When is it worth getting comprehensive car insurance?

Have a 2000 model car that is worth bout $8000, had it since new and have always had comprehensive car insurance. Last bill just came in at over $600 and am wondering if I should go third party now? At what point do ppl think it's not worth getting comprehensive? Excess is currently $875. What do you think?


  • +2

    Remembering you still need to have 3rd party property insurance, which is at least $200, I think you are close to when it is no longer worth it. Some other factors to keep in mind:

    • do you get multi-policy discounts? If I dropped car insurance my home insurance would be $100 dearer.
    • how painful would a $8000 bill be to replace your car if it was written off? Obviously, you might use that occasion to upgrade (or downgrade) too.
    • Does the premium drop much if you up the excess? Bear in mind some companies give you a hard time if you want to lower the excess in future again.
    • How long are you keeping the car? I ask because If I was replacing it in the next year or so I would just continue the insurance instead of going through the comparison hassle :-)
    • +3

      Agree with this and just to clarify, 3rd party property insurance is not the same as compulsory 3rd party insurance. The compulsory insurance covers you for injuries sustained by others but not the damage to other cars. It is always worth having 3rd party property insurance because the damages you cause to another vehicle can be huge. It isn't just hitting expensive cars either, if you hit a taxi for example you will be liable for not only the repairs but the loss of income while the car is off the road.

  • +2

    The car insurance market is flooded with competitors, put the time and effort into getting a handful of quotes (most can be done on-line) and I am sure you will drop that $600 right down.

    • +1

      That's a common misconception! Australian insurance market is actually very uncompetitive and is basically owned by 4 large underwriters - Insurance Australia Group (IAG) with 29% of the market, Suncorp Group with 27%, QBE with 10%, Allianz with 8% (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insurance_in_Australia).
      So in reality no matter who you choose as your retailer, their actual policies are virtually the same, since the underwriters are the same for most of these retailers.

  • When is it worth it?
    Just before you have an accident.

    Insurance is a must have. If your damage is more than $875 you'd kick yourself, it doesn't take much to rack up $875,

    Insurances, healh funds are all expensive and a PITA, we all hate paying it, but if the worse happens, we will all be glad we had it.

    Think of another way to save money would be my advice.

  • i wouldn't get third party on anything worth more than $5000.

  • +2

    Comprehensive insurance is worth it if you can't afford the bill to replace your car. You'll be saving a few hundred dollars at most but if you need it then you would be inconvenienced with lack of a car and a bill to replace it.

    Also be weary of the cheaper companies. My car was written off the other week which is rather incontinent but RACV have been a great help and in my eyes worth the extra $100/200 above some of the other companies.

    • +2

      Incontinent is not the right word. You meant inconvenient.

      • yes indeed that is what I meant. haha thanks

        • HAHAHA

      • +5

        Pissed myself ;)

        • So you were incontinent?

  • Remembering that 3rd party covers you for damage to the other car and property while comprehensive covers the same but also your car the decision to move off comprehensive should be one where you calculate it against the value of the car.

    What I mean is if it costs you $600 but covers the value of the car that is worth $8000 then it is worth the comprehensive.

    From a first hand experience I had an old crappy Daihatsu Charade that had comprehensive on it, the cover on it valued the car at about $4000 but I would have only got about $2000-3000 for it based on sales at the time.
    Long story short, had an accident and AAMI deemed it a write off, got the $4000 for it so more than I would have got for a private sale and that allowed me to chip in a small amount of money to get a replacement car.

    Yes it will cost you $600 per year but whats $50 a month on the off chance you may have an accident?

    • +1

      I've never made an insurance claim in 25 years of driving, so would have been better to self insure. (Edit: I tell a lie. I had an accident on holidays, but no claim via my usual auto insurer).
      And, of course, I may have an accident tomorrow.
      The often unconsidered elements are:
      - a claim costs a serious excess
      - a claim will cost you higher premiums with most insurers
      - some insurers only count time on comprehensive towards a no claim bonus, so if the op was considering a new car soonish, the possibility of higher premiums on a higher insured amount might outweigh the immediate saving of no premium.

  • +2

    And try bingle….they are CHEAP! And I have made two claims thru them the last few years…and no issues whatsoever.

  • +1

    Also try Progressive

  • And OnePath.

  • +5

    Don't forget that comprehensive insurance doesn't just cover you when you're at fault, but also when you're not at fault.

    What I mean by this is that if someone that doesn't have insurance crashes into you, if you didn't have comprehensive insurance, you'll be responsible for all the chasing up to "try" get your compensation etc. You may have to engage lawyers or take it to VCAT. All the while, your car is possibly out of action.

    With comprehensive insurance, all you need to do is make the phone call to submit a non at fault claim, and they'll do all the chasing work for you, and you'll get your car in for repairs and all that jazz.

    Just a thought!

    • That's a very good point…comprehensive is like having a team of gorillas in your pocket to go beat the money out of some schmuck who has hit you and has no insurance. I have this type of insurance on my bicycle (which is worth more than both my cars combined!). I got hit by a P-Plater driving a $1000 car - and even though he was insured, he took over 6 months to pay out! My insurance company paid my claim within a week and set off after him for the claim…and my insurance company doesn't argue and complain about how much or what I'm claiming for or nitpicking that there was probably some wear and tear pre-existing ra-ra-ra…

  • I have two cars…youngest one is 2000 model only worth about $5000. We maintain comprehensive insurance on that as comprehensive insurance maintains your insurance rating. If you don't have comprehensive insurance your rating (whatever that may be) cannot remain at rating 1 nor can you get to rating 1. With 3rd party property insurance your rating will only improve one level every 2 years instead of every year and from memory you'll never get above rating 3.

    So…if you have rating 1…and you don't own any good cars…pick your favorite and insure that for the cheapest amount possible. Coles little red quote guarantees they can beat anyone by $100…Budget Direct are pretty reasonable too. Hike up your excess to reduce premium - if an accident isn't your fault, the excess doesn't apply. I'm shelling out about $460 for comprehensive currently…and only paying 3rd party property on the other car.

  • I got suncorp comp plus for $510 on a new 22k car with lifetime replacement+glass (it was $50 less for the first year from the dealers that made $15 selling me the policy) but decided in the second year i decided i wanted to save more so did it via the website and paid $350 with no lifetime and still has glass replacement and both for agreed value (so no loss on giving up new for old)

    So i think you must be lazy on shopping around online!

    As to is it worth it, i wouldnt comp insure 8k but would suncorp 3rd party and maybe + glass but if you don't have saving for a new car then hell yes but i would want to save much more… Unless its a BMW or something special….

    • Thanks for that. My elderly father has been insuring comprehensive with AAMI ($500) for years. Now he rarely drives. Suncorp comprehensive online is $200 for his mint condition but old car. He has 3 other Suncorp policies.
      He'll save $300 a year:-)

      [3rd party is $50 less so not with the hassle, but $50 more than comprehensive if fire & theft is added!]

  • Comprehensive insurance is worth it when you don't have enough cash to purchase a replacement car, or could not cope with your car off the road for any period of time. You cannot afford not to have third party property just in case you bump a mercedes.

    My (was) $8k car only has third party and has had for the last couple of years, the $1500 car before that was a no brainer for not having comprehensive. I haven't had an at fault incident for over 10 years and think that my driving is good enough that I wont have another for the next 10 or more. Potentially could have saved $4000 ($400 per year) so far and the same in the future, I only say potentially as I had a company car for some of that time so had no insurance. My car only takes me to work two days per week (I ride the other days) and recently when my wife's car was in the panel shop we worked around only having one car for one of those driving days and the weekend kids sports trips. I also can repair minor damage, if i think it is necessary, so could repair some damage much cheaper than taking it to a panel shop.

  • Thanks all, think I'll stick with comprehensive, there were lots of valid points made which I hadn't considered. Bingle was $90 cheaper.
    Had read bad reviews bout onepath.

  • Bought a 2005 Suzuki swift for $8500 and they wanted around $1300 to fully insure it!!!! WTF

    I didnt bother.

    Just did a online quote for $6000 and it was $537.71 so not so bad but still too much.

    But I can afford to buy something else if it was damaged, or repair it.

  • I use to only get full insurance for the car if it was worth more then 10K. Due to third party with fire and theft only cover up to 10K.

    However, due to a recent accident with a driver with no insurance. I understand the full value of comprehensive insurance and will never go third party again. I can't believe there are people out there that will take the risk of not having insurance. This boy racer just hit 21 and wrote off his car and my car. So probably out by 30K. Good birthday present.

    Have you look at adjusting your access to make your insurance cheaper?

    • I still hope you sued him for your loss.

      • I had full insurance. So once they determine it wasn't my fault. Everything was taken care of

    • However, due to a recent accident with a driver with no insurance.

      I can't believe there are people out there that will take the risk of not having insurance.

      Well, to be fair, "people" was you until recently

      • I always had third party with fire and theft, to cover the other car if I had an accident. However i have had full insurance for the last 5 years

        • Waste of money.

  • TIP: Suncorp 3rd party property counts each year toward your rating, so great for a low cost car and young driver (say under <25 & upto $2-5k car) and then when your squared away with some cash and a decent new(ish) car you can get rating1 insurance… Its how to beat the system!

  • I have compo on a 2005 Mazda2 Genki,it is only insured for $4800.Policy cost is the high $300s.But,it is worth it,I do not want to be held accountable for banging some guys new car up.Plus,if my car is written off(& @ it’s market value,it will be) financially I will be better off.Just a no brainer.But,everybody has their own reasons to insure or not insure.At the end of the day,I make sure I am covered.

  • Depends completely on your personal situation. Insurance is a personalised product made to protect against financial loss.

    If you think you can replace the car, comprehensive cover is not worth it. The risk of having an accident is quite low and even if it did happen, shelling out $8k (or getting a loan for it) is not likely to ruin anyone's financial health.

    For reference, I have a $60k Mustang, had comprehensive insurance for a few months until I decided it was simply not feasible. Premiums were over $2.5k a year with crazy excess. I just bumped it down to third party basic cover. It's only a part time hobby car so if I wreck it I won't need to replace it. It'll be an expensive learning experience but oh well.

    • @SlavOZ.Ouch!hat is expensive,mine costs me around $900.excess $1250.

      • +1

        Im 29 years old, which means until next year I'm apparently 9276% more likely to have an accident.

        Of course, a few years ago 25 was the golden age for insurance companies to trust you would drive safe. I guess they raised it to 30 now. Not surprised if they'll eventually treat everyone under 65 as a reckless age driver.

        • You could well be right.I am in the 65 + bracket,so I assume they consider me “safe”?Your age is also against you.My stepson purchased a new FG XR6 Turbo, a few years back,insurance was close to 3k!

        • There isn’t a special age where you instantly get a reduced premium. It’s a sliding scale, basically the older you get the less risk, the less premium. The age thing might get you out of a special excess though.

          • @Euphemistic: I've always been curious how insurance companies are allowed to discriminate their pricing based on age and gender, because those traits are statistically more/less likely to be involved in accidents, but why can't they do it for race or ethnicity?

            • @SlavOz: In the quiet they probably do. It’s all based on statistics. The more crashes in a particular category, be it age, address or gender the more you will pay for insurance. I see no reason they don’t add some factor based on any meaningful statistic which could include the origin of your surname.

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