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Comprehensive Car Insurance

In this article, we discuss comprehensive car insurance, including what it is and factors which can impact the premiums.
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Before deciding on a policy, it’s important to review the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) which will outline policy coverage, limitations, and exclusions.

What is comprehensive car insurance?

Comprehensive car insurance will usually cover your vehicle for repairs resulting from accidental damage, fire, theft, hail and third party damage regardless of fault. In cases where the vehicle is written-off the vehicle will be covered for the agreed or market value outlined on the policy documents.

Some policies can provide a hire car for a period of time while your own vehicle is being repaired. In some cases policies may also protect some contents inside your vehicle, such as child seats and particular personal property.

There are also certain policies which will offer new car replacement for the first two years of ownership if the car has to be written off.

What does comprehensive car insurance cover?

Generally, comprehensive car insurance will cover you for repairs, or the agreed or market value listed on the policy in the event of a write-off, in case any of the following events were to occur:

  • Collisions: If your car, or third party property, requires repairs or replacements due to a collision, your policy will cover this up to the policy limits
  • Accidental damage: Accidental damage comprises mishaps that impact your vehicle, such as driving into a mailbox or having doors scratched by other cars
  • Weather damage: We’ve learnt to expect the unexpected when it comes to Australian weather. Comprehensive policies will usually cover you for damage caused by floods, fires, storms and more
  • Theft and vandalism: If you’re a victim of car theft, vandalism or riots
  • Third party property damage: You’re covered for any damage you may cause to someone else’s vehicle or property up to the policy limits

What are some optional extras?

Things like towing, emergency transport and/or accommodation can be covered on some comprehensive policies.

Some insurers may offer to add optional extras to your policy for an additional premium, for that extra layer of protection. You may be able to select from:

  • A reduced excess or no excess on broken windows
  • Cover for your hire car whilst your own vehicle is being repaired
  • The option to select between an agreed value or market value for your car, if it is written off or stolen

The level of cover offered and optional extras will vary depending on the insurer selected. It’s important to review the PDS to understand information about policy inclusions, limitations and exclusions.

comprehensive car insurance

How much will you pay for comprehensive car insurance?

It’s impossible to give a generic view on what you could pay for comprehensive car insurance, as a range of factors will determine the cost of your policy.

While all insurers will calculate their premiums differently, here are some factors that are likely to impact how much you’ll have to pay on your premium.

#1: Your age

It’s no surprise that your age is a factor. 14% of drivers that lost their lives on the road in 2018 fell into the 18-25 age bracket, so insurance companies typically take information like this into account when calculating premiums for specific age ranges1.

Certain providers will even offer a discount on your premium when you restrict drivers under a certain age from your policy.

#2: Your claims history

If you’ve never made a claim against your policy - or at least haven’t claimed for a set period of time - this may work in your favour.

Additionally, if your vehicle is not used for business or you’re a low km driver that doesn’t use their car much, you may get a cheaper rate on your insurance.

#3: Your vehicle

The vehicle you drive can have an impact on your premium. If your car has a high-powered engine or is a vintage model, you could expect to pay more. If it’s fitted with accessories or modifications, this could also bump up the cost.

#4: Your address

If your postcode is classed as a safe area, your rate may be reduced. Where you park can also be an impacting factor, and you’ll generally be rewarded if you have access to off-street parking like a garage or covered car park.

#5: Your excess

Some insurers offer the option to increase your basic excess which can reduce the upfront premium.

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Before you agree on a particular policy, make sure you check the Product Disclosure Statement! Some exclusions and limitations may apply to comprehensive cover options, so keep an eye out for specific details that could affect you.

Every provider is unique and it can be difficult to navigate through the many policy features. The good news is that iSelect can help you compare car insurance policies and understand some options. Our consultants have the knowledge, so if you have any questions, just give us a call on 13 19 20.

1. https://www.tac.vic.gov.au/road-safety/statistics/summaries/young-driver-statistics