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We wouldn’t take out car insurance if we didn’t get some serious perks from the products! With that in mind, insurers like to bundle in what they call ‘extras’ (sometimes called benefits) into their products, in an effort to win your business. It’s up to you to decide whether the price is worth it.

Here are some common extras you may find bundled with your car insurance policy.

  • Hire car cover following accident. If you’re involved in an accident that leaves you without a car for an extended period of time, your insurer will provide you with a hire car, generally for an additional premium.
  • Hire car cover following theft: In the event your car is stolen, most policies will give you a free hire car of up to 21 days.
  • Personal effects cover. If you leave something valuable in your car, your insurance policy may cover the cost to replace it (up to a certain value – check your policy’s product disclosure statement for specific values and exclusions).
  • Replacement keys. If you’re the type of person who loses their keys all the time, your insurance policy may cover the cost to replace them.
  • Roadside assistance. Roadside assistance is crucial for any driver who cannot diagnose and fix problems by themself, on the open road. Some insurers cover your roadside assistance membership costs, which can be quite the sweetener when choosing between insurers.
  • Windscreen cover. You may be driving along the motorway, a truck pulls in front of you carrying gravel in its tray, and some of it flies out the top and strikes your windscreen. Accidents like this happen all the time, and windscreen cover will cover the cost of either repairs or replacements. Even the smallest of cracks can be fixed with just a phone call!

Along with extras, there are also plenty of features you can include when signing up to a policy that help you save.

  • Discount for purchasing online. Some insurers prefer you to sign up to a policy online. If you do so, they may offer a discount on your first year’s worth of premiums – quite attractive to new customers looking to save.
  • Listed Do you only want members of your household covered by your car insurance? Then name them on your policy and they’ll be covered as well. Keep in mind that if any of these drivers has an unsafe driving record, your premium could be affected. This doesn’t necessarily mean that other drivers (i.e. anyone you don’t live with) won’t be covered.
  • Aged restricted drivers. Restricted drivers on your policy will mean that those who use the car will have to meet certain requirements. This limit varies from policy to policy – anything from 25 – 40 years of age.
  • No claim discounts. If you don’t claim on your insurance policy, your insurer (if they support this option) will discount your yearly premium. It’s a great incentive to drive carefully! Additionally, some insurers offer no claim bonus protection, so if you’re involved in an accident, your ‘no claim’ discount will not be affected – even if you’re at fault.
  • No excess, or a higher excess? Your excess is a one-off payment you need to make to your insurer if you’re involved in an at fault claims. Typically, if you increase your potential excess (i.e. make it more expensive), you’ll pay less in If you remove the excess entirely, you’ll likely pay more.

Are car insurance extras worth it?

It’s a smart idea to check out your excess expenses when claiming on extras. You may find it’s cheaper to simply seek out a specialist to replace your cracked windscreens, or your roadside assistance membership might be cheaper elsewhere.

Additionally, as with any insurance product, terms and conditions will apply when claiming on your extras. Make sure you check your product disclosure statement to understand exactly what you’re covered for and how claiming on these extras may affect your future premium.

So, are they worth it? That’s entirely up to you, but we feel they should be viewed as sweeteners for deciding to take out a particular policy. Affordability and extent of coverage should remain your chief deciding factors when choosing insurance.

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