What to consider when buying car insurance

21 September 2016
When it comes to deciding what car insurance policy best suits you, it can be hard to consider every option available. Canstar compares over 63 car insurance policies to help you reach a decision. 

What is car insurance?

Car insurance is an insurance policy that covers damage to other people’s property or their car, harm to other people, or damage to your own car, depending on the type of policy you have.

What features does Canstar look for in a car insurance policy?

Every year, Canstar researches and rates car insurance policies across Australia, to determine which ones offer outstanding value to drivers. You can check out the Car Insurance Claims Satisfaction Award.

Car Insurance Star Ratings and Award

We assessed the following for the Car Insurance Star Ratings and Award:

  • Cost: We assessed thousands of quotes for each driver profile, to find out the average premium, the gap between the minimum and maximum premiums, and any price difference between premiums.
  • Key policy features: No Claim Bonus, After Accident Care, Car Hire Information and Special Features.
  • Customer claims satisfaction: See details below.

There are different types of car insurance

There are four main types of car insurance:

There are different types of car insurance Compulsory Third Party (CTP)
Third Party Property
Third Party, Fire and Theft


Think about customer satisfaction

Canstar’s Claims Satisfaction ratings and award uses a customer satisfaction survey covering more than 1,200 Australian drivers across all demographics that have made an insurance claim in the last 3 years. You never really know how good your insurance company is until you have to make a claim!

You’re not at your best when you have to deal with someone after you’ve just been in an accident or had your car stolen. How quickly and kindly the company deals with your claim can make a world of difference.

Canstar looks for the following in terms of claims satisfaction:

  • Customer claims satisfaction: We surveyed customers after claims about the quality of service provided by their insurer during a claim.
  • Ease of claim lodgment process: Can you lodge online, via app, or only over the phone or in person?
  • Speed of response by insurer.
  • After-accident care: Does the insurer arrange and pay for a towing service, on-the-spot repairs, or a taxi cab fare to get home and/or emergency accommodation?
  • Repairs: Are repairs done quickly? Are quality repairs done and genuine parts used? Is there a choice of repairer? (A main complaint from customers is the lack of flexibility in where you can get repairs done.)
  • Communication: Does the insurer stay in touch with the customer often enough during the claims process?
  • Car hire: Is a car hire available after theft or accident? Is there a charge for using the hire car or a time limit on how long the hire car is available?
  • Special features: Is there cover for personal effects, legal liability (for comprehensive policies), child seat, and new car replacement for write-off?
  • Excess options: Can you increase your excess to decrease your premium? Is there a nil excess option available?
  • General policy conditions: Can you pay by the month at no extra cost? Is a 24-hour helpline or roadside assist available?
  • No Claim Bonus (NCB): Is there protection of the NCB?
  • Unprotected NCB stays intact: Is the NCB intact after a claim for theft, windscreen damage, storm or flood, or a collision with an animal?
  • Overall satisfaction: Likelihood of renewing with current insurer and recommending insurer to others.

Compare Car Insurance Policies with Canstar

Many people can seem overwhelmed when it comes to choosing a car insurance option. We’ve made it easy for you to compare car insurance policies on our website with our Expert Ratings. Comparing over 63 policies, Canstar helps you find a car insurance policy to suit your needs.


Share this article