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Save money on insurance

image Before you renew your car insurance make sure you shop around for the best deal that suits you and your car.

An envelope with a window in the front has arrived in your mailbox to tell you it's time to renew your car insurance.

What you do next could save you quite a bit of money. Consumer group Choice suggests that instead of automatically renewing, you should shop around first.

"The main thing people do is when their renewal comes through they just send that off because they think that is the best they can do," says Choice media spokesman Christopher Zinn.

"That may be the case, but they should at least check to see what is out there."

"The car insurance industry is very competitive at the moment and the policy offers are always changing."

He said that just because people had built up loyalty with an insurer did not mean their premium would not increase, nor that another insurer wouldn't offer better.

"Don't assume that if you have a protected no-claims bonus, for example, that they won't increase your premium," he said.

"Some insurers will increase your premium even if you make a no-fault claim."

"And here's a tip: if you talk to your insurer about moving to another insurer, then they can sometimes offer a better deal to keep you."

Choice has provided a range of tips to getting the right car insurance at the right price.


Zinn said consumers should make sure they have the right policy for them.

"Not everyone should get comprehensive insurance," he said.

"Some people might be better off just with third party. It is possible to overinsure your car."

Compulsory third party (CTP or green slip insurance) is the most basic cover and every car must have it. It provides essential cover against claims for compensation if you injure or kill someone in a motor accident. Shop around as the prices vary. If your car is not worth much you may think taking out CTP is enough. However, it doesn't cover you for damage caused to other people's property such as hitting a luxury car.

Third party property is the least expensive option. It covers you for the damage you may cause to another car and may include limited cover for damage caused to your car by an uninsured driver. Third party property, fire and theft also covers you if your car is stolen or burnt.

Comprehensive car insurance is the best cover option but also the most expensive. It includes the cost of crash repairs or replacing your car, even if you're at fault.


Insurance companies ask much the same questions, but you can also volunteer extra information that may have a bearing on your premium, such as your good driving record, any driver training you may have done and extra security you have in your garage or on your car.

You can get a discount by restricting the age of the drivers you nominate to be covered by your policy. Insurance for young male drivers can drive up the excess and premium.

Don't get pushed into a cheaper insurance premium by having a high excess. It then isn't worth your while to make small claims.

It is important to be straight and truthful in the information you provide your insurer as failure to disclose could nullify your policy.

Look for no claims bonus discounts. They can be worth up to 70 per cent savings.

Some insurance companies offer discounts if you have other vehicles insured with them or other insurance policies with them, such as for your home, contents, boat etc. It is worth

Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 4 comments

  • if that’s the case Andrew they wouldn’t have many customers left including yourself.. I’ve heard of insurance companies inventing ways to get out of paying claims but i’ve never heard of that one before. I’ve been with nrma for a few years and my comprehensive covers accidental and damage to properties as well as the usual. I would imagine that would include trees. since when did only 2 or more vehicles have to make contact for a claim to be made? i’ll take your word for it mate, but I wouldn’t take theirs. if it was me, i’d be jumping up and down like a flea on a hot brick.

    david hambleton of bracken ridge QLD. Posted on 23 January 2014 8:41pm
  • Do not just renew your insurance based on renewal form sent to you.  If you wish to stay with the same insurer, get a quote from their website and you’ll be surprised to find that their online premium for the same cover is less than the renewal premium on paper. If need be, buy online and then cancel the old one. You’ll save a fair bit from the online purchase and can stay with the same insurer.

    C Dimalanta of Keysborough Posted on 12 August 2011 11:37pm
  • Don’t think what Andrew said is true, but it is always good to check information with your insurer.  It is when you’re too lazy to read the Product Disclosure Statements to see how you’re covered that give the highest chance of you failing to claim.

    Daniel Smith of Brisbane Posted on 10 January 2011 10:21pm
  • Comprehensive Insurance will not cover crashes of only one vehicle…eg if you hit a tree. You have to pay the lot with no help from your Comprehensive, at least that’s what AAMI told me and forced me to do, despite many and numerous years of no claims.

    Dr Andrew Smithfield of Adelaide Posted on 05 October 2010 5:29pm
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