Car insurance review

I am sure I have read that insurers base their valuations, certainly for a payout after a write-off, on the wholesale price and not the retail price.

In other words, what “Honest John’s Used Cars” would pay for your car as opposed to what they would sell it for.

which has nothing to do with

that is market value. As you correctly note, if insured for market value it will be the wholesale price a dealer would pay for the vehicle, usually not more than the bottom of the trade value range regardless of how good the vehicle might be.

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Last time I got an estimate on my car’s market value, RAC WA put it at $5400. $400 more than what I paid for it 2 years prior.

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That’s correct and I suspect it also excludes things like registration which can be pro-rata refunded when a car meets its death.

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I thought car insurance policies covered the value of the car at the time it was written off – in insurance terms the ‘retail market value at the point of total loss.’

From an AAMI policy - the covered amount is the agreed value or the market value as shown on the policy document, subject to certain adjustments… an APIA policy is the same, both are the same underwriter.

we will pay you the amount covered shown on your certificate of insurance less any deductions that apply.

When we pay you for a total loss claim we will deduct the following where applicable,
from the amount we pay you:
• excesses;
• unpaid premium including any unpaid instalments for the period of insurance;
• any unused registration and compulsory third party/motor accident injuries
insurance (unless we decide to collect this from the relevant authority or insurer, in
which case you must help us if we ask);
• any input tax credit entitlement, see page 65;
• our estimate of the salvage value; (in context, if one wants to keep the wreck)
• any excesses arising from a claim for damage to the hire car (see ‘Hire car
conditions’ page 35).
Where we provide you with a new car you will have to pay us any of the above
applicable deductions.


Thank goodness in Tasmania it is in the car registration, and owned by the State Government, making it a tad better than having to source it yourself

I just got my insurance renewal gone up around $20 a year, but still better than paying 2 to 4 times the amount with another insurer.

An interesting but lame video report on car insurance premiums.

Silver/grey? Not included.

The last few seconds is ‘interesting’ since there is another topic about

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The article sounds like a furphy.

I have never been asked regarding the colour of any vehicle I have ever insured and Qld Rego Check does not list the colour of vehicles so I fail to see how insurance companies would know vehicle colours.

If they actually did, I could understand why pearl paints would attract higher premiums, as well as red cars, as everyone knows that red cars go faster.


Some of the quote systems have asked. It doesn’t seem to be routine though. Curious. They have all asked about metallic paint (in the manufacturer accessories).

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Higher cost of repaint if it is metallic so premiums are adjusted for the cost. White and Black are the two that generally come free with a new car purchase, metallics are definitely dearer. White Pearl is considered metallic.


Can someone please let me know what might be a good (cheap) insurance company if I need to insure 4 cars. Pd Insurance is good, but they are starting to get more expensive.

Any help will help.

Thank you.

Welcome to the Community @Ranjit,

Choice has a guide linked above (it takes one to the 2021 ‘review’), and it depends on where you live, the vehicles, driver age(s), whether private or business, and so many other things. One consistent element is that insurers have ‘introductory quotes’ in year one and depend on the customer just renewing for large increases in subsequent years. It usually pays to get quotes every year including with one’s current company, and buy a new policy every year rather than renewing.

Although you might see some useful guidance in this topic it is so individual your best option is to either use an insurance broker or get your own online quotes - what is best for me is only best for me, not necessarily for you - to make the point.


I had been with Coles (underwritten by IAG) and only switched because I was intending to dump flybuys. I didn’t, and may return to that next year. Currently I am with GIO for car and house/contents. As a pensioner I tend to look for the least expensive, but also something which is known… I’d like to be able to afford the NRMA, but they want silly sums for my now 19 year old car that barely moves from the garage…

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Thank you Sue. I finally went with Australian Seniors Insurance.
Thank you for your input.


Marketing, the Australia tax and the lazy tax may all be in play. As mentioned in a few topics it is often best to buy a new policy every year rather than take up the ‘loyalty’ renewal, even if with the same company.

Last year AAMI were the sharpest quote and included roadside cover as a no cost sweetener for $590.

Just received the renewal for $710 including a $15 ‘discount’. The renewal includes an additional $2K in market value so a bit of change might be expected from that, and an extension of the ‘free’ roadside assistance package.

Proceeded to get an online quote for the exact same policy from AAMI but without the ‘free’ roadside cover. It came in at $520.

Whether AAMI will still be the sharpest for my needs remains a work in progress as I’ll be shopping around. A given is I’ll not be renewing that policy but might buy a new AAMI policy and save $190; I don’t need their roadside assistance package in any case.

This is not intended to highlight AAMI since they all play similar games, just illustrative that it is an annual project to get quotes, or pay the lazy tax.


My question is how can you get a genuine quote when the application requires you to state your current insurer ?
If you don’t answer truthfully you risk having your policy voided in case of a claim ?


I have had the same concern since forever. Reasonable suspicions are the current system is loaded to help the underwriters compete against other underwriters and not so much with their own branded policies and themselves.

If regulators have even looked they have gone back to sleep with a ‘nothing to see’ as far as I am aware. Requiring the current underwriter/brand at the quote phase should be banned until one purchases the policy when it becomes reasonable information to keep the customer honest. Keeping the insurance company honest? No worries, we can trust them according to them. :roll_eyes:

What do you and Choice think @dangraham and @UtaMihm ?


I know at the insurer I worked at, that information was purely for analytical purposes. Basically so marketing and product teams can see what market or need changes lead to people changing.

Having said that, insurers are not obliged to declare the factors that influence the price of a policy, so I wouldn’t be surprised if some companies use this data. Cheaper price if the customer is coming from a budget insurer vs a comprehensive insurer

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