Car insurance. Every driver has to have at least some form of it, and with 17,158,195 registered cars in Australia, that’s a lot of insurance policies. And realistically, not many of us can be bothered to do the research in order to cut costs. However, car insurance can be extremely expensive – thousands of dollars in some cases. So how can you cut these costs?
#1 Stop being brand loyal
So many of us stick with a certain bank, insurer or even supermarket because we feel obliged to be loyal to them. But this can be extremely expensive if you’re not getting the best value for your money there. So cut out the loyalty. It might be nice and convenient that you’ve been with the same insurer for 10 years, but they’re probably not rewarding you. Meanwhile, other brands are offering new customers discounts that you aren’t receiving! So shop around.
#2 Keep up a safe driving record
Insurers love it when their policyholders have a good driving record. Why? Because it means they’re probably less likely to crash, and therefore less likely to make a claim. And because plenty of Australian drivers admit to risky behaviour behind the wheel (e.g. eating takeaway… we’ve all been there), insurance companies get even more excited when you don’t do things that result in you crashing. This is where no-claim bonuses come in. The longer you go without making a claim, the more eligible you are for certain discounts on your insurance policy. There are six tiers of discounts, and typically the lower your rating is, the higher your discount.
#3 Take advantage of multi-policy discounts
On a similar note, insurers also love it if you take out multiple policies with them. For example, if you have home insurance with certain companies and you decide to take out car insurance with them too, you can get up to 15% off your car policy. Plenty of brands offer discounts like these, so make sure you look into it.
#4 Change where you park it
If you park your car on the street, you’re charged more. This is because it’s deemed to be a more risky place to park, compared to a garage or even a carport. So to save money – change where you park it. If you have a garage but your insurer has your car registered as being parked on the street, you should give them a call and have that changed. You’ll probably see a bit of money shaved off the price of your premium.
#5 Pay as you drive
There are policies available through some brands that only cover you for as far as you drive the car. So if you only drive 10,000 to 15,000 a year, you can let the insurer know and they could potentially drop you down to a lower-priced policy. Similarly, those who drive further usually end up paying more. However, not every insurer offers this, so make sure you check.
At the end of the day though, the best way to make sure you’re getting the best deal out of your car insurance is to do your research. Review your policy regularly, make sure it still fits your needs, and compare online to see whether any better deals come up.
Contributed by Richard Laycock — insurance expert at finder.com.au.