Would you switch car insurers over a claim?

Would you switch car insurers over a claim?

When it comes to choosing comprehensive car insurance, some of the most important considerations are the level of claims service and the claim features offered, such as quality of repair and choice of repairer. At a time when you need your insurer most, this is when they show their true colours and either drag you through the mud denying your claim, or make your life as easy as possible so you can move on.

So how satisfied are you with your current insurer?

According to a survey on claims service satisfaction levels, customers rated their experiences as quite high overall.

The report surveyed 3000 motorists and where asked (on a scale of zero to 10) if they would be likely to recommend their insurer to family and friends based on their experiences. About 26 percent gave a rating of 10 that they would very likely recommend their insurer, while only 2 percent said they would not at all.

The results from the survey also showed that one in three drivers (36 percent) had made a claim during the last three years, of which about half were female and half male. Of those who had made a claim, about 86 percent of females were so happy with the level of claims service that they would continue using their insurance company, while 12 percent said they would switch. Males were not as loyal, with about 81 percent of males stating they would continue, while 16 percent would make the switch.

On a state basis, the largest number of claims made was in NSW with about 34 percent, while the ACT made the least amount with less than 2 percent.

Who is the fairest of them all?

The survey also showed that drivers aged between 25 and 34 made up the largest percentage of claims made. While drivers aged younger than 20 fared the best with less than one-third making a claim on their car insurance.

Overall, the survey recognised Suncorp Insurance as the company with the highest level of outstanding claims service and for the best combination of product features and positive feedback mentions in the survey. However they are not the cheapest. RateCity’s recent study into car insurance quotes shows they are one of the most expensive comprehensive car insurance providers out of 26 companies surveyed.

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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. 

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.