Car Insurance Tips — The Dos and Don’ts When Buying Car Insurance


Boy pretending to drive in a vintage car

One of the first things you should do before you drive away in your fresh new (or new to you) wheels is make sure you’re covered by adequate car insurance. You never know what can happen – even when driving home from the car dealer or private seller – so it can be smart to purchase cover sooner rather than later.

That being said, buying car insurance can be a little overwhelming, espcially if you’ve never done it before. Even old pros who have been driving for years might not have the optimal car insurance, because they simply haven’t put in the research when it comes time to renew.

To help you navigate what can be a confusing world, you can use these dos and don’ts of buying car insurance.

Top tips for buying the right car insurance policy

Do: lots of research

Sure, typing ‘car insurance’ into a search engine might seem like the fastest way to finding an appropriate insurer, but your investigation should ideally go a little deeper. Asking your friends and family for recommendations is a sure-fire way of getting an honest, upfront opinion. It’s also important to note that your age, driving experience and where you live may all influence your premium, so it doesn’t hurt to do your research.

Don’t: go straight to the cheapest option

Who doesn’t love a bargain? It can be tempting to find the cheapest option out there and sign away. However, cheaper doesn’t always necessarily mean better.

You should always read the fine print – usually in the form of a Product Disclaimer Statement – to make sure you know what you’re getting covered for. What might seem like a good deal now could end up costing you way more down the track if you ever need to make a claim.

Do: educate yourself

It might not sound like the most thrilling way to spend your downtime , but reading up on what certain terms mean can help you understand the world of car insurance a lot better – and, by extension, understand what you’re getting from your policy. For example, you’ll quickly learn that CTP Insurance (Compulsory Third Party, also known as Green Slip if you’re in NSW) only covers injuries related to an accident you cause.

It can be a great way to arm yourself against all of those tricky buzzwords. You don’t necessarily have to trawl through thousands of legal forms, but even checking out car insurance PDS documents or FAQs can help you to better understand what it’s all about.

Don’t: miss the chance to lower your premium

There are a few ways that you can potentially lower your premium. It might be about changing your habits around the way you use your vehicle; for instance, if you only drive your car a few times a week, what you pay will often be lower in comparison to a person who drives their car every day in peak traffic.

It’s not just about your driving habits, though. There are also considerations like AAMI’s Flexi Excess, which allows you to lower the amount you pay on your premium, and pay more on your excess as a result if you ever need to claim.

Do: check who’s covered

If you share your car with anybody, or allow others to drive it (even occasionally), check that they are covered under the plan you choose. Some drivers, like those who are in their probationary or learning period, are under 25 years old, or have been involved in an accident in the past, may not be covered under your policy.

That could mean that if they’re ever driving and are involved in an accident, you might have to pay an additional excess. Avoiding this can be as simple as adding additional drivers to your policy, which can be done easily by logging into your online AAMI account.

Don’t: forget to update your policy

Lifestyle changes can mean changes to the way you use your car. So if you’re in the market for a new provider or renewal, check that there’s nothing you’ve forgotten to pass on. An example could be a change to where you park your car, or the fact that you’re riding your bike to work a couple of days a week rather than always driving. These might seem like minor changes to your routine, but they could save you money when buying new car insurance or renewing your policy.

Compare Car Insurance Options

Read more:

Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance.

AAMI Car Insurance. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance.