Put a dent in car cover costs

Put a dent in car cover costs

Owning a car isn’t cheap. On top of fuel, rego and maintenance costs, insurance premiums can leave a serious dent in your wallet. Compulsory third party (CTP or ‘greenslip’) cover may be unavoidable but it also makes sense to have comprehensive car insurance. It offers protection from repair bills if your car or someone else’s property is damaged in an accident or your vehicle is stolen. In fact, if you’ve used a car loan to buy your car, your lender is likely to insist on comprehensive cover. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to trim the premiums.

Shop around and save

An easy way to cut the cost of car cover is by shopping around. It can also be more economical to hold your CTP and comprehensive cover with separate insurers.

Drivers have plenty of choice when it comes to comprehensive cover, and it can pay to look beyond the major insurers for more affordable premiums. A forty-something male driver for instance, could potentially save around $40 annually by comprehensively insuring a 2010 Holden Commodore with Real Insurance rather than, say, AAMI.

Having a No Claim Discount (NCD) in place shouldn’t deter you from switching to a different insurer if it means getting a better deal. Many, like GIO, let drivers transfer their existing NCD to a new policy.

Most insurers provide online quotes, which make it easy to compare car insurance premiums. Or source quotes from multiple brands on the RateCity website.

Pay online

Arranging and paying for cover online is another money saver that could cut 10 percent off your premiums. This makes it important to compare your renewal notice against an online quote, which could be cheaper.

Paying for a full year’s premium rather than paying by the month can produce further savings – up to around 14 percent with some insurers.

Agreeing to pay a higher excess can lower your premiums significantly. For that same 2010 Holden Commodore mentioned earlier, increasing the excess from $500 to $2000 can see the premium fall from $700 to $470. That’s an instant saving of $230 or 33 percent of the premium. Just be sure you could pay the higher excess if you ever need to make a claim.

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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 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 I drive a new car without insurance?

It is illegal to drive a car in Australia without insurance. Most states require that you get your insurance in place before you drive the car off the dealership’s plot. So, the answer to whether driving a new car without insurance is no, it is not allowed.

The only time you can possibly legally drive an uninsured car is when you have to get the vehicle registered. You should drive straight to an inspection station or your state's vehicle registry. You must also make sure that you take the most direct or convenient route possible.

It is important to note that your compulsory third party insurance (CTP or green slip) isn’t valid until your car is registered.

Driving an unregistered or uninsured vehicle can have severe legal repercussions. If you are involved in an accident, and are driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle, you will be personally liable to pay compensation to anyone hurt, as well as for damages. If you are caught driving a vehicle without insurance, you may be fined or even have your vehicle seized.