GUIDES & RESOURCES

Switching Car Insurance

When it comes to Car Insurance, it’s all about choice. If you’ve reviewed your current policy and found it no longer suits your needs or budget, or if you’ve found a better deal elsewhere, it might be time to switch car insurers.
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*iSelect does not compare all car insurers or policies in the market and not all policies or special offers are available at all times, through all channels or in all areas. Not all policies available from our providers are compared by iSelect and due to commercial arrangements and customer circumstances, not all policies compared by iSelect are available to all customers. Learn more.

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Updated 19/10/2023
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Restructured article and added in information about cancellations fees and discounts.
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Fact checked
Our aim is to help you make better informed decisions. That’s why iSelect’s content is produced in accordance with our fact-checking and editorial guidelines.
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Written by

Francis Taylor

Updated 19/10/2023

What changed?

Restructured article and added in information about cancellations fees and discounts.
Our aim is to help you make better informed decisions. That’s why iSelect’s content is produced in accordance with our fact-checking and editorial guidelines.

Edited by

Laura Crowden

Find out more about how we make money.

View our Privacy Policy.

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Before switching companies, you may need to do a little research, and while it doesn’t sound like the most exciting way to spend your time, help is out there! Here’s some things you may want to consider.

Why switch Car Insurance?

First, let’s talk about why you might want to switch insurers. There could be a ton of different reasons why you might feel the need to switch insurers, for instance:

  • Your circumstances have changed. Perhaps you've moved, bought a new car, added a driver, or just retired. All these things could mean your current policy and insurer are no longer the best value option.
  • You're eligible for other discounts. Based on your age and driving history, you may qualify for certain discounts with a different insurer.
  • You want better value. Your current policy may have been a competitive option when you first took it out. But if it’s been steadily increasing since then, it might be time to shop around.
  • You're paying more than you should. You've been claim-free for a year or more, but your good driving history isn’t being rewarded.
  • You want better customer service. You're experiencing poor communication with your insurer or difficulties when making a claim.

A policy comparison tool such as iSelect, can help make it easy to check out what kinds of Car Insurance options are available. This can save you from sifting through numerous insurance providers websites and will give you an overview of our range of plans and providers*.  Time is precious, so let someone else do the heavy lifting!

How do I switch my Car Insurance?

Most of the time, making the switch is a pretty straightforward process (no, really!). However, it’s a decision that requires a bit of thought —after all, you don’t want to end up with a new policy that’s even worse value than your old one.

You’ll also want the transition between insurers to go smoothly. Fortunately, we’ve outlined a few steps below to make the process as easy as possible.

Step 1: Compare Car Insurance Policies

Before jumping the gun and switching to the first provider you come across, you might want to consider all your options.  Here’s a few tips that can help you find your perfect match:

  • Compare like with like
    Insurers offer different levels of cover, from the lowest level of cover -  Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurance to the bells and whistles of cover - Comprehensive. You’ll usually want to compare the same types of cover to get a good sense of the value on offer, not just the price.
     
  • Search for discounts
    Some insurers will offer discounts if you pay for the full year in advance,1 or buy a policy online.2 No-claim discounts, which reduce your premium every year you don’t make an at-fault claim, can also apply.3 And as a bonus, you can often transfer your existing no-claim discount from your old insurer to your new one!4
     
  • Check out your benefits
    Insurers want your business and they’re willing to throw in a few extra goodies to get it. This is particularly relevant when it comes to Comprehensive Car Insurance, where some insurers can help cover the costs of emergency repairs or towing.5 Others will even help cover the costs if you have a trailer attached to your car that’s stolen or damaged.6

  • Be mindful of limits
    Your new policy might be cheaper if it pays out less money for certain claims. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you should consider if it still covers all the expenses you actually need. This will also come down to your own preferences. For example, will $1,000 cover you if the items in your car are stolen, or do you get around with expensive tools or equipment that will cost more to replace?
     
  • Look for tailored policies
    When you change insurers, you’d want to look for policies to suit your particular circumstances. For instance, let’s say you don’t drive all that much, but need insurance. Some insurers offer ‘Drive Less Pay Less’ policies aimed at those who don’t drive their car too often, and these policies can come in a lot cheaper.7

All of these little hacks can help you find a policy that offers the benefits you need and hopefully throw in some discounts you weren’t getting from your old insurer.

Step 2: Make sure you have seamless cover

You probably don’t want a gap in your cover when you make the switch. Murphy’s Law means this is when you’d have an accident! That's why it’s important to make sure your new policy comes into play as soon as your old policy ends. Heck, even some overlap might be better than driving uninsured!

The good news is that it isn’t too hard to avoid a gap in your cover. For example, if your current policy expires on June 30 at midnight, you’ll want to activate your new policy on or before that date. Otherwise, you could find yourself in an insurance black hole, leaving you financially vulnerable if something goes wrong. Plus, you might need insurance for things like purchase contracts, which often require proof of coverage.

Step 3: Sign up with your new insurer

Okay, so after you’ve spoken to your old insurer and worked out a tentative date to shut down your policy, it’s time to contact your new insurer and get the cover you want.

This process will be pretty similar to what you went through the first time you applied for car insurance. The insurer will need your personal information and a bunch of details about your car, including the model, registration number and when it was manufactured.

If you’re gunning for a no-claim discount, you’ll usually need to supply some proof of your driver rating. This could be something like a renewal notice from your previous insurer. Most insurers will also let you choose the day your new policy begins, so you may want to consider co-ordinating this date with the end of your old policy.

Step 4: Cancel your old policy

Alrighty then! It looks like we’ve got an old policy to get rid of before wrapping everything up. Give your soon-to-be ex-insurer a call and get ready to say goodbye.

First off, you’ll want to see if you can get a pro-rata refund for the remaining days you have left on your paid premium. If you’re still in your insurer’s cooling-off period and haven’t made any claims, you might also be eligible for a full refund.

Secondly, you’ll want to ask what your old insurer needs from you to cancel the policy. You might need to confirm your intentions in writing and jot down the date you want your policy to end. You might also need to complete a policy cancellation form.

Just to make sure your insurer does their part too, you may consider asking for written proof of cancellation for your records. After all, it never hurts to have a paper trail!

Where can I compare Car Insurance Policies?

So hopefully you know a little bit more about how to go about switching car insurance providers. But maybe still like a little extra help? Well, iSelect’s got you covered.

You can compare a range of policies* with us online and get an overview of the different benefits, prices and cover levels on offer. It’s easy, it’s simple and it can take a lot of legwork out of comparing policies. Feel free to use it and see if you can find a great deal!


Sources:
1 Budget Direct FAQs about Paying for Car Insurance
2 Budget Direct - Car Insurance
3 Virgin Money - Premium, Excess & Discount Guide (pages 3-4)
4 Budget Direct - How to Switch Car Insurance Providers
5 Pd.com.au - Comprehensive Car Insurance
6 Stella - Comprehensive Car Insurance | Product Disclosure Statement (Page 15)
7 Everyday Insurance from Woolworths  Everyday Drive Less Pay Less

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