Comparing home and car insurance providers is a little more difficult than comparing financial service providers. For instance where do you start: do you go with name brands such as Allianz or AAMI, or do you check out what the banks have to offer, or do you look for budget providers?
Then, what do you look for: do you want comprehensive, third party car insurance or third party fire and theft and what does any of that mean?
You can compare several policies with InfoChoice, but not all. Of course, InfoChoice is a great place to start.
The level of complexity regarding insurance products recently drew the ire of former Australian Competition and Consumer Commission boss Professor Allan Fels, who is now NSW Emergency Services Levy Monitor. Mr Fels has called out the insurance industry for a lack of transparency and gouging.
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The NSW Emergency Services Levy Monitor has recently undertaken a study of the industry and found broadly that some who swapped policies from the highest to the lowest price quoted could save approximately $1200 a year. Furthermore, loyal customers are sacrificed for new customers. That is, insurers take a set and forget attitude to loyal customers, whilst giving loyal customers discounts and enticements to join.
Hardly seems fair.
So what can a money-conscious saver do to prevent gouging and save money on their insurance policies and perhaps ensure that your loyalty is reciprocated?
5 ways to save money on your insurance
1. Start comparing
Comparison sites such as InfoChoice can still play a role in helping you get a better deal on your insurance.
If you don't want to compare every single insurance policy on the market, then a comparison site still plays a major role in saving you time and money by helping you find a better deal.
2. Know your excess
What is excess? It is the money you pay your provider when you make an insurance claim. Not everything is covered. The insurer will pay for the majority of repairs, but you'll generally have to fork out an excess payment
There are several things you can do in terms of excess that will save you money.
Firstly, you can find an inexpensive policy, however it is likely that you will also pay a higher monthly premium. Or you could opt for a more expensive excess, which in turn brings down your monthly premium.
For a proper understanding of what your excess or premium will be you will have to get a quote from your prospective provider, who will then determine what you pay based on a range of criteria including age, how much you drive, whether you have a lock up garage etc...
The best way to save money in this instance is to check out the PDS, which insurers must provide by law, and make sure it meets your needs.
3. Who's on your policy?
Does everyone who is on your policy need to be on your policy? If your 18-year-old is now 25 and is still on your car insurance policy, take them off. You can also add age restrictions to the policy which could decrease the costs of your premium.
4. Get rid of the extras
Have a look at what extras you have in your policy and ask yourself if you need them. Do you have roadside assistance built into your policy as an extra? If you do, it might be cheaper to take it out and look at what RACV is offering if you are not with RACV as your insurer. Do you need hire car, personal effects insurance or windscreen cover (a windscreen specialist may be cheaper).
5. No claim discounts
Look for a policy that has a no-claim discount. If you back your driving and are confident you won't have an accident, you will receive a discount on your yearly premium. Not only is that a great incentive to drive safely, it will also save you money. A no claim bonus protection caveat in your policy is also something to consider, as this will protect your no claim discount even if you have an accident that is your fault.
This update is not financial advice. This article is general news and information.
Home Loans: The comparison rates are based on a secured loan amount of $150,000 and a term of 25 years.
Personal Loans: The comparison rates in this table are based on a loan of $30,000 and a term of 5 years unless otherwise indicated in the product name with^, in which case, the comparison rate is based on a loan of $10,000 and a term of 3 years. The comparison rates are for unsecured personal loans only for the relevant amounts and terms. The comparison rates for car loans and secured personal loans are for secured loans unless indicated otherwise.
WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. Comparison rates are not calculated for revolving credit products.
The products compared in this article are chosen from a range of offers available to us and are not representative of all the products available in the market and influenced by a range of factors including interest rates, product costs and commercial and sponsorship arrangements
InfoChoice compares financial products from 145 banks, credit unions and other financial institutions in Australia. InfoChoice does not compare every product in the market. Some institutions may have a commercial partnership with InfoChoice. Rates are provided by partners and taken from financial institutions websites. We believe all information to be accurate on the date published. InfoChoice strives to update and keep information as accurate as possible.
The information contained on this web site is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. Do not interpret the listing order as an endorsement or recommendation from us. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser. If you or someone you know is in financial stress, contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.