Comprehensive Car Insurance
We found an average difference of $2,643 between two comprehensive car insurance policies. How much could you save on your policy?
Comprehensive cover is the highest level of car insurance you can get on the market. It protects you if you're in an accident, a big storm thrashes your car, or someone hits your car with their shopping trolley.
In our 2019 Finder Awards, we found that one budget car insurer averaged at $682 a year, whilst another hit a huge average of $3,325 a year. That's a difference in $2,643! So if you think you're paying too much for your comprehensive car insurance then you could be right.
Read on to learn what policy might be a good option for you and how you could save.
Finder Award Winner: Budget Direct Car Insurance
Budget Direct won the 2019 Finder Award for Best Value Car Insurance because it was one of the more affordable policies on the market, whilst still providing strong coverage for your car.
Their policy boasts flood and storm cover, 24/7 phone assistance, adjustable excess, optional roadside assistance, a hire car, towing costs, and even a hail warning SMS system.
15% off first year's premium for new policies purchased online. T&Cs apply.
24/7 roadside assistance for less than $1.60 a week
Do I need comprehensive car insurance?
In most cases, getting comprehensive car insurance is a good idea. If you care about your car or depend on it every day, it makes sense to invest in comprehensive car insurance.
It's the only type of car insurance policy that will properly cover you if your car is damaged in an accident. And if it is and you're unable to drive it, most comprehensive car insurance policies will also give you a rental car, and in some instances, a brand new car. You'll also be covered for any malicious damage or vandalism, damage from hail or storms, theft, fire, emergency accommodation, and much more.
One time that it might not be worth getting comprehensive car insurance is if you're young as the cost of comprehensive car insurance might cost more than the car itself. Another time you should reconsider taking out comprehensive car insurance is if you've got a cheap car you might not care much about, as you might not get your money's worth if the car is written off.
How much does comprehensive car insurance cost?
The cost of comprehensive car insurance differs substantially based on your own individual circumstances, like your age, sex, where you live, and what car you drive.
We got quotes for comprehensive car insurance from 10 companies and found that the average cost for our criteria was $$1,055 a year, or $88 a month.
Your costs might be significantly different to the below, so make sure you compare.
To determine this estimated cost, we sourced quotes using this profile:
- Female driver born 1/1/1980
- Silver 2016 Ford Falcon 2.0L Auto
- Comprehensive car insurance
- Safe driver with no claims made in the past 3 years
- Drives 10,000-15,000 km per year
- Adjusted excess to $850 where possible
- Driver located in Sydney
- Policy starting 22/01/2020
You may be asking yourself, 'What is comprehensive car insurance and what does it cover?' Comprehensive car insurance covers loss or damage to your own vehicle and your legal liability to a third party for loss or damage to their vehicle or property. A typical comprehensive policy covers your vehicle against the following:
- Flood, hail or storm damage
- Malicious acts
- Fire and theft
- Accident or collision
- Damage to third party property.
What extra cover should I consider?
Most comprehensive policies also include a range of extras, or have them as options:
- Use of hire car
- Windscreen replacement
- Replacement car cover
- Legal liability cover
- Lock and key replacement
Cover is usually dependent on the vehicle being used by a nominated driver(s) for private and occasional business use only and never for commercial use or driving tuition.
An excess is the amount you must pay towards a claim. Most comprehensive policies let you choose the amount of excess. The more you choose, the less your premium will be. However, it is important to ensure when opting for a higher excess that you will have sufficient funds on hand to pay it if required.
As the cost of repairs resulting from minor accidents is often less than $1,000, many people opt for an excess around this level, so they do not have to claim on their insurance and jeopardise their rating.
The three main types of excesses are the standard, or basic, excess, which is an amount agreed to when you take out the policy and which you have to pay when making a claim, an age excess which usually applies to less experienced drivers under the age of 25, and a special excess which may be applied to some drivers in relation to a specific past incident. You may be able to choose your standard excess level which makes a big difference to premiums.
Which is the best policy for me? It's a common question but a tough one to answer. Everyone’s needs and ideas about the best are different.
For example, one driver may be after the car insurance for under 25 drivers, while another is after comprehensive car insurance for seniors. One driver may want low priced cover against common risks, while another wants to pay more for complete peace of mind. It is these differences in needs that will determine the best* policy for you.
Another question is whether third party or comprehensive insurance better for your needs.
- Third party car insurance covers you for damage your vehicle causes to other people's vehicles or property. It generally does not cover you for theft of or damage to your own vehicle. It costs less than comprehensive car insurance, but offers little to no protection for your own vehicle. This is a good choice if you’re driving an older or less valuable car. It covers you from the most potentially expensive risks, but doesn’t extend unnecessary levels of protection to your own vehicle.
- Comprehensive car insurance covers you for third party damage and for damage to your own vehicle. It also covers you for fire, theft and any other dangers named in the insurance policy. Most also offer a range of other benefits such as towing, windscreen replacement and much more. This is a good choice for people with more expensive cars, or one they’re still making payments on, who want the highest level of cover available. Some car loans may require you to take out comprehensive cover.
What's the right type of car insurance for you?
Despite the higher cost of comprehensive car insurance, there are ways to reduce your premiums and make it more affordable. Ensure that when you look at a policy you consider:
- Shop around. Not all insurers charge the same, so look for a good deal. Compare both prices and benefits offered to find a policy option that fits your needs and budget.
- Increasing your excess. Increasing your excess can ensure that your premiums stay lower.
- Looking for no-claim bonus discounts. These can save you as much as 70% on your premiums.
- Restricting usage to nominated drivers. Some insurers provide a discount if only you and your spouse drive the vehicle.
- Bundling your insurance. If you have other forms of insurance, you may be eligible for a discount if you add car insurance as well. Look for multi-policy discounts.
- Making your vehicle safer. Having a car alarm or immobiliser may earn you a discount from your insurer.
- Driving a smaller car. A car with less engine capacity costs less to insure than a bigger, more powerful model.
- Looking for an insurer who differentiates. Some comprehensive car insurers take into consideration how often you use your vehicle and reward adjust the premiums accordingly.
When applying for comprehensive insurance, it is very important that you tell your insurer anything that is likely to have an effect on how much they charge you for your policy. If you don’t comply with your Duty of Disclosure, and they discover you have not been totally honest with them, they may reduce your claim or even refuse to pay at all.
You should also advise your insurer when you situation changes, such as if you move house, modify your car, include additional drivers or start using your vehicle for a purpose other than that specified in the policy. All these things can affect your premium amount and the extent of your cover, so you need to be upfront at all times with your insurer.
Other questions you may have about comprehensive car insurance
* We got this cost by dividing the monthly premium for Budget Direct's policy into a daily amount.
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