Car Insurance - Switching from AAMI to Budget Direct?

My comprehensive car insurance is due for renewal.

I have been with AAMI all along and pretty happy with them but they increased the premium by $100.
The only time I made a claim was denting my car against my garage back in 2015 and it was processed without fuss.

Been looking around and Coles is $130 cheaper.

Should I do a switch to Coles if AAMI not going to do a price match or if Coles is not worth the savings?

Your thoughts and advises are most appreciated.

EDIT: I was stupid. I clicked the wrong link that brought me to Budget while thinking it is Coles.
The title should be Switching from AAMI to Budget Direct. Many apologies.

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  • +2

    I switch yearly. There’s no such thing as loyalty rewards for car insurance. I just go with whoever’s cheaper.
    There is a no claim bonus though, which carried through between most providers.
    Also to be fair, higher premiums due to past claims are to be expected regardless of insurer.

    • +1

      I check around yearly too. Currently I'm with Woolworths, far cheaper than anything else i could find. When searching for insurance make sure you check all the independent online reviews as well as the price. Also look for promo codes, I got a $100 gift voucher from Woolies.

  • I have been with AAMI all along and pretty happy with them but they increased the premium by $100.

    Yeah, call up and ask for them to price-match Coles. Personally, if they're within $20-40 I'd stick to the same one just for the convenience, but that's up to you.

    • I tried this around 2 years ago, just before I made a switch. AAMI snobbed me off with “we don’t do that”.

      • Oh damn. Well, so long AAMIgo then I guess.

  • +2

    Not from experience, but just reading reviews about Coles Insurance. They are good until you need to make a claim. It seems with insurance, you get what you pay for.

    • +2

      Not that you can always trust it, but you would be lucky to find any insurance company (or phone/internet/utilities provider for that matter) with a star rating over 2.5 on product review…

      • Apart from Youi and Budget Direct.

    • I changed to Coles insurance and made a claim. No different to any other insurer.

      • I think insurers are reasonable ok when you are claiming against another party.

        On the other hand, if someone is claiming against you, then your insurer transforms into your MIL.

    • I made two claims with coles insurance and it was painless and easy.
      They are efficient and quite understanding even when at fault which is rare for an insurance company in my opinion.

      • Same. It was basically IAG people anyway.

  • +1

    My claim with Coles was fine.

  • Check them all. I got my renewal from APIA for $947 - got a quote online from APIA for all of the details exactly the same and the price was only $623

  • +2

    Did you try getting a new quote from AAMI website (as if you are a new customer) ?

    I do this every year and it is always at least $100 cheaper than what AAMI sends out as the new premium when the policy is due for renewal. Only caveat is that you don't stack up the loyalty points but the money you save here outright is far more than what you will save from those points.

    But, sorry, I don't have any experience with Coles insurance.

  • +1

    Findings so far:

    1. Live Chat lady at AAMI said they don't do price match but commented that I should call their customer hotline to check anyway
    2. The quote I got as a new customer is $100 more than the quote for renewal.

    Will do more research.

  • Make sure if you do switch that they carry forward the no claims bonus for life - some don't

  • -1

    Don’t change to Coles they are pathetic. I have left them my premiums went up by $200 to $400 without making a claim.
    They are a disgrace.

  • 1 - Go AAMI online quote, input all info on your policy info verbatim and you will see that your quote is cheaper. If not then use your neighbour address with same info, car details etc. AAMI is very address specific and not suburb like others. IMO that is a big rort.
    2 - Call them direct and use the quote (QTE) number of the cheaper quote and ask them why is the quote for the same insurance cheaper. IMO you're paying loyalty tax.
    3 - They will give you some rubbish excuse however will give you a $30 - $70 discount.
    4 - Make a decision whether to proceed however check with others "Apples for Apples" policy.

    I would still favour AAMI over Coles IMO.

    I use this system every year and generally get a $70 discount.
    I have noticed that mine has gone up by 30% this year with a clear claim/driving history.


    • You are right. I did a quote using neighbour's address and it was $60 cheaper.

      I will try get more quotes such as from APIA like Ocker mentioned.

  • +2

    I swap to the cheapest car insurance each year.

    renewal notices are always so much more expensive as insurance companies rely on "lazy" people to just accept the increase and pay it.

    obviously read the PDS/terms&conditions to make sure the policy has the conditions/benefits that you want, e.g. free windscreen replacement, etc

  • +1

    AAMI is known for screwing up their long time customer. Been with AAMI for few years and after another jump in premium from them, I did online quotes for about 10 addresses around my place and all of them came up $100-200 lower than my AAMI renewal confirming dodgy tactic by AAMI screwing their existing customers.

  • I have used coles and woolies and claimed too. No different than AAMI OR NRMA. Response will be a bit slow some times. For 3 to 4 hundreds cheaper I think it's worth for me.

  • They may not "price match" but I have often got AAMI to offer a reduction rather than loose me as a customer when in this situation. Just use real alternative quotes of course that match in all respects.

  • Stay away from Coles Car Insurance if you can. PM me and I will tell you my reasons.

    • +5

      Why pm you.??
      Just share your story with the community here.

      To me, you are just stingy to share your experience . If you say coles is bad, so be it and all of us want to hear it

      Not just the OP.

  • I’m with AAMI, never used to pay the automatic renewal cos it would be cheaper just applying as a new customer however that stopped working for me this year.
    This year I just emailed them. In the email I told them NRMA was cheaper but I was loyal to AAMI and asked them to review it. They knocked $60 off so I stayed.
    Six weeks later my parked car got written off when a bus crashed into it. I got all the drivers details at the scene which does make it a relatively straightforward claim so maybe makes me biased. The claims call centre iwere excellent. Had my pay out in the bank, 6 business days later.
    10 years ago my car was stolen, AAMI interrogated me in a phone interview, I guess to check I wasn’t on the dodge or it could’ve been the style of the old bag in the call centre but they paid out in 3 weeks that time.
    I hate big corporations especially financial service ones but I reckon AAMI are pretty good, the staff in the claims call centre are proper true blue and I’ll pay more for that.
    I’ve read surprisingly good things about Coles insurance though

  • Suggest you have a look at before deciding to switch.

    • I suggest you have a look at the reviews for ozbargain before deciding whether that website is a valid measure of a product/company/service.

  • Something to keep in mind - often insurers have some sort of "new customer" incentive/discount for signing up (AAMI has $50 off, Budget Direct has 15% off, Coles has 10% off, etc.). The important thing to remember is - these are for NEW customers only, NOT renewals. They also automatically apply in the quote calculators they use (and don't itemise that in the price for you), hence the big jump in premiums for Year 2: you get the usual per annum increase, + the XX% discount you're not eligible for anymore!!

    Best way to save money is to either switch/re-apply each year (don't auto-renew), or if you've been with the same company for a while, to call & haggle for a better price. I usually do a survey of cheap insurances (eg. Budget Direct) & then try & haggle the difference away. I'm with AAMI & have been for quite a while (also have a couple of other policies for different things), so can usually get a decent response & in the ballpark of the competitor.

    Re. service-wise - I've been very happy with AAMI for the after-accident services they provide (assessment centres locally, good call centres, prompt fixes). Have been let down with others in the past (& heard a horror story from a Coles ex-customer once, though that doesn't mean they're always bad), but I'm happy to pay a (very small) premium (if it comes to that), for just in case.

  • i was in same boat recently, AAMI premium went up by around $100 so i chose to switch. Budget seemed best option in the end, one of the cheapest. One thing to watch out for, the "budget" insurance policies are often cheaper as they tend to do "market value" for your car vs "agreed value". Market value is BS and is about 20-30% below your actual car's value. So those insurers are poor in circumstances that your car is written off/stolen, but for general repairs they're probably the same (customer service excepted).

  • Many thanks for the comments/advice so far.

    Quick update:

    Youi - $150 cheaper but the excess is $350 dearer ($600 is the excess for my current policy)
    APIA - Not eligible because not over 50 years old
    RACV - $$50 more expensive
    Allianz - $100 more expensive
    Woolworths - $250 cheaper (using the Drive Less Pay Less policy as I use the car only during weekends)

    Not able to reach AAMI customer service yet.

    • Don't do YOUi!!!

      As they clearly advertise

      they will get YOU!!!

    • Woolworths - $250 cheaper (using the Drive Less Pay Less policy as I use the car only during weekends)

      Seems like a no-brainer if you only drive the car on weekends. Just to make sure to top up your mileage if you're about to hit it/go over.

      • +1

        With woolies i got agreed value that i wanted and they were a lot cheaper too.I do have full no claim bonus tho' that might make a difference. Only put 8,000kms for a year on drive less/pay less, I won't go over that.

  • Coles was fine for 2 years then doubled the policy for no reason. They wouldn't move an inch. Switched to Budget direct for less than the Coles original price. When I switched to Coles they were much cheaper than Budget direct. You gotta keep testing the market anytime someone tries to bump up your policy. They're ALL CROOKS.

    • When I requested for a quote from Coles, their website sent me to Budget.

      From what you have said, does that mean if I get a quote from Budget directly, I might get a different price?
      Will try that and see.

      • I just got a quote from Budget directly, not from Coles website and the quote is the same.

        A few mentioned Coles is bad, that also mean Budget is bad too then.

      • Coles Insurance has nothing to do with Budget Direct??? It makes no sense that the Coles website would redirect you to a competitor.

        • John, you are right. I just tried the Coles website the result was a proper Coles quote which is just $50 cheaper then AAMI's renewal

          I think click the wrong link that brought me to Budget while thinking it is Coles.

  • Don't do it!!!

    Although IMHO AAMI is the absolute worst to deal with (from a Repairer's perspective) Coles is the absolute bottom of the Barrel!

    Just over 12 myths ago I (like many others) jumped on the Coles Bandwagon & my car was hit by a Range Rover which didn't stop & although there's was no less than 6 witnesses I'm still fighting them to this day. They have caught the person responsible the Police have even got involved yet Coles scum refuse to fix my car(which has not moved since being hit) as the policy was less that 2 months old!!! NEVER EVER AGAIN!!!

    • That really sucks. Sorry that you have this terrible experience.

      • +1

        that's why all my vehicles have dashcams. the 2 accidents that my wife has been in - both times the other parties lied. In the first accident, my wife didn't even realise she had touched the other car and therefore didn't stop…which turned into a hit-run offence by the police and nearly had my wife having a nervous breakdown because she had to front up to court. There wasn't even a mark on our car!! The other accident a 4WD merged into my wife's lane and hit the passenger door and then told their insurance company she had merged into them…this went on for a whole year as our insurance company wouldn't lodge a claim for us to defend us as it was 3rd party property cover only and our version of events meant that we were not in the wrong and therefore they wouldn't be getting involved. The other guy ended up having to pay his excess - and if he had admitted fault, both cars would have been fixed and it wouldn't have cost him a cent extra (thanks a&**hole!!!).

        So…DASHCAMS…don't leave home without one. Even my bicycles have them front and rear.

  • In case anyone might wonder, here are the details of my car:

    2010 Ford Mondeo Zetec Mc 5d Hatchback 6 sp automatic, 4 cylinder, 2.3l

    Odometer is about 18000 km

    Agreed Value $6160 - $11,440

  • +2

    I went to cancel insurance on a car I just sold that was insured with Budget Direct and they asked if I got a new car, which I had. So I went through the process of getting a quote including coverage for my daughter but my premium as a result jumped from $520 a year to over $900. Wasn't happy with this and said that QBE had given me $770 a year as a quote and I was happier with that number. So after a bit of chatting with the consultant, we got the premium down to $630 which I thought was pretty good, even noting my wife had been involved in an accident that was her fault about 4 years ago (BD want to know everything within past 5 years). I spent the weekend reading the PDS and working out best option QBE vs BD and rang back BD to accept offer and also mention another incident where my wife was hit by another car (not her fault) where we didn't even lodge a claim as we only had 3rd property/FT on that car and the other party wouldn't accept liability either but lodged a claim and had to pay their excess. I mention this to BD and premium has gone back up to $900 again!!! I asked them how could the premium go up when I disclose something that doesn't increase their risk (me = stupid…right!) and they say because a claim was lodged it affects "things". Sounds completely unacceptable to me. So I rejected their quote, cancelled the insurance completely, got a large refund and took my business to QBE.

  • I found out about 18 months ago I had a cracked windscreen rang up Coles car insurance no hassles one phone call only arranged with OBrien's
    new windscreen installed with in two days just fantastic

  • Spoke to AAMI, they have reduced $50 and also throw in the road side assistance worth $94.

    So now it is between Woolworth (Drive Less Pay Less) and AAMI.

    Since my existing policy still valid for another 2 weeks, no rush to decide as I am a little hesitant about woolworths

  • Iam insured with CGU insurance, most affordable CTP

    • It's quite a bit cheaper than Budget Direct and AAMI for me. how's your experience with it so far?

  • Just a final update.

    I decided to go with Woolworth because of their Drivee Less Pay Less policy.
    This car has only been driven for 512 km this year, so it make sense for me and I get to save a couple of hundred dollars.

    Once again thank you all for inputs and comments.

  • Has anyone actually had any experience with claims through Budget Direct?

    I just switched to them from NRMA because it was an easy $300-$400 saving. I'm used to going with NRMA/AAMI/GIO etc. But thought the price difference is worth it.

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