Car Insurance Recommendations - Best Value and Real-Life Claims Experiences Welcome!

Hi all,

I ended up having to buy a car just as Covid first hit. Paid the "Covid-premium" of a higher purchase price than insurance would cover & just grabbed the cheapest I could to get me on the road (Allianz). It's a 2012 TOYOTA CAMRY ALTISE, ASV50R, 4D sedan. To renew is going to be 483.62.

I know I can run around online and get quotes, but I'd love to hear from folks who changed insurers & their experiences in making claims.

That's the only way to know if they're worth the money, imho.

This is the basic rundown of current coverage:

This vehicle is primarily used for local business use & travels approximately up to 10,000km per year. Comprehensive Agreed Value $10,800. Third Party Property Damage
Limit of Liability $20,000,000.

What you're insured for:
See the PDS for the standard policy terms, conditions, limits and
exclusions that apply. This should be read together with this
Policy Schedule and any other document we tell you forms part
of your policy.

Accidental loss or damage to your vehicle ✔
Accidental death benefit ✔
Child seat or baby capsules ✔
Emergency repairs ✔
Emergency accommodation and travelling
expenses ✔
Lock re-keying / re-coding ✔
Personal items ✔
Rental car after theft ✔
Towing ✔
Trailer and caravan cover ✔
Transportation costs ✔
Substitute vehicle (liability) ✔
Legal costs ✔
Legal Liability ✔

Cheers everyone!


  • +1 vote

    Following, also want real world experiences when it comes time to claim


    Premiums vary not only by provider, but also the same company can have different premiums from one house to the next.
    Claims experience can vary even with the same company, a lot depends on the assessor and the repair shop

  • +1 vote

    If you want to minimise your risk of having to put up with shit when it comes time to making a claim, stick with the big and reputable companies that specialise in insurance. Avoid budget insurance companies, little startups and those names that mainly specialise in other things such as supermarkets.

    If you decide to pay the absolute cheapest premium, don't be expecting exceptional customer service (but do expect a flaming from us if you come back to whinge about it!)


      Good advice, specially the first line.


      "stick with the big and reputable companies that specialise in insurance"

      Such as? Best to worst (iyho)?


        Such as?

        I've been driving for a bit over 20 years and personally only ever had to deal with one claim through AAMI (when I wasn't at fault) that was pretty easy and straightforward, so I can't really say which company is better amongst the bigger brands. However, I used to work in the claims area of one of the major insurers in their claims area. It's true that insurance companies can be a*holes, but where there was doubt about anything, we often gave the customer the benefit of the doubt. In those circumstances, we wouldn't "try our luck" and automatically decline a claim based on that on the off-chance that the customer doesn't follow up.

        In my mind, I group the insurance companies such as (in no particular order) NRMA, RACV (or the WA equivalent), AAMI, QBE, Allianz, etc into what I would call "top tier". Then there's those such as Youi, Budget, Progressive, Coles, Woolies, etc that I would call "budget insurance companies". Those that have a reputation for cheaper premiums and those that you're more likely to hear horror stories about.

        It's quite logical if you think about it - the big companies usually charge more and have a huge customer base so a few extra claims won't impact their bottom line as much as those with a small customer base and cheaper premiums. Also, the cheaper premiums have to come from somewhere and it seems to come in the form of more aggressive claim acceptance policies and (lack of) customer service.

        This is not to say you definitely won't have a problem with a larger company (they are insurance companies after all!) - it just means that you lower your chances of a shit claims experience (not eliminate the possibility).

  • +1 vote

    Budget Direct

    Had a claim where under my policy I could choose my preferred repairer which helped a lot in keeping things localised as I travel for work. Also meant parts were genuine.

    Case manager I dealt with was professional and fast to respond and approve everything. Needed to get one of the licence plates replaced as it was damaged and he was happy to not only reimburse that as part of the claim without question but also allowed for the repairer to source the licence plate bracket replacement from the original car dealer location.

    Claim done over the phone, visit made to their assessor within a few days (not as easy given it was across Melbourne) and overall it was pretty hands off for me.

    • +2 votes

      This is literally the opposite of every Budget Direct experience I've ever read. Not calling you a liar though.

      • +1 vote

        Damn, that's not great to hear… My interactions were pretty much with only two people, the initial call centre person and then the case manager/assessor at the centre.

        The thing with insurance companies is that they can absolutely suck if they have to do more work than expected or if there's like a wide spread event (Bush fires) and stall payouts.

    • -1 vote

      Thank you for being one of the .0000000000000000000000001 percent of people who read and answer based on the content & their experience.


    Not sure if things have changed in the last few years but I know a few smash repairs owners and they all hate AAMI. I can't remember specific reasons but they made out it was tough to deal with them (as repairers) at claim time.


    There's two options:
    Expensive or screwed around.


    I'm most concerned with a big vs. small claim.

    For those who have had accidents, who did your claim best?

    I had 2 totals. Neither my fault. I have back issues to this day which have reversed my exercise regime to nothing. I think I prob had coverage, but insurer's are criminals.


      Neither my fault. I have back issues to this day which have reversed my exercise regime to nothing. I think I prob had coverage, but insurer's are criminals.

      If neither were your fault, why did you think you don't have insurance coverage? WA has a CTP scheme for bodily injuries (as opposed to property damage). You would lodge a claim against the CTP insurer of the vehicle who is at-fault.


    Following the thread, my insurance is due at the end of the month. Currently with budget but haven't had to make any claims.


    How can reviews of insurance co's be so all over the place? According to the below site, RAC are rubbish:

    Is not a good source? If not, what's a reasonably trust-worthy review site?


      Any review site is a mosh-mash of extreme reactions, but skewed towards negative. It’s like If you love it why do you need to post a review? If you hate it, you think you need to tell everyone. If you are in the middle, why bother posting.

      Some places moderate their review and might remove ones they ‘don’t like’ them.

      Then there’s review for payment. Eg leave us a good review and we’ll give you 10% off the next one, or outright paid to leave a review.

      Then theres tons of fake reviewers and bots that are specifically designed to promote one business and denigrate another. These are the most concerning because they probably have absolutely know real knowledge of what they are ‘reviewing’

      Basically, you can’t really trust online review sites to actually be objective.


        Or you need to read between the lines of the review to understand the level of education of the reviewer. Are they articulate and concise, do they describe a story that shows a complete understanding of their options, the discussions they've had and that the insurer has done something heinous? Or does it read "had stack, thought I'd be rich, insurance company is horrible, poor me"? If you can hunt for the former and skim over the latter - then sometimes they can be telling.

        Insurance companies can be nasty, they have all sorts of little gotchas that you skim past to the "buy insurance…gimme cover" button. Hopefully you can find reviews that highlight these little dog turds on the naturestrip of cover. One really nasty one I particularly dislike is Budget Direct's…"if a person lives in the same house as you and they aren't listed on your policy, then they are 100% NOT covered…but if you lend your car to someone you don't live with, that's fine and they're covered"…that definitely rates on the evil scale. Their definitions of write-offs too are nasty.


    Had a not at fault claim with WFI for a written off car and the process was straight forward to make the claim and receive the payout. They appear to have small local offices all round and you have your own client representative. They were pretty cheap too.


    I went with Ubicar last year just before they went into administration (but underwritten by RAC WA) - so I kept my comprehensive cover at about $20 a month as they weren't calculating the kms any more. Full comprehensive insurance for $240 a year, pretty cheap! My cover runs out in Sep, so here I am hunting around for any gems out there. My daughter was one month ahead of me. She's gone with Budget Direct (so I guess I'm not driving her car as I doubt she read the fine print about people who live in the same house), but she also found another similar insurer to Ubicar called Carpeesh who did a reasonable premium and hopefully weed out the bad drivers with their app connection. Though she's still on her P's and under 25 - the insurance is quite high. She got coverage for about $700 for full comp with a massive excess. I advised her to go for the biggest excess as she is a great driver and any accident is most likely going to be the other party and then excess doesn't apply. But she has enough savings that should she the faulty party - the excess wouldn't hurt her either - why hand over money to an insurer to cover something you can afford?


    currently with aami, but thinking of switching one of the cars… was looking at Budget, but hear nothing but horror stories. I'm not UNhappy with AAMI, but their premium increases are getting out of hand. I haven't made a claim with them for 6 or so years, but my premiums increased by about $30 per month


    Made a claim (though not at fault) with Budget Direct (they were the least expensive of the 3 or 4 online quotes) and they surprised me based on some of the negative reviews. I was expecting to jump through hoops but the process was very straight forward. Didn't even know that I had a hire car, which turned out to be great.. The annoying things included the starting point of an excess when completing the online claim. This made me reconsider submitting the claim but I went ahead anyway. The case manager called me the next day and waived the excess when I described the incident. The other annoyance was having to deal with the claim manager and the car hire department separately. When I rescheduled the repair date I did not realise that I had to call the car hire department and reschedule that as well. Apart from those gripes, it was a good experience.

    Merged from Car Insurance Recommendation

    Currently I have Kia insurance, and I am in the process of renewing my car insurance and would like an indication based on your experiences to change insurance company.