Need to know
- When it comes to choosing a car insurer, trustworthiness and reliability are key
- RAA, RAC, RACQ and Apia came out on top for customer experience in our survey
- On average just over 70% of customers with a claim were happy with their claims experience, with RACQ and RACV customers the happiest
Car insurance protects you against damage from accidents, fire, severe weather and theft of your car, but knowing whether your insurer will be easy to deal with when you make a claim can be tricky.
When we asked over 1200 car insurance customers about their experience with their car insurer, we found that, similar to home insurance, the large majority (70%) rated their insurer as above average or excellent. But there are large differences between insurers.
- South Australian car insurer RAA was the best rated insurer for customer experience with 87% of customers rating the company as above average or excellent.
- RAA was followed by RAC, RACQ and Apia.
- RACV, NRMA, Youi and GIO also received above average results.
- Suncorp customers rated their experience as average.
- Woolworths, Budget Direct, AAMI and Allianz rated below average.
- Coles was at the bottom with only 57% of customers rating them above average or excellent.
With the cost of living increasing, value for money is at the forefront of people's minds, and car insurers are not doing too well – just over one in five customers (22%) rate their insurer as excellent value for money.
These insurers had the best ratings for value for money, with a higher than average number of their customers rating them as excellent:
- Youi (40%)
- RACQ (31%)
- Budget Direct (28%)
- RAA (28%).
Coles and Allianz brought up the rear with only 13% of customers rating Coles as excellent value for money, and 12% for Allianz.
If you're concerned about your car insurance premium and want to look for a better deal, the free CHOICE car insurance comparison is an excellent way to start. We've looked at comprehensive car insurance policies offered by all the major insurers, including AAMI, NRMA, Budget Direct, Youi, Suncorp and more, to help you figure out which one is right for you.
We include a state-based price rating which indicates, on average, how expensive a policy is compared to others. And unlike other insurance comparison websites, we're completely independent and don't get paid by any of the insurers we're comparing.
With car insurer ratings for value for money not as high as you might have hoped, shopping around is the best way to save. Especially as insurers often give new customers a better deal. Our survey found that on average, only 34% of respondents said they will definitely renew their insurance with their current insurer, while another 47% said they will probably renew.
And there are some insurers out there with very loyal customers. A high percentage of customers have stuck with these insurers for over 10 years:
- NRMA (53%)
- RACQ (53%)
- RAA (48%)
- RACV (42%).
But what if you're in the unfortunate position where you have to make a claim? According to our survey, the happiest customers are with RACV and RACQ, with the overwhelming majority rating their insurer's claims experience as above average or excellent.
The following insurers all received above average and excellent ratings from customers with settled claims:
- RACQ (94%)
- RACV (90%)
- AAMI (74%)
- NRMA (69%)
- Budget Direct* (66%)
- Allianz (60%).
*There was a small sample size for Budget Direct (29), so the result for them is indicative only.
We also asked respondents to rate their experience of feeling cared for as a customer and found that insurers that rated well for customer experience took out the top spots.
- RAA (77%), RACQ (74%) and Apia (73%) customers were most likely to feel that care was "above average" or "excellent".
- Allianz (53%), Suncorp (50%) and Coles (46%) were at the bottom of the list.
How our survey was conducted
The CHOICE consumer insights team conducted a survey of 1282 policyholders of car insurance across Australia (including comprehensive car insurance, third party fire & theft, and third party property damage) and carried out fieldwork from 20 February to 14 March 2023.
They applied quotas for representation in each age group, gender and location to ensure there was coverage in each state and territory across metropolitan and regional areas. Only current customers gave ratings for specific insurers.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.