Ask LH: Should I Shop Around For Car Insurance?

Dear Lifehacker, So it's time to renew my car insurance policy. Do you think it is better to stick with the same company or shop around? Sticking with AAMI for me is not the cheapest, but it is the cheapest for $600 excess and $22,000 value if the car is totalled. However, I've been rating one for three years, and they don't seems to offer any deal for three-year customers. Thanks, Insure Thing

Dear IT,

It never hurts to shop around, provided you have plenty of free time and patience. Comparing car insurers is never easy — they all have their own unique policies and caveats that may not be clear upon first perusal.

For instance, last year, thieves broke into my car and ripped out the ignition, which rendered it undrivable. I then learned to my chagrin that my car insurance didn't cover free tows in cases of vandalism. Ergo, it always pays to read the small print!

There are also many other factors you need to take into account, including how easy it is to put through a claim, the reliability of their customer service and the kinds of incentives they offer, such as free car hire or taxi fares in the event of an accident.

A good starting point is to visit a few comparison websites like InfoChoice or Captain Compre, although it's important to note that not all companies/policies will be represented. The next step is to ring around and ask for quotes — which you can then compare against what they offer on their websites.

Alternatively, you could attempt to request a discount with AAMI at renewal time. The car insurance industry is incredibly competitive; many insurers will agree to knock off a few dollars in a bid to keep your business.

If any of our readers have a car insurance company they swear by, let us know in the comments section below.

Cheers Lifehacker

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Comments

    If you've got multiple policies with AAMI they'll give you some discount & plus they'll usually knock off some discount if you just simply ask. They're pretty good like that. Plus really efficient with claims process.

      Also with regards to multiple policies check to see if it can be taken out as one payment instead of separate payments for each policy. I know it sounds like something you'd expect rolling everything into one. Hence one payment. But having a multi-policy discount for my house, cars & bike through RACV. I was having multiple withdrawals from my bank for each policy. I'd asked repeatedly to have this as one single withdrawal at a time, but 'their' systems are different for each so were unable to do (yes even two cars couldn't be paid in one lot???)

    My bank has a tie in with an insurer that allows me to make automatic fortnightly payments for no additional cost. I'm pretty happy with the policy price and the convenience. Could be worth checking with your financial institution.

    I received my CTP renewal from NRMA a couple of weeks ago - the total was $665. After noticing a large increase from last year, I did a quote on their website for the exact same car - the total was $461.

    I called NRMA and explained the situation, no explanation for the discrepancy - just a complete lack loyalty to a loyal customer. I am currently in the process of changing all of my insurance policies on my home, car, bike, boat and rental property to another insurer - GG NRMA.

      They lost several household insurance policies from me for the same reason.

    Ring around. Get quotes and then ask AAMI if they can price match.

    oooooooh lets talk about AAMI.... was with them for 3 years 1st year they matched quote (cant remember the number but lets say it was $500)
    next year insurance increased (I had 0 claims) to $750 ... I called them up they said insurance increased everywhere coz of Queensland disasters etc (Im from SA) ... ok after half an hour on the phone they dropped it down to ~650....
    year 3 it jumped to 900!!!!! (again 0 claims)... I called them up they again started to give me some random story about increase in pricing etc.... and were trying to give me discount lowering it again by a bit ... I just decided to go else where
    and guess what ... price was again back to ~600 range

    Great post. Thanks for the insight.

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