14th October 2020

Six myths about car insurance debunked once and for all

There's so many myths and common misconceptions about car insurance, it's hard to know what's true! Let's bust these myths today.

Something to keep in mind: This article is based on Bingle's car insurance policies and what is and isn't covered by Bingle.

Myth 1: My car insurance covers mechanical breakdown

Bingle's Comprehensive Car Insurance doesn't provide cover for any mechanical or electrical breakdowns. Mechanical breakdown is similar to general wear and tear which is also not covered.

  • Top tip: Make sure you keep your car in a good condition, get it serviced regularly and check your oil and water levels as required. And don't forget to keep an eye on your tyre tread.

Myth 2: My car insurance policy covers theft or damage of personal items inside my car

Bingle's Comprehensive Car Insurance offers cover for most permanently fitted accessories and modifications (think child car seats, tinted windows and reverse cameras – refer to the PDS to see exclusions). However, we don't offer cover for your personal items if they are left in your car. This means if your car is stolen or broken into and you've left some things in it, you will have to cover the cost of replacing your personal possessions.

  • Top tip: Don't leave valuable items in your car - even if you just step out of your car for a few minutes. Laptops, wallets, cash, and phones are often left in cars, and can be quite appealing to an opportunistic thief. Even loose change might be enough to tempt someone (best to keep this hidden in your glove box or similar).

    It may seem safe to leave your possessions in a locked car at a petrol station or outside a friend's place – but no one expects their car to be broken into, so it's best to expect the unexpected. If you have to leave something valuable in your car, put it in your boot or cover it, and of course always lock your car.

Myth 3: Broken windows, windshields and glass repair is covered under car insurance

This one isn't exactly a myth. If the windscreen or window glass is the only thing that has been damaged, this won't be covered by Bingle Comprehensive Car Insurance. Anyway, it's unlikely you would have wanted to make a claim. This is because generally your excess would be more than the cost of these repairs.

When only the windscreen or window glass of your car are damaged in an incident, this will be covered if you have the Windscreen and Window Glass Only Cover optional extra on your Bingle Comprehensive Car Insurance policy. And no excess applies to this option.

So, if your window is broken by say a stone chip and you have this optional extra on your policy, you can relax knowing you'll be covered and won't have to pay an excess.

Myth 4: My insurance covers other drivers and I'm insured to drive other people's cars

This one is a bit tricky but generally if you hold your own car insurance policy, it won't cover you if you're driving someone else's car. You'd have to rely on the insurance policy for their car (if they have insurance).

If you're driving someone else's car, with their consent, and they are insured with Bingle, the owner of the car (i.e. the policy holder) can still lodge a claim even if you're1 involved in an at-fault accident2.

But, if you're a household member or regular driver and not listed on their policy, they may have to pay an extra excess.

The other thing to consider is the type of car insurance the policy holder has – for example, if you have Bingle Third Party Car Insurance, your insurance won't cover damage to your car (only other people's cars and property up to $20m). So, if you lend a friend your car and they hit a post at the shops, you may have to ask them to pay you for the damage to your car or you may have to pay for the damage yourself.

  • Top tip: You can avoid an unlisted driver excess by listing all household members who will drive your car and regular drivers on your policy.

Myth 5: You have to add a learner driver as a listed driver, or they won't be covered if they are in an accident.

At Bingle, we don't require you to add a learner driver as a listed driver. You'll just need to have a listed driver in the car when the learner is driving to avoid the unlisted driver excess, and that way the L-plater will also be considered a listed driver. Note the standard excess plus an age excess will still apply to any claims if the learner driver is under 25.

Myth 6: The cost of car insurance is just based on what type of car you drive.

This one is definitely not true. While the type of car you are insuring obviously has an impact, at Bingle we also use many other factors to calculate your car insurance premium. This includes everything from the type of cover you choose, your driving history, age and habits, to where you live, and your excess (and more – these are just some examples, not a full list).

We use this info to estimate your likelihood of making a claim, which in turn impacts the cost of your car insurance. So even if you and your friend have the exact same car, the cost of your insurance may be higher or lower than theirs. That's why it's best to get a quote and see exactly how much your car insurance would be, rather than making assumptions.