Who we rate
Canstar prides itself on rating a large range of brands, as we know this is important to consumers. Below are the rules we use for inclusion for major categories. Detailed information is included in the methodology for each star rating, which is available on the website. Our research committee has the final say.
Banking (Home loans, TDs, Credit Cards etc)
Subscribers to Canstar’s banking database (our original business dating back to 1992) are automatically included in ratings. As part of their subscription, firms provide daily interest rates and updates of up to 300 features via regular audits. Subscribers also receive access to our ‘Canstar View’ market intelligence product.
For banking brands that don’t subscribe, Canstar’s research committee will determine whether or not to manually collect the information. They consider whether the lack of a brand would materially impact consumers or the integrity of the ratings.
The types of institutions included in Cantar’s banking star ratings are banks, mutual banks, credit unions, building societies and mortgage managers.
Each star rating has its own eligibility requirements, however, for a majority of banking ratings Canstar requires a minimum of six months of interest rate information for a product to be considered.
General Insurance (Car, Home and Travel Insurance)
Canstar reviews the General Insurance offerings available from over 50 insurers across Car and Home Insurance. Due to the number of brand options in the market Canstar conducts ratings on over 90 Travel Insurance providers!
Canstar collects data through a range of measures including directly from providers, online sources (including quoting engines and Product Disclosure Statements) and intermediaries.
The research committee may choose not to include a new brand until a claims history is established.
To be eligible, premium quotes have to be available online or made available to Canstar directly from the insurer, for all of the required locations and insurance types. Additional eligibility requirements may exist on individual policies against the level of cover included in the policy.
Canstar rates brands where any person is able to purchase a private health insurance policy. Health funds which meet this criterion are ‘open’ to the public and have policies available to purchase. A selection of health funds which are only available to specific industry groups (i.e. ‘restricted’) have also been included due to the size of their membership base.
Canstar obtains the required information to conducts its star ratings directly from the health funds or through information made available to it from PHIO (Private Health Insurance Ombudsman).
Life insurance (Advised and Direct)
Canstar reviews the life insurance offerings available for purchase through a financial adviser (Advised) and by purchasing directly with an insurer (Direct). Across these two categories Canstar reviews the offerings available from 10 in Advised Life Insurance and over 25 in Direct Life insurance.
Canstar collects data through a range of measures including directly from providers and online sources (including quoting engines and Product Disclosure Statements).
To be eligible, premium quotes have to be available online or made available to Canstar directly from the insurer. Additional eligibility requirements may exist on individual policies against the level of cover included in the policy.
Canstar rates retail and industry funds that are ‘open’ to the public. Products must be available direct to the public, and have been available for 12 months.
In a different approach to other categories, the provider must have minimum funds under management of $100m. We use this limit to ensure that funds are substantial and less likely to have liquidity or solvency issues. While this goes against the general Canstar policy of ‘more brands’, we believe this is in the best interests of consumers.
Canstar sources its performance (investment returns) information from Rainmaker.
Canstar rates managed funds which are available for new investment and able to be invested into directly by an investor. In addition, managed funds are required to have a minimum of 10 years of performance history and minimum funds under management of $50m.
Canstar collects data through a range of measures including online sources (Product Disclosure Statements) and intermediaries like Morningstar who provide the required performance information.