There is no doubt that if you are an Australian resident that you have heard of companies such as AAMI, Budget Direct, Youi, GIO, RACV, RACQ and Bingle. But I bet you didn’t know there are +80 Australian car insurance companies willing to do business with you.
Traditionally there were only a handful of insurers you could use to buy your car insurance. These were often the motoring body insurance companies such as NRMA, RACV, RAA and RAC. Then you had the insurance companies that went through the offline broker distribution channel such as GIO, QBE, Allianz, VERO and Suncorp. You then have your companies that just sell insurance through their own channels without using brokers, these include, AAMI, Shannons, APIA and Just Car.
Then you have your banks and health funds. They almost always have insurance products merely because when someone finances a house or car they often ask their bank to organise the insurance for them too as it is easier. All the 1st tier and 2nd tier banks in Australia have a car insurance product. But since the internet age a new breed of car insurance company has hit the shores offering more innovative products with features previously unseen. These include Budget Direct and Youi from South Africa, Progressive Direct from USA, eCar from the UK and then Bingle which is Australian.
Now that may seem like a damn lot of businesses to choose from. More insurance companies for some may mean that it is becoming even harder to make a comparison and actually choose the best and cheapest policy for your needs. Well, before I say that’s enough, there is a new breed of insurance company that is emerging. Car (and home) insurers are now starting to be set up by complimenting companies or from companies who have such a large retail footing in Australia that they think they might as well start selling insurance too.
The newest insurers to our market are from the likes of Australia Post (thousands of retail outlets), Coles and Woolworths (massive supermarket chains), Myer (department strore), Kmart (everyday goods store and also Tire & Auto) and Beaurapairs (Auto and Tire services).
So how do you make a decision when there are so many Australian car insurance providers to choose from? Well, you don’t need a quote from all of them. In fact you only need to compare a few of them. The main thing is to compare the underwriter, not the insurance company. I have talked about this in many of my other articles but it is the absolute key to making sure you compare insurance properly. There are really 10 main underwriters. A website like OzInsure (broker based) will cover 6 of them for you, then a site like QuoteMyWheels will do another 2 of them for you. So just there you can cover 80% with just two websites. It is a saviour really that the internet means that you can compare the large number of insurance companies to get the best price without spending days doing so.
So next time you thing there is only a handful of car insurance providers, think again, they are everywhere, offering better and more innovative solutions and features every day.