Car Insurance

Whether you’re looking for comprehensive or third party cover, compare instant online car insurance quotes and get your coverage sorted today.

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, updated on February 15th, 2024       

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Car Insurance Banner

Car insurance is a critical aspect of owning a car, so it's essential to have the right coverage to protect yourself, your vehicle and your finances in case of an accident or damage. However, with so many options available, finding the right car insurance isn’t always as simple as picking the first offer you find. 

Regardless of whether you’re in the market for third party property damage or comprehensive car insurance, you can compare instant car insurance quotes from some of Australia’s leading insurers in one place online and filter policies by premiums, inclusions, exclusions, excesses, optional extras and more to help you select the most suitable option for your needs.

What is car insurance and how does it work?

Car insurance is a type of insurance which can provide financial protection to drivers in case of accidents, theft or damage to their vehicle. When you purchase car insurance in Australia, you pay a premium to the insurance provider, which is typically paid annually or monthly.

In case of an accident, you must file a claim with your car insurance company, which will assess the damages and determine the amount of compensation you’re eligible for. Depending on your level of coverage, your insurance company will either pay for the repairs to your car or cover the costs of any damage or injury you caused to others.

It's important to carefully consider your options when choosing car insurance in Australia to ensure you have the coverage you need in case of an accident. You should compare different policies from various providers and consider factors such as the level of coverage, premium costs, excesses and the fine print in the product disclosure statement (PDS) before making a decision.

What does car insurance cover?

Depending on the type of car insurance policy you take out, your provider may cover some of the following instances of damage:

  • Damage to your car due to an accident
  • Damage to another car due to an accident
  • Damage to your car due to theft or the theft of your car
  • Damage to your car due to fire
  • Damage to your car due to a weather-related incident (such as a falling tree or flood damage)
  • Injury or death caused by you in an accident

 All of these can set you back thousands of dollars without insurance, particularly if your car or another driver’s vehicle ends up being written off by damage it sustains.

Does the provider cover you for: CTP Comp. TPPD TPFT
Damage to your car due to an accident?
Damage to another car due to an accident?
Damage to your car due to theft/theft of your car?
Damage to your car due to fire?
Damage to your car due to a weather-related incident?
✓*
Injury or death caused by you in an accident?

*Not all weather-related incidents are covered under a comprehensive car insurance policy. Check your PDS to find out what's covered and what isn't.

How are car insurance premiums calculated?

There are many factors which can impact the cost of your car insurance premiums. These can include:

  • Age and driving experience: younger and less experienced drivers generally have higher insurance premiums, as they are considered a higher risk to insure due to their lack of driving history.
  • Type of vehicle: the make, model and year of your vehicle can also impact your insurance premium. More expensive or powerful vehicles may have higher premiums, as they are often more costly to repair or replace in the event of an accident.
  • Location: your state, city or town and postcode can also affect your insurance premium, as some areas may have a higher incidence of accidents, thefts, extreme weather events or other risks. For instance, car insurance in Queensland will likely be different than in Victoria.
  • Driving history: your driving record, including any previous accidents or traffic infringements, can also impact your insurance premium. Drivers with a history of accidents or traffic offences may have higher premiums.
  • Insurance type and coverage: the type of insurance you choose and the level of coverage you require will also impact your premium. For instance, comprehensive insurance typically has higher premiums than third-party insurance, as it provides more extensive coverage.
  • Usage: how you use your vehicle can also affect your premium. For example, if you use your vehicle for business purposes or if you drive long distances frequently, you may have a higher premium.
  • Discounts and bonuses: some insurers may offer discounts or bonuses for safe driving, no-claim periods or other factors which reduce your level of risk. Other insurers may also offer sign-up discounts as an incentive to purchase a policy.
  • Car parking: if your car is parked on the road, you’ll likely pay more for your insurance than if it was able to be parked in a driveway or garage. This is because of the greater inherent risk of damage when your vehicle is exposed to the elements and other drivers on the road.
  • Excess: in many cases, the higher your excess, the lower your car insurance premiums are likely to be. This is because you’ll be taking on a greater portion of the cost of replacement or repair if you make a claim, which insurers often reward with reduced premiums.

It's important to note that each insurer may have its own formula for calculating premiums, so it's a good idea to compare different insurance policies and providers to find the best deal for your needs and budget.

What optional extras are available with car insurance?

In addition to the standard coverage provided by car insurance policies, most insurers also offer optional extras that can be added to a policy for an additional premium. These extras can vary depending on the insurer, but some common ones include:

  • Roadside assistance: this is a service which can provide assistance if your car breaks down or you get into an accident. It can include towing, jump-starting your car, changing a flat tyre and providing a temporary replacement vehicle.
  • Windscreen cover: this can cover the cost of repairing or replacing a damaged windscreen.
  • Excess-free glass cover: additionally, you can often choose to have the cost of repairing or replacing any glass on your vehicle covered without you having to pay an excess.
  • No-claim bonus protection: no-claim bonus protection can keep your no-claim bonus discount intact even if you make a claim. Without this protection, your premium may increase if you make a claim.
  • Hire car cover: this can provide you with a temporary replacement vehicle if your car is damaged or stolen.
  • Lifetime repair guarantee: with this extra, you can ensure any repairs made to your car are guaranteed for the life of the vehicle. This is often included as part of comprehensive car insurance automatically.

It’s important to note that these optional extras will increase the cost of your premium, so it’s essential to consider whether they’re worth the extra cost. It’s also important to read the fine print of each extra to understand exactly what it covers.

Types of car insurance you can choose from

How to buy car insurance

Our Process

Fill out an online quote form

To generate relevant quotes, you’ll need to provide information about yourself, your car and the cover you’re after. This quote form is simple and should only take minutes to complete.

Compare offers

Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to compare personalised quotes based on premiums, inclusions, exclusions, claims process, excess, optional extras and more in minutes.

Pick one you like and buy it

If you find a policy you’re happy with, you can complete your car insurance purchase through our partner's website. Once bought, your cover can kick in as soon as today.

How do I compare car insurance?

Top tips on how you could reduce the amount you’ll pay for your premiums

Reduce your car use

Where possible, driving less can help you save on your premiums. If catching the bus to work or carpooling with friends to events is an option, your car insurance may cost less.

Choose a car which is cheaper to cover

When deciding on the car you wish to buy, you should keep its insurability in the back of your mind. Cars that are less common or more expensive to buy are often also more expensive to insure.

Raise your excess where possible

By increasing your excess, you can reduce your car insurance premium. However, it’s important to choose an excess you can afford to pay in the event of an accident.

Don’t claim for every little ding

Excessive claims will come into consideration when it's time to renew your policy. If you’re claiming very minor damage like scratches or dents, it could cost you in your next policy.

Avoid adding extras you don’t need

Optional extras can be important, such as roadside assistance, but they may not always provide you with the value you’re looking for. Consider carefully the extras you need and choose wisely.

Compare your options

Comparing your options thoroughly before you buy can help you gain a better understanding of the prices available for your profile. 

Case studies: market value vs. agreed value car insurance

It’s important to understand the difference between market value and agreed value in car insurance before you buy.

Market value means you’ll receive the estimated value of your car in the current market if it’s written off or stolen. Your insurer will consider factors such as your car’s age, condition and kilometres driven when calculating this cost. This is the most common method used by insurers to determine the value of your car and is the cheaper of the two options.

Agreed value, on the other hand, is a value you and your insurer have negotiated and agreed upon before the policy begins in the event your car is stolen or written off. This value must be within a reasonable market value and your car may be required to meet other criteria, such as being below a certain age and having no major damage.

Case study #1 – market value insurance policy

Lauren, 25, wants a new insurance policy for her ten-year-old sedan. She decides to take out a market value comprehensive car insurance policy, which means the amount she can receive from her insurer is based on the vehicle’s current market value at the time it’s written off or stolen. The fact she’s elected to insure it at market value also means her premiums will be lower than if she’d agreed an amount with her provider.

Nine months later, Lauren is involved in an accident which writes off her car. She makes a claim to her insurance company, who determines that her car’s market value directly before the accident was $7,500 due to its kilometrage, wear and tear and working condition. This suits Lauren, as she knew she wouldn’t realistically receive a big payout for her car and didn’t think being covered for a few thousand dollars more was worth the extra cost. The payout will be enough to cover most of her next car purchase, with the rest funded by her savings.

Case study #2 – agreed value insurance policy

James, 36, is looking to insure his brand-new sports car, which he just bought for $70,000. He wants to ensure he gets adequate coverage in case it’s stolen or written off, so he decides to get some quotes for an agreed value comprehensive car insurance policy. This means James can ask his chosen insurer to agree to insure the car for the amount he just paid for it, $70,000. He accepts his premiums will be higher under this agreement as a necessary cost for covering his car.

Three months later, James’ car is stolen. He goes back to his insurance provider and makes a claim, after which he’s paid the agreed $70,000 sum. In this instance, James receives more than what he would’ve under a market value policy, as his car’s value would’ve dropped over the three months he’d owned it.

Frequently asked questions about car insurance

Which car insurance companies offer the best deals?

There’s no one answer to which car insurance company or policy is the best, as each individual will have different needs. To find the best car insurance for you, it's important to compare policies from multiple insurers, taking into account the coverage options, premiums, excess and any additional benefits or discounts offered. Also, be sure to read the PDS carefully and ask any questions you may have before making a decision.

Should I pay for car insurance monthly or annually?

If you’re looking solely at the cheapest option overall, paying annual premiums is less expensive than monthly payments. This is because they’re easier to process, as it’s one payment compared to 12. While monthly premium payments ensure that the cost is much more manageable in smaller chunks, they tend to attract more service fees as a result of their frequency.

However, whether you should pay for one or another depends on your situation and whether you can afford to make a lump sum payment towards your insurance or would be more comfortable paying in monthly instalments.

How long does a car insurance policy last?

Most car insurance policies will last for 12 months before they have to be renewed. However, if you wish to cancel your policy early and you’ve paid your premiums in advance, you may be able to receive a refund for the unused part of your policy (minus any administration fees or government charges).

Should I still insure my car if my licence is suspended?

Yes – while car insurance won’t cover you if you make an accident claim while your licence is suspended, it’s still important to insure your car if you want cover for fire damage or theft. In this instance, you may wish to take out a Third-Party Fire and Theft insurance policy to cover your car.

Will I be able to include my child as a driver on my car insurance policy?

Yes – not including your child in your policy and allowing them to drive your car could result in a lack of coverage from your insurer if they get in an accident. However, you won’t have to include your child as a driver if they’re still a learner, as this only really comes into effect once they obtain their provisional license. It’s important to note that an accident with a learner at the wheel could result in you being charged an additional excess.

Is my car insurance policy affected by my credit score?

No – insurers won’t look at your credit score when processing your policy, so a bad credit rating won’t directly result in you having to pay more expensive premiums.

What is an excess in car insurance?

A car insurance excess is an administrative fee you must pay upon making a claim. For instance, if you had a $200 excess and claimed for $2,000 worth of damage, your insurer could cover $1,800, with the remainder to be paid by you. A basic excess can apply to all claims (though some insurers may allow you to avoid paying an excess by paying a higher premium), while an additional excess may apply to other factors such as window damage or drivers under a certain age.

What is a rating in car insurance?

A rating is a risk assessment based on how often you claim on insurance. In most cases, your rating will start at 6 and decrease with each year you haven’t made a claim. Rating 1 means you haven’t claimed for over 5 years and are often eligible for a no-claim bonus. No rating is a provisional rating, attracting a higher price due to bigger risk. It's important to consider whether seeking out a policy with a no-claim bonus is worth it before buying your insurance.

Can I choose my own repairer if I need to make a claim?

Many insurers will let you choose your own repairer when making a car insurance claim. This can provide greater peace of mind that your car is being serviced and repaired by someone you trust. However, not all policies will offer the choice of repairer, so it’s important to check with your insurer if you’re unsure about whether you can select where your car is able to be fixed.

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Disclaimer:

Savvy (ABN 78 660 493 194, ACR 541 339) provides readers with a variety of car insurance policies to compare. Savvy earns a commission from our partnered insurers each time a customer buys a car insurance policy via our website. All purchases are conducted via our partners’ websites. The integrity of our comparison service is unaffected by our partnerships with those businesses and our effort remains to bring further brands that do not already use our comparison service onboard.

Savvy’s comparison service includes selected products from a panel of trusted insurers and does not compare all products in the market. Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy. We always recommend readers to consult the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) of different policies before purchasing your car insurance.