New Zealand laws don’t state you need mandatory car insurance. However, car insurance can be crucial if you face an unexpected vehicle incident. There are many events that car insurance can cover, depending on the car insurance policy you opt for.
The three standard types of car insurance are comprehensive, third-party and third-party fire and theft, which all offer different levels of cover. Comprehensive policies can cover you for damage done to both your vehicle and other vehicles involved. Whereas, third-party only covers the cost of repairing other vehicles. Third-party fire and theft covers you for damage done to other vehicles, as well as your car being stolen or damaged by fire.
When it comes to car insurance, we all have different needs. So, it’s important you find a policy that suits your personal situation, to help prevent surprises when you go to make a claim. You may discover you’re not actually covered for the particular incident and have to fork out a substantial amount of money to repair the vehicles involved.
You also don’t want to pay premiums for cover you don’t actually need. For instance, if you have an old, battered car that isn’t worth much, it may pay to opt for third-party. This is because the cost of premiums and claims may be worth more than the car itself. You should weigh up these factors and establish exactly what you need, before choosing a car insurance policy!
Who offers car insurance in New Zealand?
Canstar surveyed 1,782 New Zealanders and asked them to rate their car insurance provider on a number of factors, including overall satisfaction, value for money, quality of service and claims process. Respondents only qualified if they had made a claim in the past three years. The car insurance providers that received at least 30 responses, qualified for the Canstar’s Most Satisfied Customers Award. Here are the providers that made the list!
State is a brand of the largest general insurer in Australasia – IAG. State currently manages around 900,00 policies nationwide, with car insurance being one of its main offerings. Providing a number of benefits, this insurer helps ease the sometimes complex nature of the car insurance process.
Following a car incident, State will pay the amount agreed on when you purchased the car insurance policy with this insurer, as opposed to the current market value. As soon as an incident occurs, you can lodge your claim online, where you simply choose what to claim on and then State will guide you from there.
Long-standing State customers – who have had their car insurance with State for more than one year – are eligible for a discount on their premium. And you can receive a 10% multi-policy discount if you have car insurance with State and then purchase content insurance. An additional immobiliser discount is available for those who have an approved immobiliser.
State has a free mobile app where you can view your policy, make a claim or pay a policy renewal, to help you manage your car insurance policy.
Known as one of the “Big Four” banks in New Zealand, ASB also offers car insurance, which is unwritten by IAG.
ASB offers multiple discounts, including a substantial 65% discount, if you don’t make a claim for a certain period of time. A package discount also applies when you purchase ASB home or contents insurance along with your car insurance policy with ASB. This discount can be even higher if you are over the age of 55. Further discounts apply if you’re insuring drivers 25 years of age and older.
For an additional charge, starting at $40 per year, ASB car insurance policy holders can sign up to ASB Roadside Rescue, a 24-hour service that can come to the rescue if you suffer a breakdown, flat tyre, or another minor problem with your vehicle.
Branded as PremierCare Vehicle Insurance, BNZ offers multi-policy discounts, the ability for customers to view their policies online through their internet banking, and roadside assistance for an additional $1 per fortnight.
With BNZ, you are eligible for a no-claims discount, which varies from 30% to 65%, depending on your history of claims.
However, the unique feature that sets BNZ’s car insurance apart in the market is that you can collect Fly Buys points based on your premium!
But be aware, BNZ’s vehicle insurance doesn’t cover business cars or cars used for the purpose of business – your claim can be declined if you don’t inform the insurer of this beforehand.
AA Insurance policies provide a range of benefits for eligible customers, including multi-policy discounts, young driver flexibility and a lifetime guarantee on repairs. You can also receive further AA Insurance Member Discounts!
AA Insurance prides itself on putting its customers’ needs first, above all else, and makes an effort to reduce the expected stress, should they get into a vehicle incident. AA Insurance’s Customer Service Centres offer support throughout the car repair process.
AA Insurance also allows you to choose the level of cover and any optional extras, ensuring your car insurance policy suits your budget and needs.
See how AA Insurance performed in Canstar’s 2019 Most Satisfied Customers Award for car insurance!
AMI Insurance was established in 1926, and has since become the second-largest residential insurer in New Zealand. The car insurer offers multi-policy discounts, reduced-cost breakdown servicing and a 50% no-claim bonus at the start of a car insurance policy, for drivers under the age of 25. AMI Insurance is also apart of the AIG branch.
Similar to most insurers, the price of AMI’s policies depends on your vehicle, accident history and other factors. However, AMI’s approach is, “the more you insure, the more you could save”. This means you will be eligible for discounts when you purchase more than one type of AMI insurance product.
The AMI Multisaver 2 discount applies when you purchase any two eligible policies. With AMI Multisaver 3, you can receive an even larger discount when you take out three qualifying insurance products.
AMI only requires you to make one claim and pay one excess if your car, house and contents are damaged in the same event, as long as you have taken out insurance in all of these areas prior to the event.
From multi-policy discounts to low emission and low mileage discounts, NZI offers a range of discount options for customers. If you use its network of approved repairers, the insurer will also offer you a temporary vehicle to use until all repairs are complete.
You can tailor your car insurance policy with NZI by picking a cover and then choosing from multiple different add-ons. And, under the distinction motor vehicle policy, you’re automatically eligible to unlimited roadside assistance call-outs.
The reduced emissions discount means if you’re aged 25, or older – and drive less than 5,000 kilometres during a policy year – NZI will give you a 10% discount on your full-cover premium.
Westpac has a simple approach to car insurance, focusing on the standard policies – comprehensive, third party and fire and theft third party. Westpac gives customers the option to add roadside assistance – Auto Assist – to its comprehensive car insurance policies.
Unlike other car insurers, Westpac has a “30-Day Free look” feature where you can cancel your cover for free, if you aren’t fully satisfied with your policy. The insurer will then refund any premiums you paid during that period.
Information is available through Westpac’s website and includes tips on how you could reduce your premiums and what levels of excess you can consider, depending on your situation. For a quote, assistance, or to purchase a policy, you can simply request a call back.
As part of the Suncorp Group, Vero is backed by one of the leading Australasian general insurers. Vero’s MotorPlan insurance policies offer a number of familiar services, as well as access to the Vero S.M.A.R.T network. With a system of approved repairers, the S.M.A.R.T network helps customers get their cars back on the road faster.
Vero offers the standard types of car insurance – comprehensive, third party and third party with theft and fire. This insurer’s third party cover and third party fire and theft cover both protect against up to $3000 of damage done by an uninsured driver. You must have the details of the driver at fault, to be eligible for this cover.
Vero also supports the community. Following the Kaikoura earthquake, Vero teamed up with Goodman Fielder and My Food Bag and provided 800 My Food Bag boxes to households affected by the earthquake. Vero states that it supports and encourages diversity and is committed to great outcomes for all its customers!
Vero has a 24/7 free emergency help line, that provides advice, as well as referrals to nationwide services.
Tower’s history with insurance dates back to 1869, when the insurance provider first started out as “Government Life”. The insurer now offers car insurance policies and commercial vehicle insurance throughout New Zealand.
Tower keeps it simple by providing comprehensive, third party fire and theft and third party policies, as well as optional add ons for RoadWise roadside assistance and windscreen excess buy out. A handy table on its website makes it easy to see the levels of cover the different policies provide.
Tower’s RoadWise roadside assistance feature provides services all hours of the day, and is available to any individual driving the insured vehicle at the time of the breakdown. Keep in mind, this is not included in the standard policies, so you will have to purchase it as an add on.
Out of the car insurance providers that qualified for Canstar’s 2019 Most Satisfied Customers Award, Tower is the only one to offer Airpoints Dollars when you take out car insurance with this provider. You can also save 10% when you buy a policy online, and a further 20% if you take out at least three policies with Tower.
Which car insurance should I get?
Before you take out car insurance, it is crucial that you shop around to ensure you are covered in the areas that are important to you. From our research, it is clear that different car insurers offer different types and levels of cover. This reinforces that there may not only be a policy more suited to you, but a specific car insurance provider that could benefit you more so than another! Take a look at Canstar’s 2019 Most Satisfied Customers Award results to see how these car insurers performed.
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