CHOICE membership

Car insurance review


#1

We’ve found the best car insurance policies (member content) for the cheapest price, so you can save money and still get the right cover. We also have car insurance buying guide to help understand the different types of cover and levels of insurance.

Have a question about car insurance? Ask us and the CHOICE Community in the comments below.


#2

One thing that needs a review when it comes to car insurance is the word “comprehensive”. I have recently had a situation where my VW was not serviced properly which created a leak, which in turn rusted the airbag ignitors which wrote the car off. Allianz promptly cancelled my comprehensive insurance policy after I called to see if I was covered.
I find the ambiguous use of words in contracts to be one of the biggest problems consumers face. We all know very well how people have sold their soul to the likes of Facebook via their End User Licence Agreements (EULA). Most contracts and terms & conditions these days are purely about protecting the corporate at the expense of the consumer.


#3

Re the reviews, I have an AAMI policy. It has every feature I am interested in. Every 1-2 years I shop around to keep them honest. What I found that is not in the review includes:

  • some companies will not offer new comprehensive on a vehicle valued under $10,000 or some companies decline to offer it for a vehicle older than a specific age
  • some companies are not interested in senior customers as evidenced by their ridiculous quotes
  • some companies anecdotally provide pathetic service as evidenced by anecdotal but consistent ‘reviews’ in various places on the net - could be trolls, but between all sources there is a trend. Choice includes some marks for satisfaction, but satisfaction is usually higher when no claims are made, and that is not a transparent metric.
  • some companies have more onerous T&C in spite of them looking similar with their competitors
  • for my vehicle in my location for my age, most comparison quotes were 50-100% higher. The few that were cheaper targeted seniors and had policy deficiencies I felt were show stoppers.

The bottom line is the review was interesting, but had no applicability to me personally. Ticking boxes for features is nice, and using a small number of representative age/sex/locations is nice, but unless you are one of those, you need to do your own research. The ‘read more’ in the member content, just above the policies rating list is salient and important to read and understand prior to wading into the reviews.


#4

In relation to agreed value as an AAMI customer I can tell you that agreed value policies don’t exist as they are adjusted downwards annually in-line with depreciation which makes the term misleading at the least. My understanding of an AVP was that regardless of age the amount agreed on was the value not an every decreasing value and ever increasing policy cost.


#5

Contracts only last one year. I found it reasonable that my agreed value was reduced while my policy cost was increased. I just ended that account and opened up a new account with the same provider - I got a better agreed value and at a lower cost. Shop around and don’t pay the lazy tax. :slight_smile:


#6

If your vehicle is a write-off you will get the ‘agreed value’ shown for the policy year. The alternative is market value that is effectively what you could sell your vehicle to a dealer for, or with negotiation with the insurer even what you could sell it on the open market for in its pre-write-off condition.

Sites like carsales.com.au show advertised prices, not actual sale prices. If you see a vehicle that looks like yours for $20,000 that is one of few for sale, and all the ads have been live for yonks, hold onto your expectations if your policy is not agreed value. For low volume vehicles the difference can be impressive. One can always negotiate with the insurer re the market value, but.


#7

If you keep changing you lose benefits built over time I renewed once on line for cheaper rate and almosyhad to start again


#8

RAA insurance in SA is very good. Windscreen replacement requires only one phone call and crash repairs are hassle free. The assessor comes quickly and there is full choice of repairer. Additionally, cars insured from new are replaced with a new equivalent in the event of a write-off.


#9

We have found APIA very responsive and helpful and their policies suit our needs very well. Service has been excellent so I think we will still be with them for the foreseeable future.


#10

A postscript of sorts.


#11

Our car insurance review (member content) has been updated.


#12

I mentioned this briefly in the roadside assistance thread, but Youi is really easy to deal with. I understand why Choice didn’t recommend them though.

As a former Youi customer I would advise taking the quote call, writing down the details and getting them to send through the PDS, then making your decision. Youi sales people are paid largely from commission I believe so this gives you a chance to sift through the details. It does however mean they’re very helpful if you’re looking to take out a policy. Email them back and they’ll call you within 10 minutes.

Once you’re with them they’re always super responsive and helpful. No time on hold, no pushiness and they’ll work with whatever communication works best for you. And you can customise your cover at pretty much any time.

I ultimately decided to switch from tomorrow because of cost. It was going to be around the same price for me to take out a more comprehensive, non-profit RAC plan in WA now I have a safe driving record. I would still absolutely recommend checking them out personally, just be careful not to buy in just on the sales pitch.


#13

I investigated youi last year. The quote call was beyond irritating with the faux concern to give the best quote based on my history. After nearly 10 minutes the quote was literally many $100’s higher than AAMI and Allianz. Perhaps it was a single no-fault collision in 2016 that did it? Budget’s system about doubled the offered quote from 0 accidents because of that. I will not be wasting my time with them again in future, but as @tpeter267 posted, they might work for some.


#14

Yeah I have read some people saying the level of detail in their algorithm can make it really hit and miss so it wont work for everyone. imo even if they’re a tad more expensive than other for-profit insurers they’re worth it because the service is excellent. But yeah some people find a huge difference due to the algorithm.


#15

Our experience has been the best quotes are the ones you get from a live person at the other end of a phone call.

You can also clarify any uncertain items, and there is a cooling off period to check the conditions against.

The differences in premiums between agreed value and replacement policies can also be significant.