Shopping around for insurance
As I noted in March, a bunch of my annual expenses fall together. This is a consequence of having bought both my house and my car in the month of August. Apart from the insurance on both of them, the car rego also happens to fall in August.
I had been pondering why my home and contents insurance renewal cost was so expensive. This in turn led me to wondering if the contents was actually worth insuring. Sure there’s the fire risk, but in terms of theft, I have very little that is (a) worth very much and is (b) likely to be stolen.
Instead of just blindly renewing like I have previously, I shopped around and to my surprise found that AAMI gave me an online quote that was about half the price I’d been paying. I seem to recall that the old company I’d been going through had stopped taking on new policies, and my assumption now is that they were trying to price themselves out of the market. Well it’s worked on me. Presto, $400 saved!
Last year I needed car insurance in a hurry, and went with AAMI (which will cost me $545 to renew), noting that when I had more time, being someone who uses his car less than most, I’d check out Pay As You Drive.
I really like PAYD as a theory. But the problem with their web site is that it can’t handle someone like me who three days per week parks his car in a street near a railway station. They’re web site wants an exact address. I queried this via their online form and they said to ring them up to get a quote.
I suppose insurance is all about risk, but do they really take into account this level of detail when calculating the premium? Wouldn’t a postcode be sufficient? In any case I hate ringing up companies and spending time on the phone because their web sites are broken like this, so I keyed in a guess as to where I might park to get an indicative quote. It came out at $385, based on 8000 km of driving for the year, which is my best guess at the moment.
Then I got a quote off Bingle, which is actually an online-only budget subsidiary of AAMI. (Online-only and budget suits me fine give I’ve never had to make a claim.) It came out at $462, with unlimited kms, and no getting fussy about where you park in the daytime.
How busy am I this week, and how much do I hate dealing with this stuff over the phone? Well I’ve got a few more days to get it organised, but if I don’t have the time to make the call, I suspect the answer will be $77.
Update lunchtime: I went back into the Bingle online quote and confirmed the details (and possibly added some stuff that wasn’t in the preliminary quote) and to my surprise the premium dropped to $418.66. It may have been because I originally said I bought it less than 12 months ago, but it turned out to the web site this means since September 2008. Since I bought it in August, this appears to count as more than 12 months go… perhaps having owned the car for longer and not having claimed means lower risk? Oh well, whatever. Sold!