Car Insurance Star Ratings and Awards reveal huge potential savings for consumers

SEAN CALLERY
Deputy Editor · 23 June 2021
New Canstar data shows that the average driver in Australia could save hundreds of dollars per year in car insurance premiums by choosing a top-rated policy.

Canstar has announced the results of its Comprehensive Car Insurance Awards and Star Ratings for 2021. The research uncovered significant potential savings which could have some drivers taking a second look at their policy.

Notably this year, one of the national Award winners, Budget Direct, picked up the accolade for the 15th year running, a record number of consecutive wins for a single provider across Canstar’s Awards.

In this article:

How much could you save by choosing a top-rated car insurance policy?

Across all products rated by Canstar, the average saving offered by 5-Star Rated policies was a massive $540 compared to the policies that didn’t receive a top rating. For individual groups of drivers in certain states, the savings could be significantly higher. For example, male drivers under 25 years old in New South Wales could save on average a staggering $1,238 per year by choosing a 5-Star Rated comprehensive car insurance policy. Families with young drivers may also benefit from considerable savings by choosing a 5-Star Rated policy. In Victoria, for example, families with a young driver included could save $1,011 on average by choosing a 5-Star Rated comprehensive car insurance product, according to Canstar Research.

The research showed that for policies that didn’t receive a 5-Star Rating in 2021, the premiums quoted increased by an average of 7.44% compared to the previous year’s quoted premium. For 5-Star Rated policies, the premiums quoted actually decreased by 0.53% over the same period.

Canstar finance expert, Steve Mickenbecker, said it’s important for consumers to take action when their car insurance comes up for renewal.

“Never renew without getting a few other quotes. It can take 15 minutes a time, but can save you hundreds,” he said.
“A great starting point is to establish a shortlist from Canstar’s 5-Star winners, then go online for quotes. Make sure you are comparing apples with apples – the same level of cover. While insurance premiums around the country went up on average, our 5-Star winners went down. It’s never been easier to save.”

To see which policies are offering 5-Star value in 2021, based on price as well as features, you can view the full results or use Canstar’s comparison tables.

5-Star vs the rest: Average annual comprehensive car insurance premiums 2021

New South Wales

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Profile 5-Star policies Rest of database Average saving
Under 25 female $1,385 $2,386 $1,001
Under 25 male $1,430 $2,668 $1,238
25 to 29 $1,163 $1,760 $597
30 to 49 $949 $1,315 $366
Over 50 $744 $1,019 $275
Family with
young driver
$1,253 $2,422 $1,169

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Profile 5-Star policies Rest of database Average saving
Under 25 female $995 $1,604 $609
Under 25 male $1,082 $1,782 $700
25 to 29 $797 $1,212 $415
30 to 49 $665 $938 $273
Over 50 $506 $737 $231
Family with
young driver
$937 $1,658 $721

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Profile 5-Star policies Rest of database Average saving
Under 25 female $947 $1,633 $686
Under 25 male $1,113 $1,909 $796
25 to 29 $820 $1,217 $397
30 to 49 $714 $933 $219
Over 50 $521 $721 $200
Family with
young driver
$1,015 $1,723 $708

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Profile 5-Star policies Rest of database Average saving
Under 25 female $977 $1,518 $541
Under 25 male $1,010 $1,701 $691
25 to 29 $807 $1,103 $296
30 to 49 $668 $832 $164
Over 50 $500 $660 $160
Family with
young driver
$828 $1,543 $715

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Profile 5-Star policies Rest of database Average saving
Under 25 female $1,401 $2,320 $919
Under 25 male $1,589 $2,611 $1,022
25 to 29 $1,107 $1,664 $557
30 to 49 $961 $1,286 $325
Over 50 $738 $978 $240
Family with
young driver
$1,208 $2,219 $1,011

Profile 5-Star policies Rest of database Average saving
Under 25 female $893 $1,454 $561
Under 25 male $995 $1,653 $658
25 to 29 $760 $1,100 $340
30 to 49 $637 $848 $211
Over 50 $471 $647 $176
Family with
young driver
$831 $1,569 $738

Source:  www.canstar.com.au. Based on comprehensive car insurance policies rated in Canstar’s 2021 Car Insurance Star Ratings. Rest of database figures exclude 5-Star rated products. Premiums include quotes for both new and used cars for a range of scenarios, with a state-specific target excess ranging from $600 to $750. Average savings have been calculated based on the difference between average annual premiums for 5-Star Rated products in various age profiles and the equivalent for non 5-Star Rated products on our database. Canstar does not currently include the Northern Territory and the ACT as separate profiles in its Comprehensive Car Insurance Awards and Star Ratings.

Award-winning comprehensive car insurance providers for 2021

As well as rating individual policies, Canstar Research has revealed which providers offer Outstanding Value to customers overall, both nationally and in various Australian states.

Outstanding Value Car Insurance – National Award

Car insurance national award winners 2021

Bingle, Budget Direct and Coles Insurance are the winners of this year’s national Comprehensive Car Insurance Award. Canstar Research noted that of the 42 providers considered, these three stood out for offering a high level of cover at a competitive price. Bingle and Budget Direct are both returning winners, while it’s a first-time win for Coles Insurance.

Outstanding Value Car Insurance – State Awards

State Winner
New South Wales Bingle
Queensland Bingle
South Australia NRMA Insurance
Tasmania Bingle
Victoria Coles Insurance
Western Australia Bingle

Outstanding Claims Service Award

Outstanding claims service award 2021

For the sixth year running, Suncorp has won Canstar’s Outstanding Claims Service Award based on the results of a national survey of 8,080 policyholders. The survey asked consumers to score their insurer based on their experience from a recent claim, including aspects such as communication, the claims process and speed.

You can learn more about Canstar’s Outstanding Claims Service Award by reading the Award methodology.


How did Canstar’s experts assess car insurance policies and providers?

For the 2021 Car Insurance Star Ratings, Canstar Research assessed comprehensive car insurance policies based on the premiums charged and the features on offer. Policies were given a different rating to reflect how they performed based on various consumer profiles that took into account male and female drivers of varying ages and based in various states across the country. In addition, Canstar Research based the price score on how a policy performed across a variety of vehicle types, both old and new, as well as different excess amounts.

The level of cover available from a policy was reflected in the policy’s feature score, which was calculated based on factors such as policy inclusions and the service on offer, as well as the application and claims processes.

The Awards for Outstanding Value Car Insurance recognised the cumulative performance of insurers at both a state and national level based on the performance of their policies in the various Star Rating profiles.

For more on how the Star Ratings and Awards were assessed, take a look at the methodology.

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 Cover image source: Monthira/Shutterstock.com


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