8 car insurance tips for young drivers
29 March 2019
As much as you’re celebrating your newfound freedom on the road – you might be a little stumped by car insurance. Maybe you have questions about what level of cover you need and why car insurance is important. We get it. It’s a big expense fronting up money for something that ‘might’ eventuate.
So why should you consider car insurance carefully? Well, it’s a necessary cost for all drivers on Australian roads. Because, without insurance, you run the risk of having to fork out big out-of-pocket expenses if you have an accident. And for the first time driver, your inexperience on the road is more reason for having car insurance cover if a prang were to happen.
Many young drivers are worried about how much car insurance will cost them. The good news is there are plenty of things young drivers can do right now to save money, whether you’re choosing the right policy for your needs or taking advantage of policy discounts and rewards. Here are eight things you’ll want to know about car insurance for young drivers.
1. Research what level of cover you need
Researching the best insurance for young drivers could save you some money. But even before Googling ‘car insurance under 25’, you might want to ask yourself these questions:
- How much do I drive? This will be useful for thinking about what level of cover you need, along with how much you’re willing to pay on excess and premiums.
- Where do I park overnight? Whether it’s safely locked up or parked out on the street, you could save more money by storing your car under lock and key.
- What’s the condition of my vehicle? You may think about how much your vehicle is worth, and whether your vehicle is worth insuring. For example, if the worth of the vehicle is low, then this may affect your decision on the level of cover.
Armed with these questions you might be in a better place to decide on the level of cover you need. Here’s a quick summary of car insurance options to help you decide.
Comprehensive Car Insurance
Comprehensive Car Insurance is the ‘bells and whistles’ option and provides a premium level of cover for motorists, such as cover against collision and damage, and any legal liability arising from an accident. If you’re after heavy-duty cover (even if you’re at-fault in an accident) – comprehensive might give you the green-light to cover your vehicle.
Third Party Car Insurance
Want cover against damage to another person’s vehicle or property? Third Party Car Insurance does just that. So if you were to crash into a flashy car (and luck wasn’t on your side), Third Party will usually pay for the costs of damage and repair to the other party’s vehicle. However, you will have to foot the bill for any damages made to your car with this level of cover. You can also add cover to your car caused by Fire or Theft only for an extra premium. This will ensure liability cover for loss or damage from fire and theft, and could even sort out a hire car after theft depending on your policy.
Compulsory Car Insurance (CTP) or ‘green slip’ insurance is mandatory for Australian drivers when you register your vehicle. It covers the cost of third party compensation claims, like if you were to accidentally injure a pedestrian during a car accident. If you live in New South Wales or Queensland, you can choose your CTP insurance provider.
2. Consider getting roadside assistance
If you choose Comprehensive cover, think about what additional features you might need. For example, if your car tyre burst on a busy highway and you have to pull over – do you have roadside assistance to call on? Being stuck in tricky situations can happen more often than not. Thinking about getting optional extras added to your car insurance is an important consideration. Suncorp Roadside Assist is available as an extra for Comprehensive Car Insurance policyholders and can cover your emergency break down, and even organise alternative transport for you. It’s a good way to feel confident that someone can get you out of trouble when you need it most.
3. Weigh up your excess and premium costs
Whenever you make a claim, the excess is the amount paid to unlock your insurance policy. Because excess amounts vary and are determined by the level of cover and cost of your premium, it’s hard to put a figure on what your average excess costs. Generally, a higher excess will mean that you’ll have a lower premium or visa-versa, but it really comes down to considering what’s right for you. For example, you may not drive often and feel that you’re less likely to make a claim, so you might opt for a higher excess and lower premium.
4. Read the policy documents
There’s more to insurance than paying the premium and putting it aside (at least until the next policy renewal). You’ll want to explore what your policy covers, including any restrictions and exclusions in more detail. And when it comes down to the nitty gritty, a product disclosure statement (PDS) is usually the best port of call for understanding what’s included in your policy cover. While policy documents might not top your list of must-read fiction, taking some time to learn about your insurance can be super helpful when you’re making a claim or thinking about upgrading your insurance.
5. Tell your insurer when your circumstances change
Let your insurer know when your circumstances change, for better or worse. This is because policies can reflect changes in your life circumstances, like moving house or changing vehicle ownership. It can also be a chance to save a buck or two. For example, if you’re moving home your premium could go up or down depending on where you move to and where you park at your new property.
6. Try to keep a clean driving record
If you’re a first time driver, driving safely over time can get you Claims Free Driver Rewards. This means you might be entitled to receive a credit on your premium that increases each year that you don’t claim on your insurance (until it reaches the maximum level).
7. Combine and save
Some insurers offer policyholder discounts to customers which can help you save on car insurance for young drivers. For example, Suncorp offer Multi-Policy discounts where you can combine any 3 or more eligible policies with Suncorp Insurance and you can get up to a 15% Multi Policy Discount*.
8. Choose an economical car
Those driving a more economical car can save more too. Think about driving a common car that’s not modified to excess. If it’s got strong safety features, fuel efficiency and the servicing costs are low, then your insurer will probably factor the type of car you’re driving when deciding on the cost of your insurance.
Of course, after you make sure that your car is covered by the right level of insurance cover and additional features, like Suncorp Roadside Assist, and you’ve explored ways to save money on your car insurance, it’s time to enjoy your newfound freedom as a first time driver.
- When is it time to sell your car?
- Staying on track financially?
- What kind of car insurance do I need?
Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about this insurance. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.
* Combine any 3 or more eligible policies with Suncorp Insurance and we’ll give you a 15% Multi Policy Discount. Eligible policies are Suncorp Home, Contents, Landlord, Car, Motorcycle, Caravan (including trailer), Motorhome and Boat. Suncorp CTP counts as an eligible policy, but can’t be discounted due to Queensland legislation. Comprehensive Car Insurance counts as an eligible policy, but the discount does not apply to the Suncorp Roadside Assist optional cover.