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Choosing the Right Car Insurance for You: 10 Questions to Ask

Car entering a paid parking through a boom gate

Here at Youi, we get that your car is unlike any other. It’s more than just something that gets you from A to B. It’s a symbol of who you are.

It makes sense that your car insurance should be unique too. That’s why it pays to do your homework and to ask your insurer the right questions to help you compare different levels of cover and choose the insurance that’s right for you.

1. What level of cover do I need?

Start your car insurance shopping process with this question first. Because the type of cover you buy will determine what you’ll be protected against and what your financial responsibilities will be, should an incident occur.

Want the peace of mind that comes from having broad cover you know you can count on? A comprehensive policy - like the one offered by Youi - might be the right choice. Interested in a lower level of cover that provides protection for some issues while keeping your premium lower? A Third Party Fire & Theft or Third Party Property Only policy might make more sense for you.

2. Am I liable for damage to another person’s car if I cause an accident?

When you’re thinking about the level of cover you need, it’s worth considering your financial situation. And that doesn’t mean just looking for the cheapest possible policy. What you’re looking for is good value.

What would happen if you caused an accident with another person?  The other person’s car could be written off, or worse, they could be seriously injured. 

A comprehensive, third party fire & theft or third party property policy will cover your liability to the other person for the property damage.  While your CTP or Green Slip insurance covers for personal injury to other parties.  That compulsory personal injury insurance is very handy, but without property damage insurance, you could still be up for the cost of replacing their vehicle. Not a great spot to be in.

3. Do you cover modified vehicles?

Some car insurance companies won’t touch modified vehicles, but here at Youi we’re different.

Of course, there are some rules around that. We can’t cover modifications intended to improve performance or handling unless you tell us about them. So, if you’ve raised or lowered your suspension, tinted your windows, replaced your engine with a turbo variant, modified your exhaust or performed disability adjustments, make sure you talk to us about them.

4. Do I need optional cover above and beyond standard policies?

Car insurance policies are designed to cover the most common scenarios. For most drivers, protection against accidental damage, theft and/or liability to others is enough to feel protected on the road.

Other drivers decide they need more. If you regularly carry business equipment in your car, or if you want a hire car after an accident (not just after theft), you may need some additional optional cover to be fully protected.

5. What will I pay out-of-pocket when lodging a claim?

When you lodge a claim that and your claim is accepted, you’ll pay a portion of the incident’s expenses. This is known as your “excess”. The amount of excess required by your policy will affect its cost, and you may have multiple types of excess.

For example, following a claim, you could face any of the following excesses:

  • Basic excess, which is the initial amount you have to pay whenever you lodge a claim
  • Additional excess, which you owe when your policy determines an amount above and beyond the basic excess is due
  • Unlisted driver excess, which is owed if an unlisted driver was at the wheel at the time of the incident
  • Windscreen excess, which is generally the same as your basic excess amount, unless you’ve opted for cover that lowers this excess

The good thing about going with Youi is that if you’ve got multiple policies with us – say your home and contents as well – you’ll only need to pay one excess if you make a claim for the same incident. The incident must be a single event that occurs at the same address and time, and the applicable excess will be the highest excess amount noted on the relevant policies.

6. Who will help me if I need to lodge a claim?

When an incident happens, who you gonna call? Definitely not Ghostbusters. It’s going to be your car insurance provider. Make sure they’re standing by to help as soon as an incident occurs.

At Youi, for example, we match drivers with dedicated claims specialists, so that you’ll always have a point of contact you can reach out to for help. We also answer around 90% of calls within 20 seconds to help you get back up and running as quickly as possible.

7. Do you guarantee repairs made to my car after a claim?

Car insurers handle claims in many different ways. Some might reimburse you for repair work you contract on your own, while others prefer to handle repairs themselves.

Whichever way, you need to make sure you get a guarantee on the work performed following a claim. The last thing you need is bad workmanship to take your car off the road again.

Be aware, however, that your insurance provider may have certain requirements that have to be met for your work to be guaranteed. For example, at Youi, we’ll guarantee repairs we authorise to a service provider.  

8. How can I pay my policy?

In an ideal world, we’d all have premium policies that offered maximum cover and minimum cost.

But since we know that you’re living in the real world - where every dollar you spend has to count - Youi offer options to pay premiums in full annually or over a series of monthly instalments. Paying monthly does make your premium a little higher, but  breaking payments into smaller chunks may help you afford the insurance you want - not just the one you can pay for right now.

9. How can I make my policy cheaper?

You may pay less if you’re able to pay your car insurance premium all at once, but that’s far from the only discount you may be eligible for.

Insurance providers vary wildly in their ability to customise your car cover. Some will just lump you in with other people of a similar age or risk profile - even if there’s plenty of reasons why you deserve lower premiums. For example:

  • If you have zero demerits on your driving record, you should get a lower premium than someone who’s lost a lot of points.
  • If you park your car in a secured garage daily, you shouldn’t pay the same as someone who regularly leaves their car on busy streets.
  • If you only drive a few blocks to work each day - or rarely even take your car out of the garage - you shouldn’t be charged the same premium as a daily driver with a lengthy commute.

At Youi, we use 40 different criteria to better personalise our premiums.

10. What can help me make the right Car Insurance decision?

Use these 10 questions to help you compare the car insurers you’re considering. Listen carefully to their responses, and weigh their different offerings against your needs.

If, after all that, you’re ready to get started with the crew here at Youi, we’re ready and waiting. Start a quote online or give us a call on 13 9684 for a quote today.

Youi provides general advice about our products only, and does not take into account your objectives, financial situations or needs.  Please read our PDSs to consider whether our products are appropriate for you.