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Free roadside with Coles Car Insurance: what's the catch?

Free roadside with Coles Car Insurance what's the catch?

March 30, 2011

In a bid to reform the car insurance market and lure new customers, supermarket giant Coles has sparked a price war not just on the shelves, and is now offering free roadside assistance to some of its comprehensive car insurance policy holders.

In an effort to nab customers from AAMI, GIO and NRMA, Coles Car Insurance is promising some Sydney residents the $79 annual service, free of charge.

What’s the deal?
Coles Car Insurance policyholders with roadside assistance are covered for many common on-road mishaps Australia-wide, including:

  • breakdown towing;
  • flat battery assistance;
  • flat or damaged tyre assistance;
  • emergency fuel supply; and
  • key retrieval – if they are lost or locked in the car

To sweeten the deal, Coles Car Insurance will also price-beat its three rival insurance providers. And if it’s not already $100 cheaper than AAMI, GIO or NRMA comparable policies, then Coles will drop its price.

For customers who take out a one-year Coles Comprehensive Car Insurance policy with the $100 saving guarantee, Coles will lock in the rate for two years, as long as the policy holder’s circumstances don’t change and they don’t make a claim where they pay an excess.

Here’s the catch
The free deal for roadside assistance is restricted to residents of Sydney’s North Shore who switch from any of the Coles’ rival insurance providers above and take up its own comprehensive car insurance policy commencing before May 31, 2011.

Eligible drivers must regularly park their vehicle overnight in a North Shore postcode ranging from 2060 to 2126.

Customers that choose to renew the insurance policy after the first year will be charged a standard rate for Coles Roadside Assistance, or they can cancel the cover with no discharge fee.

The ongoing rate is $79 per year on top of the Coles Car Insurance premium, or $75 if customers purchase online. The roadside assistance program is not available to purchase as a standalone product.

Want more?
With the price of petrol rocketing to over $1.50 this month, Coles Car Insurance has responded by offering its customers $0.12 fuel savings at the pump.

When customers purchase Coles Car Insurance, they’ll receive 12 fuel discount vouchers to use once a month when they fill their car. But customers will need to shop at Coles supermarkets and will need to refuel at Coles Express Shell service stations to cash in on the discount.

If you’re not ready to switch insurance companies now, you can sign up to Coles Car Insurance reminder service and tell Coles when your current policy is due for renewal. By doing so, you will go into a draw to win a $500 Coles Express gift card too.

Whether you choose the Coles policy or not, it’s a good idea to compare car insurance policies and prices online before committing to a provider.

Related car insurance links

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Learn more about car insurance

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. 

Does car insurance cover contents?

Thousands of vehicles are stolen each year, but insurance can protect you from financial loss.

A common question you may have is what does my car insurance cover? This depends on the type of insurance and there are four basic types of car insurance, and each offers different cover.


Types of car insurance

Compulsory third-party (CTP) insurance indemnifies you against liabilities arising due to personal injuries to another party. A third-party fire and theft insurance policy covers loss to your car or third-party property in an accident. It also covers expenses if your vehicle is damaged in a fire or stolen. Third-party property insurance covers any liability resulting from damage to third-party property but any damage to your property is not covered under this policy.  Comprehensive policy covers most costs arising in case of an accident to either your car or third-party property.


Does car insurance cover stolen contents?

Does car insurance cover contents lost in case of a theft? Generally, any valuables stolen from the vehicle, such as your phone, are not covered under car insurance. However, some insurers offer vehicle contents insurance that does cover the loss of valuables from your car.

Consider reading your policy’s product disclosure statement (PDS) to find out if it covers contents, or contact your insurer directly.

Remember, there are several ways in which you can prevent theft of both your car and contents. Being a little more cautious can make a huge difference.

How to choose car insurance?

With so many types of car insurance out there, it can be a challenge to choose the right one for you. Factors to consider when choosing car insurance include the cost, the inclusions, and the benefits of each, which may vary from provider to provider. When choosing a car insurance company, spend some time comparing what is, and what isn’t, covered by the policies.

Compulsory third party (CTP) insurance is part of your car registration cost. However, CTP does not protect you against damage to your car if it’s written off after an accident or if it gets stolen. Moreover, you might have to pay for damages to someone else's property in case of an accident.

Other covers you may wish to consider are third party property insurance, third party property, fire and theft insurance, and comprehensive insurance. While you might want to get additional insurance, not everyone requires the highest cover, and it depends entirely on several factors, such as the make and age of the car or the area where you live.

You can compare car insurance providers to get a policy that suits your needs.

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.