Budget Direct Car Insurance
- 15% discount on first year's premium
- New car replacement
- $20 million legal liability cover
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If you love your car, you'll probably want comprehensive car insurance. It's the highest level of cover, so you can hit the road without worrying about a hefty bill if something goes wrong. You'll be covered for damage to your own car as well as damage to other people, vehicles and property. You'll even be covered if a freak hailstorm ruins your bodywork or a rogue kangaroo dents your bumper.
But not all comprehensive car insurance policies are created equal. Some have heaps more benefits, while others are overpriced for what they offer. This page will clear things up and could even save you thousands of dollars too.
In fact, our cost research found a staggering difference of $2,353 a year between the cheapest and most expensive insurer. It really does pay to shop around.
Did you know? A Finder survey found that more than half of car owners (55%) have had their car damaged by another person or vehicle.
Comprehensive car insurance is the highest level of car insurance you can get. It's the only type of car insurance that will cover damage to your own car as well as damage to other people, vehicles and property.
Depending on which comprehensive car insurance policy you buy, you can also get cover for roadside recovery, a hire car if yours is ever out of action and even emergency accommodation costs if you're stranded far from home.
Did you know? Comprehensive car insurance is sometimes referred to as fully comprehensive or fully comp. Don't worry, it all means the same thing.
There's an easy way to find out if you could benefit from comprehensive car insurance.
If you're still unsure, you can take our test. It'll give you an idea of which type of insurance might be right for you. Plus, it'll only take a minute or so.
According to Finder research, Budget Direct is the best all-rounder for comprehensive car insurance.
We requested a total of 336 quotes, from 42 different car insurers, using 8 unique driver profiles. We then analysed those quotes using our unique scoring system - which takes both features and pricing into consideration. Budget Direct came out on top.
With an average annual premium price of $927, Budget Direct was the 5th cheapest insurer but also achieved a respectable features score of 7.1 out of 10.
|Brand||Average price||Feature score||Finder score|
Important: For this rating, we excluded insurers that rely on telematics to price your policy. That's because it's difficult to pinpoint exactly how much you'd pay.
According to Finder research, NAB offers the most comprehensive policy.
We analysed the product disclosure statements of 42 different car insurers to find out which one offered the most comprehensive combination of benefits. NAB came out on top with a feature score of 8.2 out of 10.
The policy covers all the basics plus a heap of added extras including emergency repairs cover, high limits for emergency accommodation costs, and temporary cover on a replacement hire car. It even offers an accidental death benefit of $25,0000.
However, there is a caveat to the high level of cover. NAB didn't perform very well when it came to price. In fact, out of 42 car insurers, NAB was ranked 31st for price.
The table below shows the top 3 brands ranked by feature score. These are the most comprehensive car insurance policies, according to our research.
|Brand||Average price||Features score||Finder score|
According to Finder research, Bingle is the cheapest comprehensive policy.
Out of the 42 car insurers we analysed, Bingle came back with the lowest average pricing across 8 driver profiles. In fact, the insurer had an average annual price of just $780 for a comprehensive policy.
Of course, as with most things, you're going to have to sacrifice some quality in order to save cash. While budget policies are kind to your bank balance, they won't have as many benefits compared to more expensive options.
Bingle's affordability is countered by a relatively low feature score of just 3.3. All up, the insurer earned a respectable FInder score of 6.54 out of 10.
|Brand||Average price||Feature score||Finder score|
Important: For this rating, we excluded insurers that rely on telematics to price your policy. That's because it's difficult to pinpoint exactly how much you'd pay.
Using 8 different driver profiles we requested quotes from 43 different insurance companies. The average price difference between the most and least expensive insurer was a staggering $2,252 a year.
Of course, price isn't everything. Some more expensive policies will have a wider suite of benefits, but it just shows how much you can save by shopping around.
There are a few things you need to know when you're looking for comprehensive car insurance. It'll make it easier to compare different policies and spot the things that really matter to you.
📌 Benefits. Not all comprehensive car insurance policies are created equal. Some policies are packed with extra perks or have higher claims limits, but they're usually more expensive too.
📌 Price. Price is important but it's not everything. Just because a policy is more expensive, doesn't mean it's better. On the flip side, you can find cheap policies with decent benefits.
📌 No claim discounts. Most insurers offer a no claim discount, but the value varies between different companies. If you're a safe driver, keep an eye out for potential discounts.
📌 Choice of repairer. This is a biggie that often goes overlooked. It gives you the ability to choose your own repairer, rather than the insurer doing it for you. It means you can pick a garage close to home or one with a shorter waiting list to get repairs done.
📌 Agreed value. This is when you and your insurer agree on the value of your vehicle ahead of time. It means you know how much you'll be paid if your car is written off.
📌 Market value. This is when your car is insured for its current market value at any given time. It's more convenient, but depreciation means you might get paid less than you expected if you ever have a serious accident.
📌 Excess. This is the amount you'll have to contribute before your insurer starts paying your claim. So if you have a $500 excess but damage worth $1,200, your insurer will pay out $700.
📌 Underwriter. An underwriter is the company that provides insurance to your insurance company. Finder compares insurance from different brands and different underwriters.
Did you know? A Finder survey found that 31% of car owners have had their car damaged by another vehicle, but the driver left the scene before they could exchange details
Not all comprehensive car insurance policies are created equal. While they all have the same core benefits, some will have extra perks that make the policy more attractive.
✅ Legal liability if you injure someone
✅ Repairs to your car if you're in an accident
✅ Repairs to your car if it's vandalised
✅ Payment if your car is stolen or set on fire
✅ Repairs if your car is damaged in a storm
⭕ New car replacement if yours is written off within a certain period
⭕ Payment if personal items inside the car are stolen or damaged
⭕ Damage to a caravan or trailer
⭕ Roadside assistance
⭕ Emergency costs if you're stranded
Did you know? Roadside assistance matters. In a Finder survey of 1,007 people, 51% said they'd call roadside assistance if they broke down.
Comprehensive car insurance is usually around twice the price of a third party policy for the same vehicle. This isn't exact by any means, but it's a good rule of thumb.
However, because the price of car insurance varies depending on your personal situation and specific car, it's hard to put a figure on how much it might cost you.
Instead, we did some research to give you a rough idea just how much the cost can change from person to person and for different cars.
☑️ 2007 Toyota Corolla: $259 a month
☑️ Land Rover Defender: $500 a month
☑️ 18 y/o 2020
☑️ Doesn't have a no claim bonus
☑️ Car kept on street
☑️ 2007 Toyota Corolla: $85 a month
☑️ Land Rover Defender: $175 a month
☑️ 20 y/o 2020
☑️ 2 year no claim bonus
☑️ Car kept on driveway
☑️ 2007 Toyota Corolla: $68 a month
☑️ Land Rover Defender: $140 a month
☑️ 45 y/o 2020
☑️ 4 years no claim bonus
☑️ Car kept in carport
☑️ 2007 Toyota Corolla: $55 a month
☑️ Land Rover Defender: $119 a month
☑️ 60 y/o 2020
☑️ 5 years no claim bonus
☑️ Car kept in garage
There are lots of different factors that affect the cost of your car insurance policy. We've listed the most significant ones below.
|Age||Young drivers usually pay more for their insurance|
|Experience||Experienced drivers often enjoy cheaper premiums|
|Gender||Men sometimes pay more than women, although it's usually equal in older drivers|
|History||Drivers who have made recent claims will pay more for their premiums|
|Car value||Cheaper cars are less expensive to insure|
|Car features||If your car has safety or security features, it may be cheaper to insure|
|Usage||People who drive fewer kilometres per year may have cheaper premiums|
|Location||Cars kept in safe neighbourhoods or secure locations can see cheaper premiums|
|Cover||A higher level of protection that offers extra perks will be more expensive|
|Excess||If you choose a higher excess, your premiums will be lower|
|Restrictions||If you restrict the age of other drivers, you may be able to lower your premium|
Did you know? Price is the most important factor for Aussies when choosing car insurance. In one Finder survey, 43% of respondents said it was their biggest consideration.
This is a question only you can answer, but there's a simple formula to help you figure it out.
Your annual premium + your excess = potential cost of a claim
Value of your car - potential cost of a claim = the amount you'd have to spend to replace your car if you didn't have comprehensive insurance
Once you have the amount you'd have to spend to replace your car without comprehensive insurance, think about whether you would be willing – or able – to pay that amount.
If you would be willing and able, you may want to consider third party insurance or third party fire and theft. If you wouldn't, comprehensive car insurance is probably better suited to you.
Another good indicator that comprehensive car insurance isn't for you is if your annual premium is more expensive than the amount you'd have to spend to replace your car.
Here are some examples:
📌 Car value = $30,000
📌 Premium = $800
📌 Excess = $500
✅ $800 + $500 = $1,300
✅ $30,000 - $1,300 = $28,700
📌 Car value = $5,000
📌 Premium = $2,600
📌 Excess = $500
✅ $2,600 + $500 = $3,150
✅ $5,000 - $3,150 = $1,850
Comprehensive car insurance covers far more situations than either third party insurance or third party fire and theft. However, it's also the most expensive.
Our research shows the average price of comprehensive car insurance is roughly twice that of third party insurance. Use the table below to weigh up whether the extra benefits are worth the cost for you.
|Comprehensive||Third party fire and theft||Third party|
|Accidental damage to your car||✅||❌||❌|
|Malicious damage to your car||✅||❌||❌|
|Damage due to flood or storm||✅||❌||❌|
|Damage due to fire||✅||✅||❌|
|Damage to other people's property||✅||✅||✅|
|Emergency transport and accommodation||✅||❌||❌|
|Hire car following accident||✅||❌||❌|
|Personal property replacement||✅||❌||❌|
|New car replacement||✅||❌||❌|
|Replacement of car keys||✅||❌||❌|
*There may be some changes between insurers. Always check the PDS.
There are plenty of brands which offer comprehensive car insurance in Australia, and new companies pop up all the time. Here's a list of some of the most popular ones:
Using Finder partners only, we created a table which highlights some key policy features, and gives an indication of who might be better suited to certain policies, so you can compare comprehensive car insurance policies at a glance. Give it a go and see what works for you.
|Provider||Finder's analysis||Who it might be good for||Apply|
|Awarded the 2019 Finder Award for the Best Value Car Insurance, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost.|
Key replacement, towing costs, and personal effects are all covered as well as a hire car if yours is stolen. You also have the option to add roadside assistance and choice of repairer.
Budget Direct's claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.
Keep in mind, you might have to pay a bit more to get your own choice of repairer and there are a few extra excesses to be aware of.
|This policy covers all the basics like damage to your vehicle and towing from the scene, as well as extras such as hire car and emergency travel and accommodation costs. While it has similar features to other brands, it has one of the higher limits for personal effects and key replacement.|
Purchasing a policy could earn you up to 40,000 Qantas Points and you can get additional points by getting your car serviced or checking your tyres. You'll also get access to the Qantas Wellness app.
You'll have to pay extra if you want your own choice of repairer.
|Youi Comprehensive Car Insurance is one of the few providers to include Roadside Assistance in their policy. As well covering you for things like damage to your vehicle, key replacement and a hire car, when you sign up, you'll also get access to YouiRewards. This gives you discounts on things like Amart furniture, parking and more.|
They also provide counselling services of up to $1,500 if you're involved in an accident and need to talk to someone about it. Other perks include a hire car if you're not at fault, optional cover for specific business items (up to $1,000) and a handy live chat option on their site to get you in contact with a Youi rep.
Remember, Youi also don't offer a no-claims discount.
|Stella's is an insurer that is female-centered. They'll cover you if your car is damaged as a result of domestic violence. They offer higher cover for baby gear than most, with up to $2,000 cover for prams, strollers and child seats. They also offer higher cover for personal items than most so your handbag, phone, and jewellery should be protected.|
You can also get a free magazine subscription to Bauer Media mag when you sign up and know that a portion of your premiums are going towards supporting female-led businesses.
Keep in mind that although Stella is tailored to women, it isn't necessarily a cheaper policy for women to go with.
|Bingle consistently comes up as one of the cheaper insurers out there. They only cover 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. They also only operate online. But all this keeps their premiums low.|
Remember, they also only cover you for market value and you won't get a choice of your repairer.
|Coles have two-tiers of comprehensive car insurance to choose from: comprehensive and comprehensive plus. They cover you for damage to your car, give you a hire car, new car replacement if your car is less than 2 years old, and $200 towards grocery replacement if your shopping is nicked or damaged.|
The higher tier policy will also give you a hire car until your claim is sorted, one free windscreen repair each year, and an additional year for new car replacement.
You'll also 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.
Keep in mind, Coles won't let you choose your own choice of repairer.
|Finalists of the 2019 Finder Awards for Best Value Car Insurance, Virgin Comprehensive provides a good level of cover for a decent price. If you purchase online, you'll get 15% off on your first year's premium and you'll get covered for things like key replacement, towing costs and the personal items in your car. Plus if your vehicle is stolen, they'll give you a hire car. |
Another added perk is their hail hero service, which gives you a warning if hail is expected.
|Poncho works like a monthly subscription. You can pay monthly at no extra cost and there's only one standard excess you need to worry about. If it's not for you, you can leave anytime; there are no lock-in contracts or cancellation fees.|
You can also list multiple cars and drivers under one policy, making it ideal for families and groups living together under one household.
Be sure to list any other driver on your policy. Otherwise, you'll have to pay a $3,000 excess if they're in an accident.
|Real Comprehensive Car Insurance provides similar coverage to other insurers for the important stuff like looking after your car if it's stolen or you crash. This includes damage by fire or weather, and if your car is written off within two years of its registration, they'll replace it with a new one.|
They're also one of the few insurers who offer a Pay As You Drive policy, so you might be able to save big if you don't drive much.
Younger and inexperienced drivers listed on your policy will have to pay an added excess on top of the standard one, but this is usually pretty common in other policies too.
|Kogan comes with all the perks that most comprehensive car insurance policies include - like cover for theft, fire and weather, new for old car replacement, towing costs and more - but you'll also be entitled to some benefits on their online store. This usually comes in the form of a gift voucher or discount if you buy online.|
Plus, Kogan offer a pay as you drive option, which could be good if you're not on the road that much.
Kogan try and keep things affordable, so you don't get to choose your own repairer and you'll have to pay extra if you want a hire car if your vehicle is stolen (others include this automatically
At the very least, you should be comparing car insurance at least once a year to make sure you're getting the best deal available. If you compare car insurance online and find a better deal, you should definitely switch.
Remember, car insurance isn't all about price, it's about which benefits you get too. However, if you find a policy that offers the same benefits or more for a lower cost, you should either contact your current car insurance company and ask for a discount or you should change your insurance provider.
Don't worry, there's no harm in switching insurers and you won't lose your no claim history.
That's up to you. However, choosing agreed value or market value will have an impact on your premiums so it's important to understand which one is right for you.
This is when your car is insured for its current market value at any given time. It's more convenient, but depreciation means you might get paid less than you expected if you ever have a serious accident.
Usually, market value is the cheaper way to insure your car. However, if you plan on self-insuring to a certain extent, agreed value may be cheaper. There's more on this below.
You and the insurer agree on the value of the car when you first buy your insurance. Usually, you can set a value that is over or under the actual market value.
Often, people choose a value below market value because it reduces the price of their premiums. In these instances, the driver is self-insuring the rest of the car. They accept the risk that, if their car is written off, they won't receive enough money from the insurer to replace like-for-like and will have to settle for a less valuable car or contribute some money themselves.
However, some people choose to set a value above market value. This may be worth considering if you've spent a lot of money customising your car, you've installed high-quality parts or a like-for-like replacement would be incredibly hard to come by. You will pay a higher premium, but you'll receive a bigger payout than standard market value.
There are certain costs and situations which will not be covered by comprehensive insurance. These include the following:
❌ General wear and tear
❌ Mechanical, structural or electrical faults
❌ If you carry passengers or goods for payment
❌ If you hire your car to other people
❌ If an unlicensed driver is at the wheel
❌ If the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol
❌ If the car is driven in any races, rallies or contests
❌ If the car is used for any unlawful activity
❌ If the car is driven while considered unroadworthy
❌ If the car is driven in a reckless manner
This is not an exhaustive list. Depending on which policy you buy, it's likely there will be additional exclusions. Always check the PDS for a full list.
If you're keen to get comprehensive car insurance but are worried about the cost, there are ways to make your regular premiums more affordable.
✅ Shop around. Our research shows you can save thousands of dollars just by comparing
✅ Increase your excess. Choosing a higher excess will lower your premiums
✅ Look for no claim discounts. Some insurers offer big discounts to safe drivers
✅ Restrict usage. Premiums may be cheaper if only select people will drive the car
✅ Restrict age. If you restrict the minimum age of any driver, your premium might drop
✅ Keep it safe. Installing a car alarm or keeping your vehicle in a garage can earn you a discount
✅ Look for deals. Some insurers will offer discounts for buying online
Use the map below to compare car insurance based on your location.
Comprehensive car insurance can get more confusing the more you delve into it, but don't give up. Check out our guide on how to compare car insurance and see if that helps.
If you're struggling to weigh up whether it's right for you, we also have more information on the differences between comprehensive insurance and third party.
Of course, if you have any other questions that we haven't answered, feel free to drop us a comment. We'll do our best to clear things up.
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