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Roadside resistance: 3 million Australians axe car insurance as cost of living bites

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The number of uninsured vehicles on Australian roads is on the rise, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 961 motorists revealed 16% of drivers – equivalent to 2.9 million people – have cancelled or lowered their car insurance policies in the past 12 months as premiums and the cost of living soar.

The research found 5% of motorists ditched their policy, while 11% downgraded their policy to save money.

Almost 1 in 10 (9%) don't have cover beyond compulsory third party.

This means as many as 1 in 7 (14%) drivers don't have car insurance.

Tim Bennett, insurance expert at Finder, said it's becoming increasingly challenging for people to absorb rising insurance bills.

"Many are being forced to ditch their policy as they try to keep their heads above water.

"Despite the strain, forgoing car insurance entirely leaves you financially exposed in case of accidents, thefts, flat tyres or even natural disasters."

Finder research shows car insurance premiums have increased by an average of 10.6% in the past 12 months and 19.8% since the beginning of 2021, rising faster than the overall rate of inflation.

Bennett said driving an uninsured vehicle is a very risky move.

"An at-fault accident could be financially devastating depending on how much money you have in emergency savings.

"Consider exploring your options before kicking car insurance to the kerb.

"The best advice for Aussies looking to save is to shop around – deals vary dramatically by state, usage and your personal profile and the best deals are often for new customers.

"There are no downsides to comparing your cover and you stand to save some serious cash," Bennett said.

Have you ditched your car insurance in the past 12 months because it was too expensive?
Yes, I've ditched my car insurance5%
Yes, I have downgraded to a lower level of car insurance11%
No, my car had no extra insurance (above compulsory insurance) in the first place9%
Source: Finder survey of 961 respondents who drive a car, February 2024

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