How to do a car insurance health check

A car insurance policy isn’t a set-and-forget sort of thing. You should check it regularly, especially at renewal time, to make sure you have the coverage that’s right for you.

And the best part of doing a policy health check? You might even save a little money.

5 things to check

1. Your ‘amount covered’

When you review your car insurance policy, check that the amount for which you’ve covered your vehicle is appropriate. This amount, known as your ‘amount covered’, is the most your insurer will pay you to repair or replace your car following an insured incident. The amount covered includes the value of accessories and modifications that are fitted to your car, registration, CTP/MAI Insurance and GST.

Your ‘amount covered’ should reflect what it would cost to replace your vehicle. Though a lower ‘amount covered’ probably means you’ll pay a lower premium, having enough car insurance coverage means you’re less likely to face huge out-of-pocket expenses if you need to make a claim.

Alternatively, if you have Comprehensive Car Insurance, you can choose to insure your vehicle for 'market value’, if we agree. Market value is the amount that the market would pay for the car at the time of the incident. The market value of the car includes many factors such as age, make, model, kilometres travelled and general condition of the car. We may use recognised industry publications to assist in calculating the amount.

2. Your excess

When you take out a car insurance policy with GIO, a standard excess will apply to any claims you make, unless your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) states otherwise.

If you think you’re at a lower risk of making a claim since you last renewed your Comprehensive or Platinum Comprehensive policy, perhaps because you’re driving less or your car is kept in a more secure spot, you could consider adding a voluntary excess of between $200-$2,000 to your standard excess.

This would mean that, if you do need to make a claim for which an excess is payable, the total amount you’ll need to pay is higher than the standard. But your yearly or monthly premium payments would be reduced – so, if you don’t have to claim, you might save a little off your policy.

It’s easy to update your policy. Just log into GIO Online Services or the GIO App and follow the prompts.

3. Additional drivers

Any person you expect to drive your car more than once should be listed on your car insurance policy as an additional driver.

Checking your listed drivers at renewal time is a useful habit to get into. Not only does it ensure that your vehicle and all of its drivers are covered in the event of an incident, you’ll realise when someone has stopped driving your car and update your policy accordingly. If your resident P-plater has started driving their own car, for example, and they’re still listed on your policy, you could be paying more for it than you need to.

Log into GIO Online Services to add or remove an additional driver on your policy.

4. How far you drive each year

When you renew your policy, you’ll let your insurer know how much you anticipate driving over the coming year. Perhaps you’re driving less after deciding to catch public transport to work, or you could be driving more if you’ve moved house or started a new job. It’s important that this amount reflects how much you use your car, because it means your insurance cover and premium amount will better suit your situation.

5. Your details

If any of your details have changed recently, let your insurer know. This includes:

  • your address
  • your car’s details, including any new accessories or modifications, and
  • whether you’ve paid off your car’s finance.

These factors influence your premium, so if you make a claim with incorrect details, it may be denied.

Do a car health check

In addition to making sure you have the right car insurance coverage for you and your vehicle, it’s also essential to conduct a car health check regularly. Your car requires regular servicing roughly every six months or 10,000 km – whichever comes first. Doing so will help you to avoid damaging its engine or voiding its warranty. So, there’s less risk of an unexpected (and potentially costly) trip to your mechanic.

More About GIO Car Insurance

Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as GIO. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance.This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it