wear and tear
There are some other instances where you will not be covered. Some of these include:
- Loss of wages or income
- Medical expenses
- Stress or anxiety treatment
- Cleaning costs
- Your car depreciates in value after it has undergone repairs
- Any other costs that are not covered by the policy
- You cause intentional loss or damage to your car
- The loss or damage to your vehicle occurs outside of Australia
When you buy AAMI car insurance, your certificate of insurance will contain information regarding to the date of insurance payment and the amount payable. You have to ensure that you make your car insurance payment within the date mentioned on your certificate of insurance.
You have the option of making one single payment every year or you can pay in instalments. In case you opt for the latter, it is important to note that the overall cost of the insurance will be higher.
Late annual payments: If for some reason you forget to pay your premium on the due date as a new customer, you will receive a written notice from AAMI informing you about the cancellation of your insurance. This is required by law. The good news is you can make late payment and resume your car insurance. The insurance will begin from the date AAMI receives the payment.
Overdue instalments: If you do not pay your car insurance instalment on time, AAMI has the liberty of refusing your claim if the instalment is 14 days or more overdue. You also run the risk of having your car insurance policy cancelled without any prior notification if there is even a single instalment overdue for one or more months.
If you decide to make a claim after your car was involved in an accident or was stolen, you would have to follow a simple 5-step process.
- Step 1: Make sure that you and your passengers are safe. If there is an emergency, you can call 000 for assistance.
- Step 2: Prevent your vehicle from sustaining any further damage. So switch on your hazard lights and move your vehicle to the side of the road, away from traffic.
- Step 3: Report the accident or theft to the relevant authorities. Record the date, time, report number and name of the officer taking your report.
- Step 4: Write down the name and contact details of the other driver, passengers and witnesses. Be sure to also take the other driver’s insurance details and vehicle registration number.
- Step 5: Contact AAMI immediately and give the details of the accident or theft. This also includes damage done to someone else’s property or vehicle. Inform AAMI whether you require towing services to the nearest repair or assessment centre or to another location.
If you make a claim, you have to provide AAMI with your input tax credit details. If you do not provide this information, AAMI will not be liable to pay for a Goods and Service Tax (GST) that you may have to pay.
If your car is being written off, AAMI will deduct the input tax credit entitlement and then make the payment to you.
It also is important to note that for any claim to be processed, you would have to meet a few criteria. These include:
- Meeting any expert, such as investigator, claims assessor or repairer, that AAMI chooses
- Assisting AAMI in handling your claim by agreeing to provide necessary documentation or answering questions
- Allowing AAMI to recover, take possession or salvage your vehicle
- Be present in court to provide evidence, if necessary