Renewing your insurance

Something old, something renewed

When it comes to renewing your insurance, the easiest thing to do is to continue with your existing insurer. However, the smart thing to do is to shop around to save money on premiums and get the best cover. 

How to get the very best deal on your insurance

Don't leave it to the last day to renew your insurance - you'll be tempted to stick with your current insurer because it's easier than looking around for a better deal. Follow these tips and start shopping around early.

Smart tip

Before you renew your insurance, check if you need a different level of cover from last year. For contents insurance, make a list of any new goods that need to be insured.

Get at least three quotes

Get at least three quotes to compare your current premium with that of similar policies. Comparison websites can help you do this, but bear in mind these websites usually only include some of the policies available on the market, not all of them. Look for any discounts offered for online renewals or applications and for paying the premium annually instead of monthly.

Check the level of cover and excess

Check if you need more, less or the same level of cover as last year. Weigh up the difference between having a high premium and low excess versus the opposite. You may be able to save on your premium by increasing your excess.

Review your cover

Don't just accept the same level of cover as you had last year. Take the time to work out if your house and your possessions have grown or decreased in value over the last year. If you bought new whitegoods or an entertainment system, you may want extra cover. Or you may need special or expensive items (e.g. an engagement ring) to be listed as part of your cover.

Consider putting deadlocks on doors and windows

Check if your insurer requires you to have deadlocks on windows and doors. Some insurers require you to do this if you have a large amount of contents cover.

What is a no claim bonus really worth?

If you have a good driving record, insurers may offer you a 'no claim bonus'. This is a reduced premium for drivers who haven't made a claim. Shop around and compare quotes between insurers who do and do not offer these discounts and carefully check the policy wording to understand the impact a claim (both at-fault and not-at-fault) may have on your premium and the no claim bonus.

Get a reduction for off-street parking or a car alarm

Check if insurers will reduce your premium if you park your car off the street or if you install an alarm or immobiliser.

Bundle insurance policies together

See if you can get a discount if you bundle your compulsory third party insurance with your other car insurance or home insurance. This may be beneficial, although sometimes the best option is to go with two different insurers.

Worried about automatic insurance renewals?

Some insurers automatically renew insurance policies every year through a direct debit to your credit card or savings account.

Smart tip

If your policy has been unexpectedly automatically renewed you should talk to your insurer as soon as possible. 

Automatic renewals can be convenient and ensure that you continue to be insured. However, if you are not aware that your insurance is set up this way, it could lead to unnecessarily purchasing a second insurance policy, overdrawn accounts and default fees.

Check if your policy automatically renews

While some insurers will tell you that your policy automatically renews every year before you purchase your policy, some insurers may only provide this information in their product disclosure statement (PDS) and renewal notices. So when you're purchasing insurance, if you're unsure whether it automatically renews, ask your insurer before you hand over your account details.

If your insurer unexpectedly renews your policy automatically, contact them as soon as possible. 

Read ASIC's media release about our review of car insurers that automatically renew annual insurance policies. 

How to stop auto-renewal of your insurance policy

If you don't want your policy to automatically renew then you need to let your insurer know;

  • before the renewal date - tell your insurer that you want to opt out of the automatic renewal process. Some insurers will let you do this but others may not as it is their only renewal option. If this is the case then you will have to shop around for another insurance company.
  • after the policy has been renewed - contact your insurer and ask for a pro-rata refund. Every insurer will have its own refund policy and cooling-off period, so check how much refund you can get and if there are any cancellation fees.

Check your insurance policy each year when renewal time comes around. It can save you money and heartache, should you ever have to make a claim.

Related links

Last updated: 14 Dec 2017