Insurer of the Year award for Budget Direct
INSURER OF THE YEAR: BUDGET DIRECT
You need to have enough insurance to protect your car, your home and everything in it. If you don't, you have to rely on your savings to cover the damage or loss.
The trick is to keep insurance costs low but get all the necessary features tailored to your needs, with a few bells and whistles. This year's winner, Budget Direct, up from second place last year, does the job.
"Premiums for Budget Direct's Gold comprehensive car insurance and their home and contents insurance are consistently below market averagesacross Australia," says Rebecca Scarrabelotti, senior research analyst, wealth and general insurances, at Canstar.
"For example, within NSW premiums for Budget Direct's Gold comprehensive product are consistently below the average yearly premium in all age profiles we consider," she says.
"With their low premiums and well-featured policy, it positions Budget Direct as an outstanding value product in each state and age profile that Canstar rates."
David Murray's Financial System Inquiry's final report showed that 29% of homeowners and 67% of rentersdo not have any form of contents insurance.
With Budget Direct's home and contents insurance, all the basics are covered, such as fire, theft or attempted theft, malicious damage, vandalism, riot or civil commotion, lightning and earthquake, plus accidental breakage of glass, ceramic and sanitary fixtures. For an additional premium, there is the option to cover accidental loss or damage to the insured home or contents.
"Superior to the average market offering, Budget Direct also provides cover for loss or damage from storm and rainwater," says Scarrabelotti.
It also has the option to cover specified personal effects. She likes the feature of an optional sum-insured safeguard, which means Budget Direct will increase the sum insured by up to 25% if there is a total loss and the insured amount is not high enough to cover the cost of rebuilding the home.
Budget Direct's Gold comprehensive car insurance offers a great range of features that outperform the market average.
Features that some other providers do not offer include emergency accommodation, genuine parts used in repairs and a lifetime guarantee on those repairs as well allowing for a rental car if your vehicle is stolen, and the option of taking up roadside assistance.
"In addition Budget Direct allows consumers to apply and claim over the phone or online with access to a 24-hour helpline. Overall, the Gold comprehensive policy provides consumers with great features along with a supportive claims process that has both online and phone functionality," says Scarrabelotti.
Budget Direct's discounts are good value too.
For existing Budget Direct customers, you can get discounts on other Budget Direct products, such as a 30% discount offered when adding home and contents insurance to an existing policy online, and a 15% discount when adding a new comprehensive car policy online using the online policy manager.
In second place, CommInsure has a very strong home and contents offering that received the Canstar award for outstanding value for home and contents.
CommInsure's flexible policy conditions include no cancellation fee and the ability to pay monthly rather than annually at no extra cost. In addition, it is very competitively priced in all states, says Scarrabelotti.
WHY THEY WON
A range of competitively priced, superior insurance products
TOP PRODUCTS Gold comprehensive car insurance and comprehensive home and contents insurance
1. Budget Direct 2. CommInsure 3. AAMI
See the June issue of Money to find out more about the Consumer Finance Awards, including the winners of Credit Union of the Year, Building Society of the Year, Non-Bank Home Lender of the Year, Money Minder of the Year, Personal Lender of the Year, Investment Lender of the Year, Non-Bank Investment Lender of the Year, Margin Lender of the Year, and Business Bank of the Year.