How to get the most out of your car insurance

How to get the most out of your car insurance

By Andrew Willink

1 October 2008

To find the best car insurance, it is most important to search around for the best price and conditions. One important factor in finding the best insurance, which is often overlooked, is to plan ahead. Here are our top five tips to get the most out of your car insurance.

1.Factor in the insurance price. Ehen purchasing or inspecting cars.   It is very important to think of insurance as an inclusive purchase price, rather than an additional cost. If you are a young male, purchasing a V8 car for example, you may find that insurance is exceptionally costly, and you cannot afford it. As insurance is essential, it is therefore necessary that you consider the respective insurance costs as well as the vehicle purchase price before driving out of that car yard.

2.Insurance is necessary. Many young kids will often do the above; buy an expensive, powerful car and later realize that the insurance premium is unaffordable. The mistake that many make is to forgo the insurance, rather than changing their vehicle choice. It later becomes problematic when they get into an accident, and cannot afford to repair their very expensive, shiny new car because they do not have insurance.  

Additionally, those with older cars often believe that they do not need insurance because ‘no one would want to steal my car’ or ‘it’s so old and sturdy that nothing could hurt it’.  However, statistics show that older cars generally get stolen more often than newer cars; mainly attributable to this blasé attitude, combined with the car’s lack of security features. Whilst you may not love your car, if it is stolen or irreplaceably damaged you will still be out a couple of hundred, or even a thousand dollars; which could’ve been prevented had you gotten insurance.

3.Be upfront.  It is important when you are insuring your vehicle that you are honest about the nominated drivers. You may find that it is cheaper if your dad is the registered driver, however you will come into trouble when you make a claim and the insurance company wants to know why you weren’t nominated on the policy. Don’t cheat the insurance companies, they won’t fall for it and you don’t want to risk the possibility that they will knock back your claim. Be smart, nominate all the drivers of the vehicle on the policy, and don’t let unregistered, unlicensed or intoxicated persons drive your car.

 4.Pay upfront. Whilst the cost of your insurance premium may seem too much to pay all at once, it will actually save you money.  With the added interest, it costs more to pay monthly, and whilst you may not want to fork out the entire premium at once; if you can afford to do it, you will save in the long run.

5. Shop Around. The most obvious way to find the best insurance is to do your research.  Don’t be satisfied with the first quote you receive, because you will find that each company will offer different benefits. Do your research and find the quote that is most beneficial for you. You can obtain most quotes online from the company’s website, or alternatively compare a selection of companies on RateCity.   

Many people try to save by cutting corners and cutting costs. W hilst you may save short term with this approach; you will end up costing yourself long term.  Look ahead, prepare for the insurance and don’t cut corners. This way you will avoid getting a last minute policy that does not benefit you; or worse, you will be in considerable debt or car-less because you didn’t get insurance.

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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.