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, by sticking with the same insurer every year, you could miss out on getting a better deal on your premium and the best cover for your needs.

Start shopping around early and follow our tips to get the very best deal on your insurance.

Three steps to getting a better deal on your insurance

Don't leave it to the last day to renew your insurance - one in three people who shop around get a better deal. Get started with these three steps.

Step 1: Check if you're getting the best deal right now

Take 5 minutes to check if you're getting the best deal on your current insurance by getting a quote from another insurer to see what your premium would be through them.

If the figures are similar, consider asking your current insurer for a better deal. If you're paying too much, perhaps it's time to move to step two.

Step 2: Review your current insurance cover

Before you renew your insurance, check if you need a different level of cover from last year. For example, has your house increased or decreased in value? Have you bought new whitegoods or an entertainment system? Do you need special or expensive items (e.g. an engagement ring) to be listed as part of your cover?

Weigh up the difference between having a high premium and low excess, versus a lower premium with a higher excess. You may be able to save on your premium by increasing your excess.

Once you know the level of cover you need, move on to the final step: getting quotes and choosing an insurer.

Step 3: Get at least two more quotes and compare prices

Get at least two more 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.

Case study: Abhishek gets a better deal on his insurance

Young man renewing his insurance on a laptop

Abhishek received his home and contents insurance renewal and discovered that his premium had risen significantly for the next 12 months of cover. He decided to look at other insurers to see if he could find a better policy for his needs.

Before comparing insurers, Abhishek worked out that, because he'd done some home improvements and installed a new entertainment system during the year, he would need a higher level of cover. He compared insurers online and discovered that he could save $94 by switching insurers.

Abhishek bought the new policy with the new insurer, which took effect when his old policy expired.

Things to consider when renewing your insurance

If your insurance is due for renewal, here are some things to consider.

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.

No claim bonuses

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 discount 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. Before you do, make sure the policies are right for you. Otherwise, the best option may be 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, 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 before you buy your policy that it automatically renews every year, some 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.

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 if it is their only renewal option. If this is the case, 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 and shop around for the best deal when renewal time comes around.

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Last updated: 25 Jun 2018