Car Insurance

Finding the right car insurance for you depends on a number of factors. Here's a simple guide to help you find the best price and cover for your car.

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Get the Lowdown on Car Insurance

Get the Lowdown on Car Insurance

Owning a car can be incredibly freeing, but it is also a large responsibility. Cars are expensive, not only to buy but also to maintain. There are several ongoing costs involved to own, run and maintain a car. Car insurance is one of these costs. Considering insurance is a mandatory requirement to register a vehicle in Australia, we think it’s pretty important. 

There are several different types of car insurance options which can make it confusing when doing your research. Finding a suitable cover for you specifically depends on a number of factors. Therefore, this simple Oiyo guide aims to give you the information needed to make an informed decision on a car insurance policy. 

What is car insurance? 

Car insurance is a type of insurance policy that can cover damage to your car or damage caused by your car. Damage to your car can include accidents and theft. It also covers you for damage to someone else’s car or property caused in an accident that was your fault. 

It is designed to mitigate the financial burden of paying for repairs to your car or someone else’s car or property. With road crashes totalling a whopping $27 Billion per year in Australia alone, it’s pivotal that you make sure you’re properly insured. 

What does car insurance cover? 

A comprehensive car insurance policy is considered the best as it will cover you and your vehicle for a number of different situations. A comprehensive policy may be a little more expensive at the beginning of your policy but it could save you thousands in the long run. This is because you’ll be covered for a wide range of events. When shopping around for comprehensive car insurance policies, these are the types of things you want to be covered for: 

  • Repair or replacement of the vehicle in the event of:
    • Collision/car accidents 
    • Fire
    • Theft
    • Malicious damage
    • Weather-related events such as storms or floods
  • Repair and replacement of any other vehicles that are damaged by your vehicle in the event of an accident or collision, as well as damage to property that may have been caused by your vehicle. 

Types of car insurance

There are several different types of car insurance policies that you can choose from. The policy that’s best for you depends on your budget and the level of cover that you’re looking for. These policies will all differ a little bit among various providers, however, they should all follow a similar formula. 

Compulsory Third party insurance (CTP)

Third-party insurance covers legal costs for injuries caused to other people in an accident. It is compulsory to have CTP insurance in all Australian states in order to register your vehicle. This cost is often included in the cost of your car registration fees. 

Third-Party Property insurance (TPP)

Third-party property insurance is a type of car insurance policy that covers other drivers, but not yourself. This is a particularly good insurance policy especially if you don’t have the most expensive car in the world and you’re not too worried if your car is damaged, but you want to be covered in the event of an accident or collision with a more expensive vehicle or someone else’s property. 

Third-Party, Fire and Theft insurance 

This type of car insurance is your next option if you want a policy that still covers both you and other drivers, but isn’t as expensive as comprehensive insurance. This policy covers some damage to your own vehicle (fire and theft), while also paying for damage to other people’s vehicle or property. 

Comprehensive car insurance 

This policy provides total protection to your vehicle if you’re involved in an accident. It covers the cost of repairs or replacement of your car due to accidents, theft, fire or vandalism. It also covers the costs of repairs to another person’s vehicle if you are involved in an accident that was your fault. You may also get extra cover such as roadside assistance, windshield cover, and car hire. 

How do I make a claim? 

Making a claim on your car insurance policy will vary between different car insurance providers, but in general, you can expect the claims process to look something like the following: 

Step 1: Contact your insurer 

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s important you contact your insurer ASAP as some policies may have time limits in regards to claiming. You will need to provide your insurer with details of your claim such as:

  • A description of the incident and what happened;
  • Details of any damages to the cars or property involved;
  • Location of the incident; 
  • A police report number if police attended the scene/if you reported your car stolen;
  • Any details of tow truck companies if they were required;
  • Contact details of any witnesses.

If the incident involved another car or someone else’s property you will also need to supply your insurer with the details of the other driver, such as:

  • Their contact details;
  • Drivers licence and registration;
  • Their insurance details;
  • The details of their car or property such as make, model and colour.

Step 2: Submit your claim 

Once you have provided your insurer with all the relevant information as well as any photos or evidence, you will be able to submit the claim and get the process started. You will generally need to fill in a claim form that can usually be found on your insurer’s website. You can also submit a claim over the phone when you first notify them of an incident involving yourself or your vehicle. 

Step 3: Check whether you have to pay any excess 

Generally, you have to pay an excess when you make a claim on your car insurance, regardless of whether it was your fault or not. The excess amounts will generally be in your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), however, your claims contact will also be able to provide you with documentation detailing what excess you will need to pay in regards to your claim. 

Step 4: After you have submitted your claim 

Once you have submitted your claim your insurer then has 10 business days to contact you. This contact can be them either accepting or rejecting your claim or they can also request extra information.

It’s common that your insurer will confirm the details of your claim by contacting any other drivers who may have been involved, witnesses, other drivers insurers or anyone else who may have information in regards to your claim. 

What will affect my car insurance quote? 

Car insurance is one of those insurance policies that is going to be closely tailored to you as an individual. Several factors pertaining to your personal and financial circumstances will play a role in the insurance you’re quoted by a provider. We’ve listed a few of these below:

The type of insurance 

The type of insurance you choose will change the cost of your policy. As mentioned above there are 4 types of insurance policies you can purchase. You need to have to CTP to register a vehicle, no matter where you live in Australia. You can upgrade your insurance to either TPP, Third Party, Fire and Theft, or comprehensive cover depending on budget and the level of cover you want. 

What’s covered by your insurance policy

For anyone not familiar with insurance policies, they can get very confusing. It’s not uncommon for people to make a claim only to find out they weren’t covered in the first place. Before you commit to a policy from a provider, we recommend reading the policy thoroughly to make yourself aware of what is and isn’t covered. 

Age and gender of the driver

Your age and gender will have an influence on your the cost of your car insurance quote. For those of you in your twenties, unfortunately, you can expect to be offered a higher rate on your insurance. Additionally, most insurance providers have higher rates for men than women. This is due to the fact that men, on average, submit more car insurance claims. 

Where you live

What suburb or area you live in can have an impact on the insurance quote you’re offered by your provider. Each insurer has its own set of ‘riskier suburbs’ where there are higher rates of theft and/or damage potential. 

Compare car insurance policies

When hunting for a suitable insurance policy, you should get quotes from multiple insurers. You can compare different policies on comparison websites. Keep in mind, however, that these sites are in fact businesses and may make money through promoted links. When making your comparison, you should be considering the following features: 

Premium Always take a look at the premiums between similar policies. Hunt for a lower premium with the same level of cover
Excess Are you provided with an option where you can lower your premium by adjusting your excess or paying no excess at all?
Exclusions What events are not covered in the policy? E.g. storm damage, Intentional malicious damage, General wear and tear, mechanical failure, depreciation or rust.
No claim bonus Does the insurer provide a no-claims bonus in which you can pay lower premiums for not making a claim over a period of time?
Break-ins Are items that you leave in your car covered in the event of a break-in?
Roadside assistance Is roadside assistance offered free of charge if you break down?
After-accident care What after accident care is provided? E.g. On-the-spot repairs, taxi costs, temporary accommodation if you have an incident far from home, rental car hire if your vehicle is getting repaired or replaced

Why car insurance is worth it 

There’s no denying that cars can be incredibly expensive. They become even more expensive if you find yourself in a position where you’ve been involved in an accident. When something like this happens, the cost of repairs or replacement of your own car is expensive enough, not to mention having to pay for someone else’s vehicle repairs as well. It’s for this reason alone that makes car insurance not only essential but compulsory. You’re not only covering your own vehicle in case of an accident, but you’re covering other people’s property as well in case something happens and you’re at fault. 

Are you looking for the basic third party property insurance to ensure you’re covered in case you accidentally damage someone else’s car? Or, perhaps you’re looking for a full comprehensive policy where you have insurance for basically every situation? Regardless of the policy you opt for, with so many car insurance providers on the market, you’re spoilt for choice. Now, all you need to do is make some comparisons, make a few enquiries, and get some quotes. You should be able to get a quote that will be tailored to your budget and circumstances specifically.

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