It was one of three car insurers to receive the award in 2018 and was the price leader in 16 of the 36 rated driver profiles, being a high-performing brand in all six states rated by Canstar.
Canstar spoke with Budget Direct’s Chief Marketing Officer, Jonathan Kerr to find out more about how they maintain their competitive premiums and changes to car insurance needs over the last few years.
Congratulations on winning the National Award for Outstanding Value Car Insurance for twelve years. How important is this achievement for Budget Direct, and to what do you owe your continued success?
The consistency of winning the award is what matters most to us and our customers. 12 consecutive years receiving the National Award for Outstanding Value Car Insurance says a huge amount about what we consistently deliver for our customers. What completely sets Budget Direct apart is our ability to offer a genuinely fully featured product and service, supported with full phone and online support at market-leading prices and that is at the heart of our success.
How are you managing to keep your premiums competitive while still offering well-rounded policy cover?
Budget Direct focuses on offering “simply smarter insurance” to our customers. We are passionate at looking from our customers’ perspective so instead of investing in things like sponsorships we have invested in developing the best online and phone services. Our leadership in those areas means our customers have a great choice in how they interact with us and they often choose to utilise our most efficient channels because they are so well designed and fully featured. We are also extremely proud of the accuracy of our underwriting, which gives us great confidence in the pricing we are able to offer on our products. When you package all of that up with the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns, we are able to offer fully featured products and services at very attractive prices.
What are your customers telling you about their car insurance needs? Has this changed over the past few years?
As a provider of both phone and online functionality across each of sales, service and claims, we talk with our customers a lot. Understanding their needs from those conversations plus the ongoing customer research we run, is vital to understand what matters to our customers. The trends we observe are a desire for the classic elements of comprehensive car insurance to be present as standard in the product, delivered at a really good price. With that though, customers also want the ability to tailor elements if they wish. We see a growing desire and take up of online self-service. The bar continues to rise in terms of customer expectations about the depth and sophistication of what they can do online to manage their policies.
In such a competitive market, do you have any tips for consumers shopping around for a new car insurance policy?
When you’re comparing car insurance make sure you look at the excess the insurer is presenting. Most providers let you change that excess and see how it effects the price, but make sure when you start comparing the final quote price between providers that you have lined up that element of the quote criteria. Also, when comparing policies always look at the product disclosure statement (PDS) to see if you are really getting what you’d expect a full comprehensive car insurance policy to include. Also consider just how important it is to you to be able to call and speak directly to the insurer 24/7 when making and then managing your claim.
There have been a number of natural disasters in Australia over the last couple of months. Have many of your customers been impacted and how has Budget Direct supported them?
With the size of the Budget Direct customer base, you can rest assured that if a major insurance event is taking place, we have customers affected by it. So please watch this video that documents how Budget Direct responded to the major hail storm that rolled through Melbourne on December 19th, 2017.