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How to Cut Down on Car Insurance Premiums

There’s no doubt that car insurance is indispensable these days, but there are ways in which the cost can be reduced, and it is worthwhile to bear these in mind when seeking insurance of this nature.

Car ownership in Australia is already widespread, and the number of cars on Australian roads is expected to increase yet more until at least 2017/18, so the market is attractive. In the last five years, online-only providers of car insurance have grown at an astounding rate, which has forced existing insurers to innovate faster. Non-insurance companies have also entered the market, bringing with them large networks. Competition is so great that shopping around is the best way to save money on car insurance.

The internet is an invaluable resource for people seeking car insurance. Quotes can be compared easily. Online providers allow you to escape ‘phone queues and needless chatter and generate a quote within minutes. With no large branches, the cost may well be lower. Progressive became the first company to sell car insurance over the internet in 1997.

It is first necessary to choose the appropriate form of car insurance. Comprehensive cover provides protection against loss of or damage to a vehicle or the property of others from collisions, fire, theft or attempted theft, acts of God and acts of vandals, regardless of who is at fault. This is the most expensive option. Third party coverage protects against fire and theft or attempted theft. Third party property damage cover protects against damage caused to other people’s property but not your own vehicle. Some level of third party coverage, known in New South Wales as green slip insurance, is necessary by law. Most people choose a higher level of coverage.

Car emissions are one of the greatest contributors to climate change, so people driving fuel efficient cars can receive cheaper insurance, with the first company to do so being NRMA Insurance. The need for car insurance could be lessened by taking a course such as AAMI’s Skilled Drivers Course. The course is free to policyholders, and provision could make an insurer more enticing.

The cost of insurance depends on the age and gender of the driver, which cannot be changed. Women could choose companies that insure only women, for instance 1st for Women, as the cost will not then be inflated by the expense of covering men, who are more prone to accidents. Similarly, low risk drivers could select companies that only deal with their ilk, and exclude such people as drivers convicted of drink-driving offences or people who own sports vehicles. Other factors are the make and model of the vehicle, the vehicle’s annual milage, where the vehicle is stored overnight, the town and whether the vehicle is owned or financed. Car reviews with will show which brands of car are cheaper to insure.

You can reduce the size of a premium by limiting the number of drivers and particularly drivers under the age of 30. The optimal situation is to have a named driver only. A premium will be lower if you have been a customer of an insurer for more than five years, so you should not switch between insurers for frivolous reasons. Another way to reduce the magnitude of a premium is to increase the excess – the amount you must pay in the event of an accident.

When contemplating benefits, you should imagine the circumstances where they would prove useful. As an extreme example, an extra allowance for damage to a caravan will be of no benefit if you do not own one.

IBISWorld provided a comprehensive review of the Australian car insurance market. IBISWorld claims to be Australia’s more trusted source of industry and market research.

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