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Play The Car Insurance Game And Save Hundreds Every Year

by dollarwise
how to play the car insurance game and save hundreds

Every year in comes your car insurance renewal notice. The Insurer wants to get the maximum from your policy that they can. You want to get the cheapest price for what is essentially the same product from many possible providers. And so the car insurance game begins. Insurers bank on one key fact: you’re too busy or too lazy to bother shopping around. If that’s the case, they win, big time! If not, you have a chance of pulling a little back for yourself. Of course chances are they are still in front too! So how do you play the game and save hundreds every year on car insurance?

Always Be A New Customer – Loyalty is Out!

On most occasions your insurer will offer your policy for less to a new customer. I always pretend I’m a new customer and get a quote and it’s almost always less then my renewal notice, this year being the exception. That sucks! But it gives me great motivation to play the game, I don’t like being duded. As I said, insurers count on your apathy. If you just pay up and move on, i guarantee you’ve paid too much. Loyalty is nice, but insurers gouge loyal customers to discount new ones. So always be a new customer. So what do you do next?

Compare Prices

It only takes 3 or 4 minutes to get a car insurance quote done. Those few minutes will save you money for certain. You could go to insurance Brokers and Comparison sites like iSelect or Compare the Market. Just remember that they don’t show all insurers, just the ones paying them commissions. Some of the cheapest prices can be found outside these sites, but it’s a good start and will give you a good sense of what the market is charging.

Look For The New Players

An insurer trying to break into the market will be trying to get market share. That means one thing, cheaper premiums. So check out who’s the latest kid on the block. A while ago it was Coles and Woolies, now it’s Progressive and Bingle. Bingle were very aggressive last year and were offering huge reductions on premiums. I’ve noticed that they’ve come back to the field a little this year, but are still the cheapest. Now you’re armed with some quotes from other companies it’s time to save some cash.

Ask Your Current Insurer To Match Or Beat the Best Price You Found

Call up your current insurer. You can tell them that you’re not happy with your price. Nor the fact that the same policy is being offered to new customers for less. Let them know that you want to see if they can beat some quotes you’ve got elsewhere. And be frank, make them know that you won’t be hanging around if they don’t. They’ll play the game with you, send it up to the higher ups while leaving you on hold. But I’m certain they’ll come back with a better offer. Get them to send the new offer out to you via email. They may have bettered the best price or they may still be higher. But that new lower quote is your best bargaining tool with other. So now what?

Look For Price Beat Guarantees

Coles and Woolies are both offering this at the moment. Armed with your now cheaper car insurance renewal notice, see if any insurers will promise to price beat (note: they’ll only beat an official renewal notice). Coles Insurance will beat it by $50 at the moment, that’s pretty substantial. Two years ago Budget offered a price beat or get $100. I got $100 after jumping through their hoops! So play the game and make sure all the details on your renewal notice match your quote or they won’t honor it. Go ahead and make the call to ask for a price beat guarantee. Now your premium is really low. So is that it, you’re done. Maybe, but also keep in mind these other factors.

Look For Additional Promotions and Discounts.

Some cash back sites will give you a further reduction if you leap from their sites. You do the same thing, but start from their homepage. There are also sites that will pay you back a portion of the commissions they earn. Look out for promotions from the insurers too! Coles offered me 10000 flybuys ($50) to swap and that is added to the $50 price beat. I also have a $75 off Woolies promotion in my inbox. Again these can be doubled up.

Check Out Canstar and Review Sites

I always check out Canstar and makes sure that the insurer I’m going to go with has 4 or 5 stars. That way I know I’m not compromising too much quality for price. I also do a search for some reviews. There’s always a few horror stories, but if there’s too many, I steer clear.

Play the Game Every Year

Make sure you play the game every year. If you play the car insurance game year after year, you will save hundreds, thousands over time. It means your premiums will be very low, every year. Ofcourse they up them every year too, but only by so much. I’ve found that by starting at a very low base, they will only hike a certain percentage. That is, next years premium renewal is lower than it would have been. You play the game and get it even lower again. I’ve actually paid less for my car insurance for 3 years running. That’s right, less! So play the game, have some fun and don’t let insurers take you for a ride!

This Years Case Study

Last year I paid $439 with Bingle, which I thought was pretty good. The renewal price was $469, a manageable increase. They were willing to knock a small amount off with a phone call too. Interestingly Bingle are being a little less aggressive now and a new policy holder would pay more than my current renewal. A great sign that I’ve played the game well and saved a lot. Here’s a snapshot of what I could find for about the same excess from a few different companies:

Bingle    $516.67

Progressive $528.48 ex $800

Budget Direct  $545

Dodo $570

AAMI $578.91

Woolworths Insurance-$556  – $75 gift card promo not included.

Real $605.49

Allianz $635  ex$750

1st for Women – $694

Qbe $760

Maxxia $766

RACV     $796.44

CGU $803

Coles $1020  (not incl +10000 flybuys =$50 promotion or price beat guarantee.

Noticeably, Coles were the most expensive. I think they want everyone to call up via the price beat guarantee. So starting around $459 with Bingle’s best price renewal I call up Coles. I have to wait 40min as the discount is too big for the lady over the phone to do. All part of the game. There’s no way out, so they offer me $409 with a lesser excess of $750 ($795 for Bingle and they needed to better it too!). I make sure they apply the 10000 flybuys promotion they sent me and from which I clicked from. So effectively I’m paying $359 for my insurance this year, a pretty decent discount from $516 if I was a first time customer taking the lowest available price. I’m felling pretty good about the game this year. So that’s how you play the car insurance game and how you can literally save hundreds every year, compounded, year after year. You can do the same with your other insurances too.

Have fun playing the game! If this was helpful, don’t forget to share!

how to play the car insurance game and save $100s


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Mrs. ETT October 17, 2016 - 9:01 pm

Super helpful Luke, as I’ve just posted about having to tackle all of my insurances. I’ve bookmarked this for when the time comes. Thanks!

dollarwise October 18, 2016 - 4:56 pm

Hope it helps you get the best deal. Just subscribed to your site. Look forward to reading your posts as they come out. Luke.

Dividends Down Under October 18, 2016 - 9:09 am

The one thing extra to take into consideration is how much they’ll insure your car for. Although some like Bingle were the cheapest for us when we did the quote, they wouldn’t insure up to the value of what it would take to replace the car. Others ended up being more expensive when we changed insurance value to what we needed.

QBE ended up being the cheapest for us, based on insuring the car for what we needed. Apparently they have one of the better claims depts / customer service too, so win-win all round.


dollarwise October 18, 2016 - 4:58 pm

Good point, market value can mean different things to different companies. Typically it’s best to insure for the write off event as well. Hopefully that never eventuates though! Thanks for the comment. Luke.

AustralianDividendInvestor October 19, 2016 - 8:09 pm

I do this yearly ritual for both car insurance and health insurance. Its a massive pain in the ass and the first company that I find that is consistently competitive will have my business for life. I certainly don’t enjoy the couple of hours I spend convincing my current insurers to give me their best price! iSelect is a lifesaver too – great tip!

dollarwise October 19, 2016 - 10:20 pm

Tis a pain indeed. Maybe someday such an insurance company will exist. I’m not holding my breath though!

wealth from thirty January 10, 2018 - 8:34 pm

Great post Dollarwise. My insurance is up for renewal atm and it’s gone up 50% in the last few years! I will see what this game can get me!

dollarwise January 12, 2018 - 10:36 pm

Good luck with that. I’m sure you’ll find a better deal if you look for it!


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