Sometimes it can feel like the family car is another member of the family unit, so it’s important to pick the best car insurance deal for your wheels. From the school drop-off line to the family road trip, the last thing you need is stress about your car to slow you down.
With so many car insurance providers to choose from, it’s important to find the one that suits your family’s needs best. The right car insurance policy can get you feeling confident that no matter what road your family takes, you’ll be protected.
Even though keeping the wheels turning for your family is a big deal, there’s no need to be paying through the roof for your insurance cover.
Your family’s car insurance premiums can be impacted by a wide range of factors like your age, your car or cars, where you live, your driving history, how much you drive, and whether other people drive your car (especially if you need to insure younger or learner drivers).
You might also be able to score a policy that suits your lifestyle. Instead of being limited to traditional insurers, Australian families can look to new ways to save on their car insurance policies like innovative pay-as-you-go options.
Many insurance providers will also offer introductory offers on their policies, as well as rewards for good drivers like no-claims bonuses, multi-car discounts and loyalty rewards. There could be a deal for you, no matter your family’s circumstances.
With any insurance policy, make sure to read the product disclosure statement (PDS) available before signing up.
To help you in finding a deal, we’ve pulled aside some of our top picks for this month:
FAQs about car insurance for families
What types of car insurance are there in Australia?
In Australia, there are three types of car insurance. These are:
- Compulsory Third Party insurance
- Third Party Property car insurance
- Comprehensive car insurance
Third party insurance is compulsory in Australia for every registered vehicle and is also known as your green slip. This protects the driver from liability in the case they are to cause death or injury in a motor accident.
Third party property insurance is optional, and covers the damage to another vehicle damaged in a motor accident but not to your own vehicle. You may also opt for fire and theft car insurance if you live in an area that is high risk for either threat. These are a step below comprehensive car insurance, and may be cheaper.
Comprehensive car insurance is optional and is the highest level of car insurance available. With this, you will be able to make claims in the event of damage to your vehicle and other people’s property, regardless of who is at fault. These are the policies compared by Mozo and highlighted in this article.
What is the best car insurance provider for families?
There is no single best car insurance provider, and which one is best for you will come down to your needs for yourself and your family. This is all about your circumstances, the features you will use, and what you would consider to be an appropriate price. You might use this as a starting point, but to do any comparison of car insurance policies you should seek out a quote from an insurance provider for an estimate of your premiums, and review the product disclosure statement before making any decisions.
Family road trips – will our car insurance be valid all over the country?
If you’re planning an epic family road trip around Australia, it’s important to know how your car insurance is impacted. Car insurance is priced based on the area your family’s car was registered in, and your permanent address. For short term travel and interstate trips, your regular policy should cover you for accidents as it normally would.
For extended time away from your registered address, you may want to check with your insurance provider to see whether there are limits on the number of days you can spend in another state and retain coverage.
How do I make a car insurance claim?
To make a car insurance claim, you’ll need to have a few details handy in order for the process to run smoothly.
- The date and time of the incident
- The location of the incident
- Any other driver’s details (phone numbers, licence numbers, etc)
- Any photo evidence
- Any witness statements (if applicable)
- A police report (if applicable)
If you’re missing any of these which do apply to an accident or incident, your claim may be rejected or disputed.
Most insurance providers have an online claims process, allowing you or your family member to lodge and keep track of your claim’s progress via the internet. Otherwise, you will have the option to file a claim on the phone, which some providers offer as a 24-hour service.
What is a car insurance premium?
A car insurance premium is the amount you pay for your family’s car insurance each year. This is determined by various factors, like where you live, what car you drive, and who drives your car. It can also be influenced by your driving record, and may increase after accidents and claims.
Will I have to pay a higher premium to insure my children who drive the family car?
You may pay a higher premium if you have young drivers or senior drivers registered to your car insurance. Sometimes a car insurance policy with a lower premium will also have a much higher excess. This works out fine if you don’t end up making a claim, but could end up costing you much more in the event of an at-fault accident.
What is a car insurance excess?
While a premium is the amount you pay for your car insurance policy, your excess is the amount you pay when you make an at-fault claim. That’s a claim on your car insurance for which you were the liable party.
Does the excess change depending on who drives the family car?
Yes, you will often pay a higher car insurance excess for any unlisted drivers (think joyriding or friends borrowing the car), young drivers and inexperienced drivers (L and P platers). Some car insurance policies will also charge windscreen excess, for claims to windscreens specifically.
Usually, the less you pay in excess, the higher your car insurance premium will be.
What’s the excess on policies with more than one family member listed?
If you need to make a claim, you will have to pay your excess before any repairs begin. This excess will be higher in some cases, like if an unlisted driver was at the wheel, or an inexperienced driver (like your teenage learner or P-plater).
When you take out a family car insurance policy, you’ll generally get options to select the excess amount that you’re willing to pay should you need to make a claim.
What is a no-claims bonus?
Like the name implies, a no-claims bonus is a reward you or other family members might receive for not having made any claims on your car insurance policy over a period of time. Depending on the insurance provider, this could be up to 70% off your premiums.
While you can’t transfer a no-claims bonus from one provider to another, you can transfer the no-claims period – you’ll be able to demonstrate to a new insurance provider that you have not made a claim in that time period.
What optional extras are good for families that can I add to my car insurance policy?
If you’re particularly concerned about a specific risk to your car, you may be able to add it to your car insurance policy as an optional extra. Some car insurance policies may include these as standard, while others will charge more to add them as optional extras. Some of the popular family-friendly options include:
- Windscreen cover
- Choice of repairer
- Hire car cover
- Personal property cover
- Roadside assistance
If you have a trusted panel beater, or need the security of knowing you’ll have hire car cover to get the kids to soccer practice, these may be worthwhile additions for you.
Can I get insurance for my child when they are a learner driver?
You can absolutely insure a learner driver, or L-plater. If they are your dependent child and only drive your car, they may automatically be covered on your car insurance policy, or you may need to manually add them. Read your policy’s product disclosure statement (PDS) to find the specific terms around learner drivers.
The main difference is that you may pay a higher excess for claims involving an inexperienced driver.
If your child has their own car, it might be worth getting them to take out a car insurance policy in their own name as soon as possible. That way they can work up no-claims bonuses and loyalty as soon as possible.
Do my kids need their own car insurance policy when they are P-platers?
P-platers do not need their own car insurance policies unless they are driving their own cars. If they drive the family car, like a learner driver, they may either be automatically covered or need to register with your car insurance provider. Check your policy’s product disclosure statement (PDS) to find out their terms around p-platers.
As inexperienced drivers, P-platers may also incur higher excesses when you are making claims, regardless of age.
Once they do have their own car, they could be better served from building loyalty and a no-claims record with an insurance policy of their own.
How can my family save on car insurance?
There are options for saving on car insurance that will depend on your circumstances and your family’s needs.
While you may be tempted to opt for the lowest premiums available, you could end up paying a lot more in excess in the event of an accident – particularly if a young driver or unregistered driver is behind the wheel.
Instead, you might want to look at other options offered by car insurance providers. These can include discounts for booking online, offered by many leading insurance providers, as well as discounts for customer loyalty and no-claims bonuses for safe drivers who have not needed to make car insurance claims for an extended period.
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Sara Borman is a money writer for financial comparison website Mozo and contributor to GoodtoKnow. She is ASIC RG146 (Tier 2) certified for general advice. She is Mozo’s expert on credit cards, BNPL, and personal finances. Her creative and academic writing has appeared in publications in Australia and the USA.
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