What is a car insurance excess?

A car insurance excess is the fixed amount you pay towards a claim.

Depending on the circumstances of the incident that led to your claim, you may have to pay more than one excess: your Basic Excess plus any additional excesses that apply.

For example, if someone under the age of 21 causes an accident while driving your car, you’ll have to pay your Basic Excess (let’s assume it’s $600) plus an additional excess of $600 due to the driver’s age.

It means that, if the damage bill was $5,000, say, you would pay $1,200 and we would pay $3,800.

Your Basic Excess and the additional excesses are shown on your insurance certificate.

If you make a claim, we’ll tell you which excesses apply and when and how to pay them.

You won’t have to pay an excess if the accident is deemed a no-fault accident.

What is the purpose of a car insurance excess?

A car insurance excess is designed mainly to eliminate small claims that have a high administrative cost relative to the value of the claim – which in turn helps keep your premiums down.

Does the excess apply to each accident or incident?

Yes – the excess applies to each separate accident or incident that results in a claim.

If I make a car insurance claim, what will the excess be?

Unless you or another driver of your car have a no-fault accident, you’ll be required to pay:

  • your Basic Excess: the amount depends on the state/territory in which your car is kept; you may be able to increase or decrease it.

….as well as any additional excesses that apply, namely:

  • driver is under 21 years of age
  • driver is 21 to 24 years of age inclusive
  • driver has not held a full Australian licence for at least two years
  • driver is not listed on your insurance certificate
  • vehicle has exceeded annual limit of 12,000km (applies only to ‘low-kilometres’ policies).

The dollar amounts of your Basic Excess and the additional excesses are shown on your insurance certificate and can also be viewed in your online account.

Can I change my car insurance excess?

If you’re a comprehensive policyholder, you may, for a higher premium, be able to reduce your Basic Excess or, for a lower premium, increase it.

You can change your Basic Excess at any time by calling us on 1300 306 560 or logging into your online account and editing your policy.

(The additional excesses cannot be changed.)

Is there a driver-age excess?

Yes – Budget Direct car insurance policies require you to pay a driver-age excess if the driver of your car causes an accident and is aged under 25. This driver-age excess is an extra amount you pay in addition to your Basic Excess. 

This additional excess applies regardless of whether the driver is listed on your policy. (Note that, to be covered, all household members must be listed.)

The dollar amounts of all additional excesses are shown on your insurance certificate and can also be viewed in your online account.

See all car insurance excesses

Is there an unlisted-driver excess?

Yes – if an unlisted driver of your car causes an accident, you’ll have to pay an additional, unlisted driver excess (over and above your Basic Excess).

You can avoid this additional excess by listing all drivers on your policy.

Note that, to be covered, household members must be listed on your policy.

The dollar amounts of all additional excesses are shown on your insurance certificate and can also be viewed in your online account.

See all car insurance excesses

Do I have to pay an excess if the accident was not my fault?

No – you do not have to pay an excess if you have a no-fault accident with another vehicle.

A no-fault accident is one that meets the following criteria:

  • we decide the driver of another vehicle (or another person) was entirely at fault, and
  • you tell us the at-fault driver’s full name, address, and vehicle registration number.

Do I have to pay an excess if my car's been stolen?

Yes – if your car’s been stolen you have to pay an excess, but only your Basic Excess.

Do I have to pay an excess if my car's been damaged by hail?

Yes – if your car’s been damaged by severe weather, including hail or floodwater, you have to pay an excess, but only your Basic Excess.

Do I have to pay an excess if my car's windscreen has been cracked or smashed?

Yes – your window-glass (including windscreen) excess is the same as your Basic Excess, however you have the option of reducing your window-glass excess to just $40.

You can do this when you buy a policy or – if you’ve already bought one – by calling us on 1300 306 560 or logging into your online account and editing your policy.

Note that you can reduce your window-glass excess only when you buy your policy, renew it, or transfer it to a replacement vehicle; the excess cannot be reduced mid-term.

Do I have to pay an excess if my car's been vandalised?

Yes – if your car’s been vandalised, or maliciously damaged, you have to pay an excess, but only your Basic Excess.

Do I have to pay an excess if my car's a write-off?

Yes – unless you or another driver of your car have a no-fault accident, you have to pay the Basic Excess and any additional excesses that apply.

When is a car insurance excess paid?

If your car is repairable, we’ll ask you to pay your car insurance excess before the repairs start.

If your car is written off, we’ll deduct the excess from the final settlement amount we pay you.

Can I pay a car insurance excess in instalments?

Normally, a car insurance excess is paid as a lump sum, not in instalments. 

If you can’t pay it as a lump sum due to financial hardship, you can ask us whether you might be entitled to assistance.

If you are, we may give you longer to pay the excess or allow you to pay it in instalments, for example.

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