Choice names top cover for drivers

Choice names top cover for drivers

April 21, 2011

The majority of Australian motorists are excluded from some of the best car insurance deals in the country, according to a new report, which revealed a bias towards over-50s and specialty car owners.

So what’s the best car insurance in Australia for couples, young drivers and the rest of the nation’s motorists?

The results are in
The report from independent watchdog Choice, which compared 30 Australian car insurance brands on features and quotes, revealed that specialist over-50s car insurer APIA was a stand-out performer.

APIA scored highest in terms of features, rated highly in terms of customer satisfaction and offered some of the lowest premiums of all of the insurers compared in the report.

It won extra merit for its additional benefits, specifically its promise to replace new cars in the case of theft during the first 10 years of a car’s life.

Shannons, another specialist insurer, also performed well for price, customer satisfaction and features, which include $0 windscreen excess as standard and a high level of cover across the board.

Unfortunately, both APIA and Shannons are also fairly restrictive in who they’ll insure, with the former catering primarily to over-50s and the retired, and the latter to speciality car owners.

Couples and young drivers
Choice named the “best buys” for car insurance in Australia, based on an insurer’s premium and features including no-claim bonus, whether a hire car is offered after an incident and new car replacement features.

For young drivers, the best buy was offered by Westpac with five ticks awarded in the study. Westpac was found to have the best buys in ACT, NSW, Queensland, SA and Victoria. The next best buy was Suncorp with four ticks, for NT, Queensland, SA and WA.

This was based on the driver profile of a 21-year-old male driving a 2004 Hyundai Accent up to 10,000km per year.

While for couples, the best buy was offered by AAMI awarded ticks for every Australian state and territory by Choice. The next best buy for couples was Shannons with ticks awarded in all states and territories, excepting SA.

The driver profile in this scenario was for a couple, aged 35, with small children, maximum no-claim bonus, driving a 2008 Mazda3 up to 15,000km per year.

Compare and save
While it can be tempting to simply pay up your comprehensive car insurance when the renewal slip arrives in the mail, comparing insurance policies can really pay.

It’s simple to compare car insurance brands online at comparison websites such as RateCity, and it just might save you money in the process.



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Learn more about car insurance

Does insurance cover a stolen car if keys were in the car?

A car insurance policy that covers the theft of your car, such as third party fire and theft insurance, usually covers a stolen car, even if the keys were in the car’s ignition.

However, your insurer may deny the claim if you live in an area where there have been several car robberies reported recently. They will see you leaving the keys in the car as a case of negligence. In such cases, your insurance provider may even expect you to have installed anti-theft security measures in your car. 

You may need to confirm whether or not you left your keys in your car, and if they had been stolen or misplaced, before filing your car insurance claim. The loss or theft of your car keys may be covered by a comprehensive car insurance policy, but usually as an optional item.

If you can confirm that your car keys were stolen, mention this in your claim as this will help establish that your car was not stolen as a result of your negligence.

Can you insure your car for 6 months?

Most Australian insurers won’t offer you a 6-month car insurance policy, so you may need to buy a policy that covers your car for damages and cancel it after six months. You will need to purchase comprehensive car insurance to protect your car from accidental damage, theft, vandalism, or natural disasters.. 

Consider checking whether your 6-month comprehensive car insurance will cost more if you pay monthly or six-monthly premiums instead of a one-time annual premium. Another question to ask the insurer is whether you’ll need to pay administration or cancellation fees when you cancel the policy.

Alternatively, you can look for a suitable ‘pay as you drive’ car insurance policy, which usually offers you the coverage of a comprehensive car insurance policy but only requires you to pay for the distance driven. Such a policy may not be the ideal 6-month car insurance plan as it is based on how much you drive rather than for how long. If you need to drive a lot, you may end up paying more than you’d pay for regular car insurance.