Insurance quotes don't add up

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If you have a poor car accident record, you might expect your car insurance premium to be a little more expensive than that of your friends or family. But would you expect to pay more than your neighbours simply because of your street number?

That’s the situation Glenmore Park resident, Samantha McKendrick has found herself in and she isn’t pleased about it.

“I was filling out all my details online for NRMA car insurance but accidentally put the address of my next door neighbour in,” she said.

“When I re-entered my correct address I found that the quote I was given increased by nearly $90. All the other information I supplied was exactly the same.

“I then tried the house number of our other neighbour and found that they too received a different insurance quote, despite us all living on the same street.”

Ms McKendrick contacted the NRMA to check if the information was correct and was told individual street numbers could change the premium on a policy.

“The exact location of the ‘risk address’ is a part of the policy underwriting, and the premium is adjusted based on a number of factors including exact location on the policy,” the NRMA said in an email to Ms McKendrick.

But the long time NRMA customer is unhappy at the seemingly unjustified discrimination.

“I can understand there are different prices for different suburbs, but for different house numbers seems unfair. To be quite honest I want a refund because my neighbours are all paying less.”

When asked about the price differences for individual street addresses, an NRMA spokesperson said that premiums for their insurance products are offered based on the assessment and analysis of the risk an individual vehicle or property has to a range of events.

“There may be a change to the car insurance premium if the risk address is changed, as factors such as proximity to roundabouts, intersections or red light cameras among others are taken into account,” the spokesperson said.

But the Weekender found that there was little consistency on Penrith’s streets.

Homes on The Carriageway, Glenmore Park had a $90 difference between quotes, and on Coco Drive, Glenmore Park, a $260 difference – despite there being no difference in road conditions.

The same was discovered in Crowle Road, South Penrith, with neighbours experiencing a $230 difference in quotes, despite it being a quiet street with little variance.

“The suburb where the car is listed is only one of the factors that contributes to a premium, there are many other factors that must be taken into account,” NRMA said.

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