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
Here are some tips on renewing different types of insurance like
home and contents insurance. For guidance on renewing life
insurance, see our life insurance page.
Before you renew your insurance, check if you need a different
level of cover from last year. Make a list of any new goods that
need to be insured.
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.
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.
If your policy has been unexpectedly automatically renewed
you should talk to your insurer as soon as
Some insurers automatically renew
insurance policies every year through a direct debit to your credit
card or savings account.
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
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
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
Renewing car insurance
Save on car insurance with the following tips.
- Work out the value of no claims discounts - If
you have a good driving record, insurers may offer you a 'no claims
discount'. 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 claims discount.
- 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
- 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
For more information see car insurance.
Renewing home and contents
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.
Put 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 cover.
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.
Last updated: 23 May 2016